The occasional, often ill-considered thoughts of a Roman Catholic permanent deacon who is ever grateful to God for his existence. Despite the strangeness we encounter in this life, all the suffering we witness and endure, being is good, so good I am sometimes unable to contain my joy. Deo gratias!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Three of my four grandparents were born in Ireland, and the fourth, the McCarthy, although he was born in Canada while his parents were visiting relatives who lived in Quebec, came from all-Irish stock. And so I am not only 100% Irish, but I even chose Patrick as my confirmation name. I suppose that qualifies me to wear the green today and wish you all a happy St. Patrick's Day.

At the Wildwood Soup Kitchen today we celebrated my patron saint's feast day by serving a dish that was as close as we could come to corned beef, cabbage and potatoes. We were actually unable to serve corned beef -- buying enough for 250 meals would tax our limited soup kitchen budget -- so as a substitute we added some donated Italian sausage to the cabbage, potatoes and carrots. That may seem a sacrilege to Irish purists, but we must remember that Patrick was the son of Calphurnius, a member of a high-ranking Roman family. It is only fitting, therefore, that the feast on his feast day should include something of Italian origin. In any event, our guests enjoyed the meal and many returned for seconds, so I believe we can call it a success. I trust you all enjoyed the day as well.

And when you pray today, pray for the people of Japan who are suffering so horribly from the effects of the recent earthquake and tsunami. I suggest asking both St. Patrick and St. Francis Xavier to intercede for them. Patrick, after all, is the patron of another island nation that has also suffered much over the centuries. And Francis was the first Jesuit missionary to Japan back in the 16th century.
St. Francis Xavier in Japan
And, finally, from St. Patrick's Breastplate...

Christ be with me
Christ before me
Christ behind me
Christ in me
Christ beneath me
Christ above me
Christ on my right
Christ on my left
Christ where I lie
Christ where I sit
Christ where I arise
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me
Christ in the mouth of every man who speaks of me
Christ in every eye that sees me
Christ in every ear that hears me
Salvation is of the Lord.

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