ARTICLE FOR CHURCH NEWSPAPERS
St Patrick's Day ~ 17th March 2017
Getting it all off Pat
– by Julia Beacroft
Julia Beacroft is a catechist and pastoral volunteer who lives in Torquay.
Her first book ‘Sanctifying the Spirit’ is now available to buy.
Please visit www.sanciobooks.com for more information or order from AMAZON.
NAMES are really important. In common with many other people, I’m always pleased when a little known acquaintance remembers mine. But on the other hand I really hate it when people get my name wrong and my husband is of like mind.
I’m called Julia but intensely dislike being addressed as Julie and my husband can't abide his name Patrick being shortened to Pat or Paddy.
And the way that we say things – our tone of voice – is also important. My four adult children think it a great joke when my husband nods off in front of the TV and starts to snore. This is because if they instruct him: ‘Wake up, Dad!' he simply ignores them. However, if they shout ‘Patrick!’ and use the same intonation of voice as mine, he opens his eyes and immediately stops snoring! In other words, it could be said that we’re hard-wired to respond to the voice of a loved one in much the same way as we respond to the sound of our own names.
On March 17th we celebrate my husband’s saint’s name – St Patrick – the principal patron saint of Ireland. Although the details of this former missionary and bishop of Ireland are somewhat sketchy, we can rest assured that his fervent desire to bring Christianity to the Celtic pagans of Ireland was successful. He famously used the three-leaf shamrock to explain the Trinity.
And in fact, although a massive celebration of everything remotely Irish usually takes place on March 17th the intended meaning of Saint Patrick's Day is for spiritual renewal and missionary prayer. A beautiful objective.
God calls each and every one of us by name and we only have to tune in with our heads, minds and souls to hear his voice. We yearn to become ever closer to the Lord and we remain restless until we do so.
Saint Patrick, like each of us, was called by name and responded to the voice of the Lord. In so doing, he carried out the special task for which the Lord had chosen him.
And so, like St Patrick, let us respond to being called by name and to the voices of those who we love. May we then, follow St Patrick’s example and always listen, respond to and love the voice of God – for this is one voice that should never be ignored.
(ENDS – 398 words)