True Power

True Power

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Feeling Lucky? Feeling Green? Feeling Irish?

Prayer of Saint Patrick

Christ be with me, Christ within me,

Christ behind me, Christ before me,

Christ beside me, Christ to win me,

Christ to comfort and restore me.



Christ beneath me, Christ above me,

Christ in quiet, and in danger,

Christ in hearts of all that love me,

Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.

I don't know much about this festive celebration; no more than the lovely color green pops up everywhere and there are a bunch of green stem wares, cups, glasses, and mugs for sale indicating a bit of drink is to be had by many.

The words Saint Patrick can be heard of course, but the little lepracan is seen about more so than the saint. Many people begin to be Irish or at least date someone Irish to garner full claim to participating in the fun. I have eyed the eye catching tee shirts on sale during this time with varied clever sayings, but believed no one would take me serious in my Irishness.

The most distinguishable thing associated with St. Patrick's day besides beer, is the color green. It is not a wimpy shade of green but a healthy robust shade of green and you will get pinched if you are found on this day not wearing anything green.

Originally, the colour associated with Saint Patrick was blue. Over the years the color green and its association with Saint Patrick's day grew. Green ribbons and shamrocks were worn in celebration of St Patrick's Day as early as the 17th century. It is said St. Patrick used the shamrock, a three-leaved plant, to explain the Holy Trinity to the pagan Irish. It was an effective prop in getting them to become a Christian.

All of the luck stuff soon became a part of the festivities. There is the luck of the Irish I have heard and had no idea what it meant:

The "luck of the Irish" is BAD luck, as any reading of Irish history will document. The phrse 'luck of the Irish' was probably used in a sarcastic form when first used. Some trace the origin of the phrase to the US where, during the exploration for gold in the West, there were a high number of Irish people who got lucky, and found their "pot o' gold" in the gold fields of California, or were equally prosperous in silver mining. So now you have the pot of gold.

Luck of the Irish does owe its origin to the U.S.A.. When they arrived, they were very disliked, treated badly, despised and hated. When the Irish had any kind of success most Americans at the time didn't think the Irish were capable of such successes, so they called it luck. Hence the term "Luck of the Irish".

What does the church think about this once pagan group of people who turned from their pagan ways and embraced Christianity?: Christian leaders in Ireland have expressed concern about the secularisation of St Patrick's Day. In The Word magazine's March 2007 issue, Fr. Vincent Twomey wrote, "It is time to reclaim St Patrick's Day as a church festival." He questioned the need for "mindless alcohol-fuelled revelry" and concluded that "it is time to bring the piety and the fun together."

So as people raise their glass to drink and celebrate the greatness of the Irish people, a robust, overcoming minded people, let us remember the mission of one brave man later to be called Saint Patrick and his desire for the gospel to be spread to a people he came to love.

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