I arise today in a mighty strength, calling upon the Trinity, believing in the Three Persons, saying they are One, thanking my Creator.

The sirens dance and flood late into the night. Casualty Departments, groaning beyond capacity, the young guard stabbed trying to separate two drunken ‘friends’!

I think we often forget he came to us twice. The one we now call our National Saint, Our Patron! Indeed our parish patron, together with Brigid, Patrick. The first time he came to our land he was screaming and kicking!! Forcibly dragged. Bound. He came as a slave. Homesick, cold and lonely up on those dark hills of North Antrim. Slemish. The second time he came because the Holy Spirit prompted him to listen to the call of the Irish in their need.

God’s host to safeguard me: against devil’s traps, against attraction of sin, against pull of nature, against all who wish me ill near and far, alone and in a crowd.

The young couple looked at Clery’s clock and looked at each other and then back to their three small children. The parade had been good. The organisers had put a lot on for children which was great but it was time to get out of the city….before the madness started.

Now whilst he was bound in terms of status. No money, or property or wife or family, in fact he was, within his head and his heart, the freest slave in the country. By his own admission it was prayer that got him through the day…the night.

Christ protect me today against poison against burning, against drowning against wounding so that I may come to enjoy your rich reward.

The thing is they had been doing so well. If only he would stick to the few pints. Once he mixed in the whiskey that’s when the trouble started. She began to sob as she looked in the mirror at the mess that was her face. So much for drowning the shamrock!

Ah the little shamrock! Patrick was a good teacher and he used what was simple and available in order to explain the most profound. One stem, three leaves! One God, three Persons!

Christ ever with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ within me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ to my right side, Christ to my left, Christ in his breadth, Christ in his length, Christ in depth.

The big cleanup had begun. Beer, vomit and blood. Predictable. Sad. The cleanup may take a few hours.The injuries would take a little longer to heal, then people would be back to normal. Well mostly.

The love Patrick developed for the people of this Island became passionate, all consuming, and he never wanted to be separated from them.

Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me, Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me, Christ in every eye that sees me, Christ in every ear that hears me.

Fraternally, Joe McD. 13. 03. 2022


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