Day 3: Escape
Still in captivity one night in his sleep Patrick heard a voice telling him: “Soon you will go to your own country; look your ship is ready”. Patrick tells us: “It was quite a distance away, about two hundred miles. I never had been to the place, nor did I know anyone there. I ran away and left the man with whom I spent six years. The power of God directed my way successfully and nothing daunted me until I reached that ship”. Already then his life was fully immersed in prayer. God had already formed him extensively, yet the full magnificence of who Patrick will become has not yet been completely revealed.
The captain of the ship that was to take Patrick to his native land almost did not let him go on board, but as Patrick began to pray the man changed his mind. And so after six years in captivity Patrick escaped from Ireland. Apparently he went to study at home and abroad, became a priest and some accounts say that he may have been away from Ireland for as long as fifteen years. God takes time to prepare his servants well.
Today we pray for patience and trust as God’s plan slowly enfolds in our lives. Same as for Patrick who let himself be guided by the Holy Spirit, may we be guided too, especially through many stages of our life that are full of uncertainly and unknowing. May we trust the deep intuition of the Spirit within our hearts, and not be discouraged by other, at times, unfriendly voices.
A thought for the day (from St. Patrick’s Breastplate): “Christ be beneath me, Christ be above me, never to part”.
© Iva Beranek (Dublin, March 2012)
Photo by © Iva Beranek