Christ be with me, Christ be within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger
Christ in hearts of all that love me
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.
Over and over again I thought this through Mass today and realized, I need to be thinking it a lot more both during mass and every single day.
Yes, Saint Patrick was a Roman enslaved by Irish pirates who later escapted Ireland, became a priest, and traveled back to spread the word of Christ and he drove the snakes out of Ireland and taught people of the Trinity using a shamrock. Which, I must say, is an ingenious idea. He is also one of Joey’s patron saints. St Patrick’s Day and St Joseph’s Day have just one day between them. And they are roughly six months after Joey’s birthday so we try to have a celebration and talk about who the saints are. This year, Joey is sick. And I hope will be better by Tuesday for his second patron saint day.
And I realize that there is this whole new idea of purifying Saint Patrick’s Day and people not celebrating if they are not Irish and people chastising others for drinking Guinness and eating corned beef and cabbage (which is more of a New York tradition as the Irish and Jews typically lived close together and their cultures melded a bit). And I’ll admit, we are eating the above mentioned meal this evening and I am not Irish except by marriage (so my kids are) and that’s kind of iffy to some because my husband is Scotch-Irish, but we are celebrating a man who could have been embittered by his captivity but instead went back to save the peoples who enslaved him. And that’s important to us enough we named a son after him.
And while a lot of people use St Patrick’s Day to get loaded with alcohol, there is nothing wrong with enjoying a Guiness or two responsibly. The Irish are a feisty and lively people (Joey’s Godmother is from Ardboe in Northern Ireland) and so being festive is appropriate (again, do it responsibly).
May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.