I’m sure that St. Patrick and St. Nicholas hang out at least a couple times a year in heaven. They drink some coffee (or eggnog and green beer, as the case may be), and have some laughs about what we have done to their special days.
How Nicholas went from being a generous North African bishop to a jolly old elf in a red suit; and how Patrick’s apostolic ministry to Ireland got reduced to leprechauns and green beer; I’ll never fully understand. But I’m sure someone over at Wikipedia has already laid all that out.
At any rate, here’s my thoughts (no offense to green beer) about how we can truly honor St. Pat on March 17th. Or any other day for that matter:
1. Share your faith with someone else.
2. Pray for miracles.
3. Study Celtic Christian spirituality. There’s really rich stuff there, you might be surprised to learn.
4. Pray some of Patrick’s prayers. The Breastplate prayer rocks out loud. Really good.
5. Forgive your enemies. Then go and serve them. Enough said.
6. Meditate on the Trinity. Yeah, the whole shamrock thing. Three leaves; one stem. Good luck? Not so much.
7. Submit. Wait. Be patient. Be humble. Pat had to wait, and serve, a long time– and was told “No” more than once– before he was ever ordained, let alone permitted to go back to Ireland. You want to be in leadership?
8. Devote yourself to prayer. Patrick prayed. A lot. Constantly. And that investment of time and spirit came to fruition in the changing of lives, regions, and a nation.
9. Disciple someone new (or newer) in the faith. Far from just making converts, Patrick made disciples. A few he invested in more than others. The rest is history.
10. Remember that we’re all called saints! Go, live a life of purpose and destiny as a chosen and holy one of God. You too have a calling.
So? Happy St. Patrick’s Day!