Archive | March, 2009

Who was Saint Patrick Anyway?

A couple of days ago I posted a very famous prayer by Saint Patrick. If you had never read the complete prayer perhaps you recognized a portion of it.

Christ with me,
Christ before me,
Christ behind me,
Christ in me,
Christ beneath me,
Christ above me,
Christ on my right,
Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down,
Christ when I sit down,
Christ when I arise.

This man knew what it was to abide in Christ. Below is a little bit about the life of Saint Patrick. His devotion to the Holy Trinity, his sacrificial love for people, and his battle against the blatant paganism of his day not only changed the British Isles, but changed the world forever. It’s no wonder that 1500 years after his death, his life and his words still resonate in our hearts. May we be forever inspired and changed by his example as well.

The Life of Saint Patrick: The Enlightner of Ireland
Commemorated on March 17

Saint Patrick, the Enlightener of Ireland was born around 385, the son of Calpurnius, a Roman decurion (an official responsible for collecting taxes). Read more…

I Arise Today: How Saint Patrick Greeted His Day

I don’t know about you, but the way I greet the morning sets the tone for my entire day. I can either begin the day with a sense of anticipation or with a sense of dread. When I accept this day as a gift from God, never to be experienced again, filled with challenges to be met, possibilites to be explored, lessons to be learned, battles to be fought, treasures to be discovered, and growth to be realized, I want to be all there. I want to be completely tuned in to the One who’s orchestrating it. I don’t want to miss a beat. Much easier said than done.

I need lots of help, so one of the things I do is pray in the morning. I set my focus on the One whose lead I purpose to follow. I love using the prayers of godly men and women, who have crossed the finish line of life, as a springboard for my own prayers. Here is one of my favorites:

(The Breastplate – Lorica – of Saint Patrick, 5th Century)


I arise today
Through a mighty strength,
the invocation of the Trinity,
Through the belief in the Threeness,
Through confession of the Oneness
Of the Creator of Creation.

Read more…

When I’m Really Annoyed


pouting-little-girl-istock_000006840535xsmall5It seems that lately I’ve had several conversations with people who are very upset about something. They feel angry, annoyed, hurt, mistreated, misunderstood, etc.

These people find that something or someone has not been fair. Something happened that wasn’t supposed to happen. Something didn’t go the way it was supposed to, or the way they wanted it. Someone let them down. Someone hurt their feelings. Someone got in their way. Somebody was really annoying them.

So they complain. They play the victim. They fuss. They whine. They blame. I find these kind of people very annoying. (Oops. Did I just say that?)

Before I get too self-righteous pointing “them” out, I have to admit that I’m one of “them.” In fact, just the other night I got really upset because I lost a blog post I was writing. Read more…

The Importance of Forgiveness

Yesterday was “Forgiveness Sunday” in the Orthodox Church. It’s the final step of preparation before Great Lent officially begins. (Lent officially begins the following Monday—known as “Clean Monday.”)

I mentioned on Twitter that our Forgiveness Vespers last evening was a beautiful and moving service. Some then asked what is Forgiveness Vespers? As I considered what to say, I came across a short explanation by the late Fr. Alexander Schmemann, a popular Orthodox theologian. Rather than to explain it in my own words, I’m going to share his thoughts with you with some of my own notes added:

Forgiveness Sunday
Thoughts by Alexander Schmemann

In the Orthodox Church, the last Sunday before Great Lent—the day on which, at Vespers [Evening prayer service], Lent is liturgically announced and inaugurated— is called Forgiveness Sunday. On the morning of that Sunday, at the Divine Liturgy [the Eucharistic liturgy], we hear the words of Christ:

“If you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses…” (Mark 6:14–15)

Read more…