Ah, sure n' begorrah, saints be praised, today is the wearin' o' the green. St. Patrick's Day over the years has been a source of pride for Irishmen everywhere. There's a saying that on St. Paddy's Day there's only two kinds of people - the Irish and those who wish to be Irish. Fortunately, our ancestors hail from County Mayo. Several years ago, in a project of geneology I researched the family line and discovered on the olde Sod that Cain was spelled Cian, which in the hard Gaelic tongue was phonetically pronounced Cuh-hain. Many believe because of the sound, that when my forefathers set foot on Ellis Island, the immigrant agents anglicized it to Cain. Either way it's Irish to the core and I don't need an O' or a Mc to prove it. Me stepmother is first generation Irish-born from County Wicklow. Yet, truth be told, the closest this editor ever came to kissin' the ol' Blarney Stone or seeing the silent shrine of Knock was at Shannon Airport on a pilgrimage to Europe.
Ah, Ireland, the stuff of legends - like the time a British immigrant who became a bishop lo many years ago returned to the Emerald Isle with one purpose in mind - to convert these beloved people to Jesus Christ and bring them into the fold of His One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. Legend says Saint Patrick drove the snakes out of Ireland. Everyone knows there are no snakes in Ireland today, nor are there snakes in Hawaii, another island half way around the world. We doubt good ol' Patrick set sail for the luau isles, so there must be another explanation. There is, that is the fact there never were actual snakes across the Irish Sea from England, they could not survive in the peat moss and cold climes. So as for actual reptiles that crawl, there were none. But he did extract the serpent - the same serpent that tormented Adam and Eve and who God promised would be crushed beneath His heel through His emissary - His Blessed Mother when her Immaculate Heart triumphs. That is what Patrick strove to do, eliminate the serpent from Erin back in the fifth century where the druid spirit ruled, where superstition was the order of the day. He used as his prop, a tiny shamrock, a three leaf clover, if you will, to illustrate the unenlightened inhabitants of this tiny, craggy, verdant-carpeted isle how the Most Holy Trinity truly existed by being "Three Persons in One God." They are the eternal edition of the "Three Musketeers" - All in One, and One in All. Omnipresent is another way of putting it, Omniscient is another. And the Triune Divinity knew Patrick's goal and assisted greatly in his mission as his Confessions of St. Patrick reveal/
Just as Patrick faced many adversities during his crusade to convert the Irish, so also his beloved land has faced their share of hardships - from plague to famine they have been devastated, but yet this tiny isle remained loyal to Holy Mother Church for fifteen hundred years. However, of late there seem to be cracks in the emerald armor as abortion steadily slithered into Ireland. On top of this no one can discount the terrible conflicts and violence in Northern Ireland where the battle with the Brits has continued with the lines drawn in Belfast between Catholic and Protestant. Here in America we eat, work and play with members of other faiths and, most of the time think nothing of it, which has allowed satan to blur the lines and ecumenism has been one of his favorite tools for this where one cannot decipher between Novus Ordo Catholic and Protestant because they have become one in a false sense by following the reformers toward a One World Order with globalization and the "new springtime." In Northern Ireland it is a different story for the two cultures and resentments run deep, and both sides perceive the other is wrong. Does this not remind one of the strife between Traditionalism and the New Order?
