At times I’m a bit embarrassed that I’m an Irishman – that doesn’t drink. That’s kind of an oxymoron isn’t it? An Irishman who doesn’t drink. Much of my family would fit in just fine in an Irish pub. I guess you could say I’m one of the few Irishmen not cursed with the Demon Alcohol.
As I mentioned in my St. Patrick’s Day post last year, there are other traditions I don’t adhere to. Still, I’m proud of my heritage. And doesn’t everyone love an Irish accent?
In last year’s post I also talked about St. Patrick as a medieval superhero as presented in Thomas Cahill’s book How the Irish Saved Civilization. In the book Cahill quotes the Gospel of St. Matthew, “From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent bear it away.” And Cahill continues, “In the Gospel story, the passionate, the outsized, the out-of-control have a better shot at seizing heaven than the contained, the calculating, and those of whom this world approves. Patrick, indeed seems to have been attracted to the same kinds of oddball, off-center personalities that attracted Jesus, and this attraction alone makes him unusual in the history of churchmen.”
St. Patrick was a non-conformist of great faith and passion. Again, as I posted last year Cahill states, “He had a temper that could flare dangerously when he perceived an injustice – not against himself but against another, particularly against someone defenseless. But he had the cheerfulness and good humor that humble people often have. He enjoyed this world and its variety of human beings – and he didn’t take himself too seriously. He was, in spirit, an Irishman.”
I pray daily that I may have the love and compassion Patrick had for others. I want to have his kind of faith and passion. He’s an inspiration, a mentor, my hero – a Medieval Super Hero!
St. Patrick’s Day in part reminds me to do some self-reflection. It’s a reminder to better myself, and to even have faith that I can make a difference, to touch the lives of others, reaching out, helping others, making the world a better place.
Not your typical way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. But maybe a pretty good way to remember a great man.
And on a more playful note, I might also just pop Darby O’Gill and the Little People into the DVD player.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!