St. Patrick

Yesterday, Sunday, was St. Patrick’s Day. Unfortunately, these days St. Patrick is mostly identified with the proliferation of green beer. But there is so much more to his life story than that. Most people know that St Patrick is the Patron Saint of Ireland, but not so many people know that he is the Patron Saint of Engineers! Yes, it is claimed that he was instrumental in the initial construction of Irish clay churches in the 5th century A.D. And St. Patrick has been credited with teaching the Irish to build arches of lime mortar instead of dry masonry. St. Patrick was a builder. He worked with clay and stone building up churches and bridges across the Irish countryside and he worked with the Word and the Spirit in building up the lives of God’s children in Ireland creating communities of compassion, generosity and peace. Patrick believed that lives of Faith, Hope, and Love are built on the everyday practice of prayer. And so everywhere he went he taught the people to pray and to memorize prayers as a way of reshaping their inner lives so that their outer lives would reflect the face of Christ to the world
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A prayer for starting a fire in the morning (or for just getting yourself started in the morning) …
I will kindle my fire this morning
In presence of the holy angels of heaven.
God, kindle Thou in my heart within
A flame of love to my neighbor,
To my foe, to my friend to my kindred, all,
To the brave, to the knave, to the Thrall…
An affirmation to kindle within an awareness of the need to draw near to God in prayer…
I am bending my knee –
In the eye of the Father who created me,
In the eye of the Son who purchased me,
In the eye of the Spirit who cleansed me.
In friendship and affection…
St. Patrick’s commitment to prayer has been carried forward to a new generation. Today, Celtic prayer books even include a prayer for students who have to take exams…
I bless this exam – In the name of the Designer of Truth,
I bless this exam – In the name of the Protector from ill,
I bless this exam – In the name of the Spirit who guides,
Open my eyes to see how this subject reflects something of you.
Aid me to understand this subject with my heart
As well as with my head.
Give me
Wisdom to know the nub of things
Strength to recall what is useful
Peace to leave the result to You.
So when St. Patrick’s Day comes around celebrate an engineer… and help to create a more beautiful world by building up a daily life of prayer using all the Faith, Hope and Love you can find.

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