Tuesday, March 17, 2009

St. Patrick's Day

I forgot that today was St. Patrick's day until one of my co-workers mentioned it.

This is strange, since St. Patrick is one of my favorite Saints, my co-worker isn't Catholic, I'm at least a quarter Irish, and I even spent some time last night thinking about buying a St. Patrick statue. But I guess there's a difference between loving someone and remembering days associated with that person, as many forgetful men can probably attest.

I realized, this morning (after my co-worker reminded me what day it was), how much I owe to St. Patrick, and how glad I am that God's grace motivated him to do such great things. His immense accomplishment, converting all of Ireland to a zealous Catholic faith, is amazing, and has had a great impact on my life.

My faith comes from two paths. I first learned to be a Christian through my father. He is a good Protestant pastor. As I received my faith from him, he received it from his father. His father was born an Irish Catholic, but he left the Church to marry my grandmother. Still, his faith in Christ was first given to him by the Irish, who owe their faith to St. Patrick.

But it took a second Irish family, my wife's family, to lead me fully into the Church. Without the influence of my wife and her sister I'm not sure that there would have been much chance for me, the pastor's son, to become Catholic. So, to St. Patrick and the faithful of Ireland, I am doubly indebted.

I delight in knowing that Christ's work on Earth did not end when he ascended into heaven, that his story is not just the one in the Bible. Christ's life story continues, and it can be seen in the good that is done by his Saints. How thankful I am that Christ, through St. Patrick, evangelized Ireland.

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