Home > Christianity, Faith, God, Growth, religion, Spirituality, Uncategorized > Happy St. Patrick’s Day – A Reflection of Ireland

Happy St. Patrick’s Day – A Reflection of Ireland

 

Dingle Peninsula, Ireland 2009

Last year I had the lifetime pleasure of going to Ireland.  I wanted to experience the Irish culture.  I wanted to immerse myself in Ireland.  I wanted to grow closer to God, too, through the beauty of His creation.  I was not prepared for how He would transform me. (Although, when are we ever?  So often we put God in own little cozy box, tagged with our lists of do’s and don’t’s, when we really don’t have a clue.)  I was so consumed with excitement and this lifelong dream that it really didn’t occur to me to consider how I could impact Ireland.  Not in American way, but in a lasting, eternal way.  I didn’t consider how I could bless the Irish with my faith in a personal God.  

This was a sobering realization for me, wrought with some regret and emotion. 

Not that I would have shyed away from a conversation. I would’ve welcomed it, no fear, but I didn’t go out of my way and ensure that my God-lens for experiencing and speaking was firmly in place.   It never occurred to me to make the most of these encounters by loving people.  In America, I don’t even give it a thought when it comes to sharing my faith.  I feel completely attuned to the necessity of witnessing, even in my daily activities. When an opportunity arises I grab on and pray for guidance from the Spirit.  Perhaps, this difference was my own version of culture shock.  That seems a bit ridiculous at first glance, I mean Ireland is a westernized country.  But for all the talk of Irish drinking and ale, I was shocked at the realization of how desperate the Irish people are.  Pubs on every corner and several in between.  Bars in between the pubs.  The beer flows faster and more furiously than a waterfall and people are only too eager to fill up, seven days a week, often.  The gold seal on this desperation is that of the religious wars.  Wars between churches, denominations.  Wars between the state and the church.  Violent wars and internal, personal wars.  They cling to their religion (I can’t use the word faith, because many only claim a heritage claim to actions that have no meaning) with fierce devotion.  

So this St. Patrick’s Day I am praying for the Irish.  I love the country dearly. I thought once I had been there, I could simply scratch it off my list of experiences.  Alas, no.  My fondness only grows stronger for the green land of beauty and a people so rich in culture. 

Eireann go braugh!
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  1. March 18, 2010 at 11:38 pm

    The drinking in Ireland isn’t necessarily a sign of desperation. My kin back home have an entirely different attitude toward drinking, especially in bars and public houses.

    It can be summed up in their word, craic. Sadly though, that word doesn’t properly translate into any other language and, while I could write paragraph and paragraph by the way of defining it, I’d still fall short.

    On the other hand, <emcraic isn’t necessarily a sign contraindicating desperation as a description of them either. The Irish have many causes for desperation – many in addition to the sectarian violence that has plagued them for 400+ years.

    • Order in the Quart!
      March 19, 2010 at 1:10 am

      I love the word craic! I know that some drinking is part of the heritage, such as wine is in Tuscany, but it is widely abused, just as Americans abuse food 🙂 (seriously!) I agree that much of their desperation is from the violence and even the persecution the celts went through and the profoundly sad result of losing something so fundamental as even their language. So you are Irish? Dia duit!

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