St. Patrick calls us to live in the Heart of the Church for the Sake of the World
the grace of God. His story shows every one of us how to live in the power of that grace, right now! The Pilgrim Patrick is a model for our age and for the new evangelization that the Church in the West so desperately needs. We live in a new missionary age. Patrick´s progression in understanding the content and the claim of the Catholic Christian faith into which he was Baptized must become our experience, the experience of every Baptized member of the Church - if we hope to do for our land what he did for the Nation he loved so dearly.
Patrick chose to reject "victim-hood" and self-centeredness. Instead, he embraced the way of the Cross, and learned the power of the Resurrection. That is why he was able to become a true disciple and carry on the redemptive mission of Jesus. He fell in love with the Lord by developing a profound and transforming interior life and a personal relationship with Jesus Christ which was nourished in the Sacramental life of the Church. Patrick cultivated a lifestyle of deep, constant and abiding prayer which bore the fruits of ongoing conversion. He learned to discern the voice of the Lord in his daily life, developed the eyes of faith and received the power of the Holy Spirit through which he was able to respond to the call to become a missionary in his age. Each of us is invited to do exactly the same in our age. The Risen Lord who changed Patrick's life still calls men and women, just as he called Patrick, and invites them to a new life in and through His Son Jesus Christ.
On this day, when the entire world pauses to remember Patrick´s life and his legacy, to rightly celebrate his full and meaningful life, and to honor to a beautiful country and people who have sent Christian missionaries to the rest of the world, let us truly honor his memory by choosing to walk as Christians in both word and deed. Like Patrick, let us choose to really follow Jesus Christ. Let us march into the Third Christian Millennium called as was this wonderful saint and hero, to proclaim, demonstrate and live the fullness of the Gospel, living in the heart of the Church for the sake of the world. Like Patrick we are called to become "fishers of men and women".
In his Confessions, he exhorted "one should, in fact, fish well and diligently, just as the Lord foretells and teaches, saying, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men,' and, again, through the prophets: "Behold, I am sending forth many fishers and hunters," says the Lord,' ... So it behooved us to spread our nets, that a vast multitude and throng might be caught for God, and so there might be clergy everywhere who baptized and exhorted a needy and desirous people. Just as the Lord says in the Gospel, admonishing and instructing: Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always to the end of time."
The most loving thing we can do for our fellow countrymen and women is to bring them to the Lord Jesus Christ and into the Church which he founded. On this day the world becomes Irish, St. Patrick calls us to live in the Heart of the Church for the Sake of the World. As we celebrate St. Patrick's Day let us join in his prayer: "Christ beside me, Christ before me, Christ behind me King of my heart; Christ within me, Christ below me, Christ above me never to part. Christ on my right hand, Christ on my left hand, Christ all around me shield in strife; Christ in my sleeping, Christ in my sitting, Christ in my rising light of my life. Christ beside me, Christ before me, Christ behind me King of my heart; Christ within me, Christ below me, Christ above me never to part."
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: Irish, St. Patricks Day, Druids, missionary, Saints, Ireland, Deacon Keith Fournier, Christian
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