In school assemblies we often reflect that Patrick was an unlikely patron saint for Ireland. Apart from having an initially negative experience of this land, he was also quite hesitant about himself. As you can see later, he struggled with his lack of fluency and learning, which he saw in others. However, Patrick did write with some striking images. One of his favourites was to describe us as a letter of Christ. When people read our lives (observe us/ live alongside us) they see Christ…at least that is the goal, and the work of the Spirit within us.
CONNECTING WITH GOD’S WORD
2 Corinthians 3.1-3
Are we beginning to commend ourselves again? Surely we do not need, as some do, letters of recommendation to you or from you, do we? You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, to be known and read by all; and you show that you are a letter of Christ, prepared by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.
CONNECTING WITH SAINT PATRICK ( from his writings)
As a youth, nay, almost as a boy not able to speak, I was taken captive, before I knew what to pursue and what to avoid. Hence today I blush and fear exceedingly to reveal my lack of education; for I am unable to tell my story to those versed in the art of concise writing—in such a way, I mean, as my spirit and mind long to do, and so that the sense of my words expresses what I feel.
- But if indeed it had been given to me as it was given to others, then I would not be silent because of my desire of thanksgiving; and if perhaps some people think me arrogant for doing so in spite of my lack of knowledge and my slow tongue, it is, after all, written: The stammering tongues shall quickly learn to speak peace. How much more should we earnestly strive to do this, we, who are, so Scripture says, a letter of Christ for salvation unto the utmost part of the earth, and, though not an eloquent one, yet… written in your hearts, not with ink, but with the spirit of the living God! And again the Spirit witnesses that even rusticity was created by the Highest.
How do these passages speak to you?
Read it aloud.
Read it slowly.
Read it silently and let a verse, a phrase, a word, a thought, pop up like a cork in water.
Think about that.
Let your thoughts become a prayer.
Then let your prayer pass over into silence.
CONNECTING WITH THE SAINTS
“Patrick was an humble man,well aware of his own shortcomings, but he believed that grace is a transforming gift which enables the believer to do great things in God’s service. As our redemption cost Christ his life, Patrick believed that wholeheartedness was the only possible response.”
Lesley Whiteside “The Spirituality of Saint Patrick
CONNECTING WITH OURSELVES
Pray slowly the words of the Breastplate for yourself.
Feel the encompassing love and strength of God.
I arise today, through God’s strength to pilot me:
God’s might to uphold me,
God’s wisdom to guide me,
God’s eye to look before me,
God’s ear to hear me ,
God’s word to speak for me,
God’s hand to guard me,
God’s way to lie before me,
God’s shield to protect me,
God’s host to secure me:
against snares of devils,
against temptations of vices,
against inclinations of nature,
against everyone who shall wish me ill,
afar and a near,
alone and in a crowd.
I arise today through a mighty strength,
the invocation of the Trinity,
through belief in the Threeness,
through confession of the Oneness of the Creator of creation.
Salvation is of the Lord.
Salvation is of the Lord.
Salvation is of Christ.
May Thy Salvation, O Lord, be ever with us.
Pray the Breastplate for someone else
May you/ person’s name… arise today, through God’s strength to pilot you: God’s might to uphold you…
Closing Prayer Help us be still and know that you are God.
Help us listen to others with kindness.
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