Wednesday, February 1, 2012

St Brigid



Today is the Feast of St Brigid, our 'other' patron saint, and I think the Gospel reading from St John is very appropriate ... it speaks of the good shepherd laying down his life for the sheep ... and we, as followers of Christ as also called to lay down our lives in emulation of him ... it isn't easy to do ... but it is a feature of the lives of those that we call saints that they have given up everything for Christ and lived lives service to others, either literally or figuratively giving up their lives for them.

Such a life was St Brigid's ... born the daughter of a wealthy household at around the time of St Patrick, the expectation was that she would make a good marriage that would be of advantage to her family ... instead she gave all that up and chose to live as a nun and spend her life helping the poor and sick ...

Time does not allow me to rehearse all the details that we know about her life ... so I thought I would tell you just one of the stories that I came across that i think reflects the focus of her life very well ...

A leper came to St Brigid ... he didn't ask for healing, as you might expect, even though Brigid was a well known healer ... he wanted a cow! Brigid had had a busy day, and wanted him to wait until she had had a chance to rest before going off to try and find him a cow ... but he was insistent ... so instead she offered to heal him ... but he refused ... he did very well out of being a leper ... he could rely on the generosity of others to support him ... which meant that he had a relatively easy life ...

But St Brigid was quite insistent and very persuasive and eventually she convinced the man that it was better that he was healed of his disease ... he consented ... and once healed, he was overjoyed ... he at once became a follower of St Brigid and spent the rest of his life in her service helping her to help others ...

The story, I think, illustrates an important aspect of the Christian life ... like the leper, there are many people in the world whose lives are in an appalling condition ... yet it has become so normalised for them that they have no desire to change ... indeed, even though they know on one level that this is not a good way to be, they manage to convince themselves that the very thing that is worst about their life actually serves to make it better ... but those who walk in the way of Christ can persuade them to change ... and once changed they are full of joy ... they life they abandoned reluctantly is now revealed to them for the poor thing that it was ...

But such lives can not be saved unless there are those willing to devote their lives to the task ... Brigid understood that and so gave her life in service to that task ... we, of course, can not expect to lead lives of such heroic witness to Christ ... but we must try to do so in our own small way ... something that I pray for us all in the name of Christ ... Amen.

2 comments:

  1. Dear man of God, Beloved Levi, Holy Greetings to you in Jesus Our Lord.

    Dear man of God, If it is God's will, Please Pray for our Ministries.

    Dear man of God, I have been Prayerfully waiting for your Reply.

    In His Service

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  2. Dear CSI,
    sorry - I've been very busy both personally & professionaly of late. I've looked at your website. It seems as if you are doing good work & I will keep you and your flock in my prayers. When I have more time, I may do a short post on the blog about your ministry.
    Every blessing,
    Levi+

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