Patrick’s extraordinary return to the site of his oppression – not to wreak his vengeance, but to implant the reconciling seeds of his own hard-won faith – deserves appropriate commemoration. The gospel drove Patrick to return to his oppressors that he might devote his life to their peaceful conversion and the cause of their salvation. But the spiritual conquest of Ireland followed the prior victory of love over the anger and bitterness in his own heart. If the memory of this dimension of St. Patrick’s life had long ago become a feature of his feast day celebration, it might be truly said that there are no serpents left in Ireland.
From All Saints: Daily Reflections on Saints, Prophets, and Witnesses For Our Time, by Robert Ellsberg

Just as the saint in St. Valentine’s Day gets lost in the commercialization of celebration (or the celebration of commercialization), so too does good St. Patrick’s day lose it’s holy origin. Maybe we could take a moment today to celebrate the point – mercy and faith, over vengeance. We could use a bit more of that today.

Happy (and Holy) St. Patrick’s Day

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