St. Patrick and the truth about the shamrock

St. Patrick. Without him, we would be a different civilization today.

My love of St. Patrick began when I was well into my twenties.  When I was a kid, I knew very little (heck, I probably still know very little) about my Irish heritage. Dad would tell me stories about how the Irish and the Dutch in our small home town just didn’t get along. I knew that we were Irish, and the quaint Mennonites were all Dutch. And that was pretty much that.

I began to fall in love with Celtic things when I was twenty. That was when I first heard Clannad. They had a video on a fly-by-night video channel that came and went my sophomore year in college. But it was beautiful and haunting, and I never forgot it. Here it is.

Clannad- I will find you

So I started doing a little reading and researching into my heritage. Along the way, I stumbled across Loreena Mckennit and her music. One of her albums was The Book of Secrets. Here is the prologue to that album.

Loreena McKennitt “Prologue” The book of secrets

So being a complete geek, I actually read all the stuff on the cd cover. And she mentions this 1500 year old Bible, The Book of Kells. And she says something about Thomas Cahill‘s How the Irish Saved Civilization. Back then I was broke as a convict, so I went without a few meals, and I bought the book.

AND IT WAS FANTASTIC!

 

So, like the Shamrock, there are three things to be said about St. Patrick that are being forgotten today.

1. Forgiveness is the grace that will lead us home.

St. Patrick was actually English. He was captured and enslaved by Irish pirates. Yet, he forgave them, and brought the Word of God to them. I’ve worked fairly hard in my life. I only have a vague idea of what true slavery is like. But I can tell you, I don’t have Christian thoughts toward my employees. I think if I got free of them…I might give them something very different from the Word of God……(but I guess that’s why he’s a Saint, and I ain’t!!!)

Here’s a cute version of the story.

St. Patrick

2. Scholarship is important, no matter what your station or  so-called intelligence.

Anyhow, there is an amazing story in How the Irish Saved Civilization, about a man who was exploring Ireland in the eighteenth century. He was being ferried across a river, and noticed that the ferryman’s son was reading aloud to his father….in Latin! This simple, humble lad was being taught Latin by his own father. And it turned out that the family had owned the book for hundreds of years. Until about 1840, that was not a totally uncommon thing in Ireland. Books nearly as old as The Book of Kells were the textbooks for simple farm boys. Education was felt to be essential by even the simplest of people.

And it turned out that there was over a millennium of tradition, going back to the monks that had been taught by St. Patrick himself. A tradition of scholarship and humble Christian service. And without those Irish monks, many of the Roman works of antiquity would be lost to us today.

3. We can find profound truths in the natural world that surrounds us.

While the Veggietales video makes fun of paganism, that world view still had a powerful hold on the mind of men back then. Even the greatest saints were at least somewhat influenced by it. Perhaps that is why Patrick could relate to pagans. He had a similar view of nature. He revered nature, not so much because She was holy, but because Her Father was Holy.  I won’t debate the Trinity here (or even the existence of God) but the best example of the principle before the twentieth century was St. Patrick’s metaphor of the shamrock. Other than some writing by C. S. Lewis, I have found nothing that explained the concept of the Trinity better.

Patrick’s Rune:

In this fateful hour

I call on all heaven with its power

And the sun with its brightness

And the snow with its whiteness

The fire with all the strength it hath

And the lightning with its rapid wrath

The winds with their swiftness

The sea with its deepness

The rocks with their steepness

And the earth with its starkness

All these I place

By God’s almighty help and grace

Between myself and the powers of darkness

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Mitt Romney…you can be the Republican nominee….if the price is right!!!!

Girl Scouts hundredth anniversary. We want girls to be strong...unless they disagree with us....

Because the Republican party isn’t making big enough fools of themselves, HBO is making a movie to remind us that Sarah Palin is inferior. The movie is called, Game Change. I really don’t know why the liberal media elite is wasting its time on the subject. Opinion of Sarah Palin notwithstanding, she’s not in the race. She’s not a threat to the Democrat party. The only reason to drag her under the mud now is either to just rub the oppositions nose in their failures, or simply to show HBO as the misogynistic hypocrites they really are.

But I digress.

The liberal media still gloats over the defeat of John McCain. And they think they can do it again with the Hollow Man, Mitt Romney, who they are trying to set up as the nominee so that Obama can have an easy win. Right now, it kind of looks like they may succeed. Which is one reason why I haven’t written in a while. Work has been crazy, and I’m kind of down on the whole world, right now.

Which is exactly the wrong attitude. Jesus wouldn’t let this stuff get Him down.

Right now, I’m still reading The Federalist Papers. Hamilton, in Federalist 8, is revealing the evils of a standing army.

This is absolutely an idea not embraced by either major political party. We’ve had a major standing army since WW II. It seems archaic to think of America without a standing army. I personally think that we live in times that necessitate standing armies. But I think we do need to consider what Hamilton says on the subject.

1. Standing armies tend to prop up the executive branch of government, often at the expense of the legislature and civil liberties.

They [standing armies] would, at the same time, be necessitated to strengthen the executive arm of government, in doing which their constitutions would acquire a progressive direction toward monarchy. It is the nature of war to increase the executive at the expense of the legislative authority.-Hamilton. Federalist 8.

Let’s face it. All of us were willing to give up some of our civil liberties, after 9/11, for a little security. But I wonder if we have gone to far? I wonder if the terrorists have ultimately won? I wonder if what they wanted all along was to take our liberties from us?

And what if 9/11 was just the excuse The Powers That Be needed in order to take complete control? My last major was psychology. I found a video on-line that is related. I warn you, it is a little slow. It’s just a college professor giving a boring lecture. But if you can deal with the tedium of it, it is very informative. Anyone that has read C. S. LewisThat Hideous Strength will be reminded of the strange combination of science, religion, military and state in that book.

Is America a police state? The role of psychiatry

2. Even before 1984, Hamilton was warning that the mantra of a police state would be, “War is peace!”

The perpetual menacing of danger oblige the government to be always prepared to repel, its armies must be numerous enough for instant defense.. The continual necessity for their services enhances the importance of the soldier, and proportionally degrades the condition of the citizen. The inhabitants of territories, often the theater of war, are unavoidably subjected to the frequent infringements of their rights; which serve to weaken their sense of those rights, and by degrees the people are brought to consider the soldiery not only as their protectors but as their superiors.-Hamilton. Federalist 8

If you need a perfect example of the above statement, just do some research on feudal Japan. The Samarai were the ruling class. And they were the warrior class. (And sometimes, I almost think they were right…..but I digress again…..)

I cannot exactly prove that the government has set up this state of perpetual war, but I found a video that i think is very intriguing in its implications.

Green light to attack Kuait revealed by Ron Paul

PLEASE DO NOT GET ME WRONG! I am absolutely pro-military. I know too many veterans. The best people I know have either seen war, or, at least, have served their country honorably. But I am absolutely against a police state. Twenty years ago, I could never have imagined that things would get this bad, without me firing a shot, or at least doing something drastic in order to change the state of things. But I’m afraid that I am spineless. All I do is “lift things up and put them down!”

And type on my little blog.

Ain’t it funny how many hundreds of thousand of soldiers we can recruit with nerve. But we can’t find one politician in a million with backbone.-Will Rogers, Feb. 18, 1929.