“So I am first of all a simple country person, a refugee, and unlearned. I do not know how to provide for the future. But this I know for certain, that before I was brought low, I was like a stone lying deep in the mud. Then He who is powerful came and in His mercy pulled me out, and lifted me up and placed me on the very top of the wall. That is why I must shout aloud in return to the Lord for such great good deeds of His, here and now and forever, which the human mind cannot measure.
So be amazed, all you people great and small who fear God! You well-educated people in authority, listen and examine this carefully. Who was it who called one as foolish as I am from the middle of those who are seen to be wise and experienced in law and powerful in speech and in everything? If I am most looked down upon, yet He inspired me, before others, so that I would faithfully serve the nations with awe and reverence and without blame: the nations to whom the love of Christ brought me. His gift was that I would spend my life, if I were worthy of it, to serving them in truth and with humility to the end.
In the knowledge of this faith in the Trinity, and without letting the dangers prevent it, it is right to make known the gift of God and His eternal consolation. It is right to spread abroad the name of God faithfully and without fear, so that even after my death I may leave something of value to the many thousands of my brothers and sisters — the children whom I baptised in the Lord. I didn’t deserve at all that the Lord would grant such great grace, after hardships and troubles, after captivity, and after so many years among that people. It was something which, when I was young, I never hoped for or even thought of.”
Patrick of Ireland (387-461) in his own words in Confessio, 12-15, translation by David Kelly.
What a confession!
My favorite part is where Patrick proclaimed: “His gift was that I would spend my life … serving them in truth and with humility to the end.” My life, your life, our lives, are gifts “to make known the gift of God and His eternal consolation.” Whether you fancy a cool glass of water, a hot cup of coffee, or a pint of Guinness, let’s toast the perspective of Patrick of Ireland today and follow in his footsteps.
I’m in. How about you?
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