Thursday, 17 March 2011

I will not celebrate Irishness

because of this day, but I will celebrate the kind of gospel which was even for the Irish, and the belief in God's promises which took Patrick there, to share it. It continues today -

The testimony of our brother Patrick of 1561 years ago, could equally fit in the mouth of this North Korean schoolgirl, and her father:
'I give untiring thanks to God who kept me faithful in the day of my testing, so that today I may confidently offer my soul as a living sacrifice for Christ my Lord. Who am I, Lord? or, rather, What is my calling?, that you appeared to me... so that today among the barbarians I might constantly exalt and magnify your name in whatever place I should be, and not only in good times, but even in affliction?

'So whatever happens to me, whether good or bad, I accept it equally, and give thanks always to God. He revealed himself to me so I could trust in him, implicitly and forever. He will also encourage me so that, although I'm ignorant, I may dare to take on such devout and wonderful a work; so that I might imitate one of those whom, once, long ago, the Lord appointed to be heralds of his Gospel, to witness to all peoples to the ends of the earth. This is what we are seeing, and so it is fulfilled.

'I wish to wait then for his promise which is never unfulfilled: 'Many shall come from east and west and shall sit at table with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob.' We believe that believers will come from all the world. ...

'This Gospel of the Kingdom shall be preached throughout the whole world as a witness to all nations; and then the end of the world shall come.' And similarly the Lord foretells through the prophet: 'And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; even on my male servants and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy.' And in Hosea he says: 'Those who are not my people I will call my people, and those not beloved I will call my beloved, and in the very place where it was said to them, You are not my people, they will be called 'Sons of the living God'. ...

'Therefore may it never happen that God separates me from his people whom he has won in this most remote land. I pray God that he gives me perseverance, and that he will allow me to be a faithful witness for his sake right up to the time of my passing.'
Patrick, c.450AD, Confessio

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