Reading How the Irish Saved Civilization by Thomas Cahill has given me a whole new appreciation for all things Irish, including the Irish-ness of so much Western spirituality. Most people think of Patrick when they think Patron Saint of Ireland, but there is also Brigit of Kildare (c. 451-525). The following prayer is attributed to her and contains that wonderful Irish combination of the spiritual with the carnal. It is the God Quote for this Sunday:
I would like the angels of heaven to be among us.
I would like an abundance of peace.
I would like full vessels of charity.
I would like rich treasures of mercy.
I would like cheerfulness to preside over all.
I would like Jesus to be present.
I would like the three Marys of illustrious renown to be with us.
I would like the friends of heaven to be gathered around us from all parts.
I would like myself to be a rent payer to the Lord; that I should suffer distress, that he would bestow a good blessing upon me.
I would like a great lake of beer for the King of Kings.
I would like to be watching Heaven’s family drinking it through all eternity.
- as quoted in Prayers of the Saints: An Inspired Collection of Holy Wisdom (1996), by Woodeene Koenig-Bricker