. "The beginning of quarrels is as when one letteth out water: and before he suffereth reproach,he foresaketh judgment" comes from Proverbs 17: 14, which basically means the start of strife is akin to opening up a dam and the water floods forth in damaging proportions. Therefore, to prevent this, keep oneself in check before a quarrel breaks out and one will not regret his actions. Good advice for all, especially the Irish - and those who claim to be Irish on this day when tempers are quick and extemporaneous quips flow like lava. How many times have we all forgotten to plug the leaks, and let the anger swell over its banks and drown our hearts in hate and resentment because we were hurt by someone, most of the time someone close to us? It happens in marriage, it happens in parishes, it happens in the workplace and it happens in the home. It is all part of the agenda of the evil one - that pesky serpent who slithers into our minds and conjures up shadows of doubt, mistrust, jealousy, and you name it. Oh, that slippery snake is clever and we have to be ever more clever, taking the advice of Christ in Matthew 10: 16, "Behold I send you as sheep in the midst of the wolves. Be ye therefore wise as serpents, and simple as doves." Now snakes are not known for their intelligence, but Jesus wasn't referring to the reptile per se, but rather to His greatest adversary for He knew the serpent was clever and would use every wile against God's children. But Jesus also knew that satan's "cleverness" could entice us to retaliate in kind and this is not His way; that is why He admonished us to be "simple as doves" - guileless - for one weapon the demon cannot tolerate is love and kindness. No wonder Christ preached this so often, no wonder His Blessed Mother Maryasks us to love and forgive. Satan hates forgiveness, he hates harmony. He had to hate good ol' St. Patrick and Patrick himself confirms this in the encounters the good saint had with satan. Yes, the devil truly exists, don't let anyone tell you otherwise. That is his ploy - to convince the world he doesn't exist. He's done a pretty good job of it and we have to be on our guard all the time. St. Patrick knew this and passed it on to generation after generation.
In these secular-infested times, St. Patrick's Day is not affiliated with the accomplishments of this great Apostle of Ireland, as much as it is the commercial side and an excuse for a drunken binge in the midst of Passiontide. 'Tis a sad day when annual St. Patrick's Day Parades this past weekend featured a handful of true Catholics marching, and blocks of Masonic Shriners cavorting along the parade routes in procession with no clue as to why we truly celebrate this day. 'Tis a sad day when those who you wouldn't catch inside a church, make fools of themselves gulping down one green beer after another. 'Tis a sad day when abortionists and sodomites continue to demand to march in a parade honoring a man who stood strongly against these vices in favor of the culture of life and God's Holy Laws. None of them have a clue who St. Patrick was and what he stood for and taught. Sadly, neither do the apostate bishops who are afraid to speak out for fear they'll offend someone or be politically incorrect.
If one man could do so much with so little, what is our excuse for not doing anything when we have so much more at our disposal to carry out the same mission right in our own back yard? Think how many need to be touched by the shamrock to realize the Most Holy Trinity is Three Persons in One God - a God Who has set down the laws of life and given us all a blueprint for following them in His Ten Commandments and in His Holy Church which the Son established when He gave the keys of the Kingdom to Saint Peter in Matthew 16: 17-19. We pray that more understand and accept this, including the Irish whom Patrick loved so much and those who want to be Irish on this day whom God charges we love no matter what nationality. Let's get along the way God wants, not man, and let's everyone lighten up and take seriously the following meaningful Christ-centered Irish toast on this day:
May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back,
May the rain fall softly upon your fields,
And til we meet, may God hold you in the hollow of His hand.
So as we all celebrate this glorious day, remember to show restraint, temperance, and charity for all. Note I did not say "tolerance and diversity" for all. We recognize differences, but we cannot recognize offense against God. Though it might rub someone the wrong way, we'll have a more difficult time keeping the wind at our backs if we don't stand up for the Faith and values. Pope St. Felix III stated so clearly what every Catholic - especially Traditional Catholics must do: "Not to oppose error is to approve it; and not to defend truth is to suppress it; and indeed to neglect to confound evil men, when we can do it, is no less a sin than to encourage them." I do believe St. Patrick himself would agree.
One way to start today is when you're out and about, strike up a conversation in taking a page from good ol' St. Pat and bring up the reason for celebratin' the shamrock - the Trinity. That's the best reason to celebrate and pass it on. If we can all do this in the shadow of Holy Week, we'll be contributing to the mission that bishop began fifteen centuries ago that since has evolved into a bit o' legend, a bit o' lore, and a lot of the good olde faith!