Saturday, March 17, 2007
St. Patrick's Feast Day
In the Catholic Church, throughout the year we celebrate the "Feast Days" of Saints as a way of recognizing their sanctity, their holiness, and as a way of helping us to walk in their footsteps. Saints are held up as an example to us all in how to live, love, and follow Christ, even unto the death.
To the best of my knowledge, though, St. Patrick was not a drunk.
Why, then, does our society insist upon dying beer green and drinking it to excess?
Amazingly, the "holiday" is also celebrated in secular schools, but of course with no attachment to the life of the man in whose name they celebrate, or in the name of the Savior in whose name St. Patrick lived. A thousand years from now, archaeologists are going to dig out our cities and find some preserved "St. Patrick's Day" items and stare in amazement at this odd holiday that takes the name of someone who died in the 5th Century, but doesn't mention him. They'll look at the bizarre rituals of green beer, dyed rivers, obsession with green and shamrocks, and come to the conclusion that, in fact, our culture has no taste.
Of course, that won't be a surprise to them because given the course our own society has taken over the last couple centuries (especilly the 1900's), taste has in fact taken a downturn so they'll perhaps be looking at us through the sterile eyes of Huxley's "Brave New World."
Oh, wait...I think we're almost there even now. And anyway, I digress.
Perhaps the best way to honor St. Patrick is to say his prayer and invoke it against the secularism that continues to drown our true heroes in green oblivion:
Christ shield me this day:
Christ with me,
Christ before me,
Christ behind me,
Christ in me,
Christ beneath me,
Christ above me,
Christ on my right,
Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down,
Christ when I arise,
Christ in the heart of every person who thinks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in the ear that hears me
My friends, the way to celebrate the feast day of ANY Saint is through prayer and learning more about them so that one day, we can follow their footsteps straight into Heaven.