Wednesday, 17 March 2010
St. Patrick in The Year for Priests
I like strong images of St. Patrick. Fortunately most statues and images seen in churches present him as a strong man whereas some of the statues seen in shops and catalogues make him look like a whimp! One of my favourite books about a saint is, "Aristocracy of Soul" by the Carmelite Fr. Noel O'Donoghue (I hope I have spelt his name correctly). This is another one of my books that has gone "missing". Patrick is one of my favourite saints. I especially like the hymn, "I Bind unto Myself Today" which expresses a courage and determination founded on faith.
Patrick was conscious of his calling as a priest. For him, this calling was especially about preaching the Gospel and saving souls. For this, he said, "I would gladly die". His faith in Christ, and his sense of the nearness of Christ should encourage all priests to mine the depths of their faith and to look again at the quality of their prayer. We need strong, fearless priests. Perhaps we need martyrs!. Below is a beautiful rendition of the "Cry of the Deer" ("I Arise Today") by the wonderful Rita Connolly.