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Friday, March 16, 2012

Musical Interlude For St. Paddy's

(If you must have politics, please scroll down)

Enjoy "Lord of the Dance," composed by Ronan Hardiman:

St. Patrick's Day political cartoon for those who enjoy wry humor:

My traditional St. Patrick's Day post (a repost) is below the fold:

I am neither Catholic nor Irish, so my family doesn't celebrate St. Paddy's very much.

In fact, the only memory I have of this holiday comes from some thirty years ago, when I bowled sixteen gutter-balls in a row. Sixteen! I wonder if that dismal performance is some kind of record. The spectators, so to speak, were guzzling green beer and cheering me on. My seventeenth turn yielded a strike! To this day, every time St. Patrick's Day rolls around, I get teased about that evening at the bowling alley.

Now, some facts about the actual St. Patrick, from "The St. Patrick You Never Knew":
He didn't chase the snakes out of Ireland and he may never have plucked a shamrock to teach the mystery of the Trinity. Yet St. Patrick well deserves to be honored by the people of Ireland—and by downtrodden and excluded people everywhere.

Some 1,500 years ago a teenage boy from what is now Great Britain was kidnapped and enslaved by marauders from a neighboring country. Not since Paris absconded with Helen of Troy has a kidnapping so changed the course of history.

The invading marauders came from fifth-century Ireland. The teenager they captured eventually escaped, but returned voluntarily some years later. In the meantime, he had become convinced that he was handpicked by God to convert the entire country to Christianity....

Patrick is literally the only individual we know from fifth-century Ireland or England. Not only do no other written records from Britain or Ireland exist from that century, but there are simply no written records at all from Ireland prior to Patrick's....

...His own experience in captivity left Patrick with a virulent hatred of the institution of slavery, and he would later become the first human being in the history of the world to speak out unequivocally against it....

Women find a great advocate in Patrick. Unlike his contemporary, St. Augustine, to whom actual women seemed more like personifications of the temptations of the flesh than persons, Patrick's Confession speaks of women as individuals....

There is no question that Patrick taught us by his example that all life is, indeed, precious.
From "Placing St. Patrick in Context":
...The British Church of Patrick's time was also intimately connected with the Roman Empire. Missionaries from the continent followed the development of Roman towns, travelling over the system of good Roman roads. This was an urban Church with bishops establishing their centers in these Roman towns...."

As Ireland had not come under the Roman Empire, it was for the most part unnoticed and untended by the developing Church. There were some Irish Christians, mostly on the eastern and southeastern coast. Many of these were probably British slaves who had been taken into captivity by the Irish. There is a record of a Bishop Palladius being sent to Ireland before Patrick. But the mission of Patrick was unique. There had been, up to this time, no other organized or concerted missionary effort to convert any pagan peoples beyond the confines of the Roman Empire. Patrick's efforts to do this, in fact, were criticized as being a useless project.... The more we see Patrick in the setting of his time, the more we must admire his courage, vision and faith. But we also see that his path brought him pain and suffering. Acclaimed as a great hero in ensuing centuries, he himself felt nothing of the sort in his own time.

Patrick, then, is an intensely human person and not a plaster saint to admire from afar. He offers us a Christian vision of life honed out of his own experience and trials. He offers us a challenge to live our own Christian life today in changing and turbulent times. He comforts us when we are criticized and ridiculed. He gives to us the Celtic vision of the intimate presence of God in creation, in the Church, in people and in Scripture. He is a model for us, giving us an example to follow as we struggle to live authentically our own Christian lives in our own difficult times.
The above are essays of serious tone. But St. Patrick's Day is a time for great fun as well. Enjoy!


  1. Top of the mornin' to you and Mr. AOW!

    Beautiful post and a Blessed and Happy St. Patrick's Day!

  2. Great lesson on St. Patrick! A I absolutely loved the music!



  3. Hey, Jackie!

    You're up early AND on the web. I guess that your new dog finally allowed you back on the web, huh?

  4. We'll be buying gold with gas pretty soon ... but that's the way the left wants it.

  5. Happy St. Joseph's Day!

    ...oh wait, THAT isn't 'til Monday.


