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Law, culture, and Catholicism...up in smoke!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

The Feast of St. Patrick

The Irish believe far too much in spirits to believe in spiritualism.
--G.K. Chesterton

I think that Chesterton's statement rings true. Now I know that I am venturing into dangerous territory--having not an ounce of Hibernian blood coursing through my veins--assessing what is and what is not a true Irishman. (No doubt, Columcille will troubleshoot!) Nevertheless, I am confident that I can make such a judgment. The testimony of history demonstrates the Irish character and what constitutes a true Irishman--rock solid faith, good humor, a fiery and tempestuous nature, and a penchant for a "wee drop of the creature above." Come to think of it, it seems that the spirited Hibernian temperment should be recommended to men in general! Is it any surprise that significant numbers of police and firemen in this country are Irishmen?

Patrick himself was a tough character. Having been kidnapped by pirates, among other trials, he surely knew how to defend himself. Likewise, he (like most other hard nosed types) was probably street-wise and knew how to talk to the noble chieftain as well as the humble farmer. It takes a tough man with a rock solid faith to inspire a rough and fiery people. When Our Lord brought forth Patrick to breathe the life of grace into these people, I can't help but believe that He knew he was raising a significant army of the Church Militant. Is it any wonder that St. Patrick composed a prayer entitled The Lorica ! (A "lorica" is a Latin term that means "breastplate.") Our Lord, through Patrick, took the spirited Irish people--with all their tempestuosity, humor, love of hearth and home, and love of strong drink--and added the supernatural element that has made them such a potent force in the world: the Faith. Yet, we must also be realistic. The Irish have suffered greatly at the hands of the Kennedys, Mary Robinson, Sean Hannity and countless other "enlightened pagans" who have sold their birthright for 30 pieces of political or social standing. The great traditions of song and drink, once so wedded to the Church and her calendar, have given way to secularization and weak-knee'd capitulation to so-called progress. This doesn't have to be, and indeed the pilot-light remains lit by those good Irish families who have maintained the true Irish character so inspired by St.Patrick. Now more than ever, let us join with those Irish families in asking for St. Patrick's intercession!

Finally, we must mention the Irish love of drink! Ad usque hilaritatem as always! There is nothing so wonderful as a Guiness or a good Irish whiskey to enhance conversation, the practice of law or--for the less intellectual and spiritually struggling among us--that girl in the corner. Be a good Catholic and join with the Irish in honoring St. Patrick today. Go to Mass or say the Rosary, laugh and have a drink. Alcohol may be a man's worst enemy, but Our Lord says: "love thy enemy."