No green on me today, not being in any way Irish, but I thought a little bit about St. Patrick and his story of being sold as a slave to Ireland, escaping back to Britain and then returning to Ireland despite that. In his "Confessio" he seems sane enough, not given to the intense self-loathing that many of our saints seem to have. Hard to tell, and even if I could tell, I would probably be wrong, not being in his skin or of his time.
I have a quote from his Confessio on my refrigerator to keep me humble: "Behold now I commend my soul to God who is most faithful and for whom I perform my mission in obscurity, but he is no respecter of persons and he chose me for this service that I might be one of the least of his ministers." Because Ireland WAS obscure. That's not where the up and coming clerics would go. And yet whom do we remember today?
And yet how many more are there who have performed their mission in obscurity? This just to say it's hard to gauge the impact of a ministry, and as always success is less the point than love of God and neighbor. God is no respecter of persons in that all are equal before God. Patrick certainly seemed to learn that in a deep way, that he could return to love and care for the very people who enslaved him.
Happy St. Patrick's day to you all.