  6. Happy St Pat's day, AOW....I'm grieving over not having bought the corned beef/cabbage makin's yesterday...was too pooped and it's pouring rain today!
    Will send stepson out for dinners from the local deli or something! But I'll miss the lovely cooking aromas..
    Have a great day...I MUST have my corned beef and cabbage and boiled potatoes and carrots :-)

  7. I'm wearing the green tonight, the band is rockin' at a St. Patrick's Day party

    No politics allowed.

    Right Truth

  8. To St. Patrick

    Teacher of the christian faith of old
    Once a boy in Britain, then a priest,
    Stuff of myth and legend you were sold
    As chattel into Ireland, where you ceased
    In slavery your native pagan ways.
    Needing help, you found, while tending sheep,
    The Master Shepherd, who then filled your days
    Plenteously with zeal that spoiled your sleep.
    A fierce determination to convert
    The Irish to the ways of Christ the King
    Resolved the old religions to subvert.
    Instilling awe, which steeple bells still ring,
    Christian rites set Gaelic hearts ablaze
    Kindled by a man of English ways.

    ~ by FreeThinke - The Sandpiper - Spring 1996

  9. On St. Paddy’s Day

    On city streets and hills and village squares
    Neighbors celebrate with ethnic pride
    Something ancient –– veiled in mist –– with airs
    That sound like merry mourning countrywide.
    Pipes of clay so white and pints of brew
    Abound among the throngs that flood the pubs ––
    Declaiming Emerald the sacred hue ––
    Decrying England’s cruel historic snubs.
    Yet, maudlin sentiment soon drowns the ire.
    ‘Tis nostalgia that’s the order of the day ––
    Sweet dreams of something mythic –– far away ––
    Dissolve with drink the potency of fire.
    A nation’s wounded pride may fill its heart
    Yet give no strength save that which tears apart.

    ~ FreeThinke - The Sandpiper - Spring 1997

  10. A happy wearin' o' the green to ye on this foine dae, from a man wit a Irish grandmum.

    Rousing music, that. Nice.

    The place I first went for in Calif. fell through but I snaffled up another and it goes into escow on Monday, most likely. It sure will be nice to be out of the rain.

  11. FT,
    Thanks for adding those sonnets to the comments thread!

  12. Black Sheep,

    BTW, your commentary about your first failure to find a place in California was a scream. Real estate agents are indeed bottom feeders. I've known very few real estate agents that were worth a hoot.

  13. Z,
    Mr. AOW and I had Chinese food last night. For once, the Chinese carry-out place that we like wasn't packed on a Saturday evening. I think that most people had headed to Irish pubs.

  14. Debbie,
    It is best not to discuss politics at a party -- especially if alcohol is being served.

    Hope that you had a great time at the St. Paddy's party.

  15. In keeping with tradition for the day, I wore green yesterday.

    But I don't have many green t-shirts. The one that I DO have says Veni, vidi, vici ("I came, I saw, I conquered" -- Julius Caesar).

  16. Love the picture- would still take the gold were I him, but with gas prices its understandable...

    And since I utterly forget yesterday was St. Patricks day, I will now post the video I meant to. Its very related, but this is the 'lightest' post recently. Song is "Politically Uncorrect"

  17. Wildstar,
    A couple of your classmates also sent me that link.

    But I'm glad that you did too!

    Belated Happy St. Paddy's to you. I'm surprised that others in your "household" didn't alert you to the fact that yesterday was the wearing of the green! **wink**

  18. Great lesson that even I didn't know, thanks for the inspirational message! We had a great family day at the parade and out to dinner.

  19. Eating Chinese food on St. Patrick's Day is a beautiful sign of how "ecumenical" our country has become through widespread sharing of cuisines from foreign lands.

    Sharing culinary delights has done more to spread appreciation of different cultures and "strange" people than all the political and diplomatic maneuvering combined.

    I'm chauvinistic when it comes to being American and having our country retain its original identity, BUT at the same time -- being a native-born New Yorker -- I relish COSMOPOLITANISM at its best.

    Besides, I have to confess, I hate beer, don't care for corned beef and cabbage, and would rather have Chinese, Thai, Japanese or Vietnamese food than a hot dog, or a greasy cheeseburger and a pile of fries any day.

    So THERE! ;-)

    ~ FreeThinke


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