In silence with God.
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This had to be confusing to the pagan Irish who only took to fasting to shame a person whom they believed had done them wrong, claims Freeman.
An earlier student of St. Patrick, Dr. Ludwig Bieler, a professor of palaeography and classics at the University of Dublin described the end of this stage of the saint’s remarkable life:
At the end of six years he heard a voice in his dreams, announcing God’s forgiveness and bidding him to go to his country and his people; a ship the voice indicated, was waiting to take him home. He had to walk two hundred [Roman] miles before he found the ship which the voice of his dream had promised him; it was a boat carrying Irish hounds to the continent [citations omitted].
Patrick, now 21 years of age, was able to join a ship’s crew and sail for Gaul.
The rest of St. Patrick’s life is full of suffering and grace, emblematic of a profound spirituality which he discerned in the isolation and loneliness of a slave in the west of Ireland.
I rise today
with the power of God to guide me,
with the strength of God to raise me,
with the wisdom of God to lead me,
with the vision of God to see me,
with the ears of God to hear for me,
with the words of God to speak for me,
with the hand of God to protect me,
with the path of God before me,
with the shield of God to guard me,
with the friendship of God to keep me safe from
the contriving of demons,
the temptations of sin,
the inclinations of my nature,
and everyone who wishes me harm,
far and near,
alone and in the crowd.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
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