Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Naomh Pádraig

A High Cross at Kilfenora, County Clare, Ireland.  © Meridith Canning Photography

Happy St. Patrick's Day!  St. Patrick was born c.  AD 373 and is widely-known as the patron saint of Ireland.  You can call him a missionary and evangelist, too. At age 16, he was taken captive by a group of pirates to Ireland and it was during this time, he came to a personal faith in Christ as he understood the gift of God's grace.  “... before I was humbled, I was like a stone lying in deep mire, and He that is mighty came and in His mercy raised me up and, indeed, lifted me high up and placed me on top of the wall.  And from there I ought to shout out in gratitude to the Lord for His great favours in this world and for ever, that the mind of man cannot measure.   (The Last Confession of Saint Patrick).

After a few years, he escaped back to Britain, but felt the call from God to return back to the land where he had previously been held captive in.  Over the course of 60 years, Patrick traveled throughout Ireland preaching the Gospel and baptizing those who believed.  Over the course of his ministry, many churches were established and elders ordained.  

"I am greatly God's debtor, because he granted me so much grace, that through me many people would be reborn in God, and soon after confirmed, and that clergy would be ordained everywhere for them, the masses lately come to belief, whom the Lord drew from the ends of the earth, just as he once promised through his prophets: 'To you shall the nations come from the ends of the earth, and shall say, Our fathers have inherited naught but lies, worthless things in which there is no profit.' And again: 'I have set you to be a light for the Gentiles that you may bring salvation to the uttermost ends of' the earth.'  (Ibid).



The stone (left) which covered the traditional site of St. Patrick's Well.  St. Patrick's Cathedral (right) in Dublin, Ireland. 
© Meridith Canning Photography

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Window in the Skies

PICT0027_2, originally uploaded by Meridith Louise.

I took this picture inside Blarney Castle on a beautiful, October afternoon. I was trying to capture a multi-demensional shot with the two old window frames as the bridge between the trees in the background and the moss in the foreground.

Locate in County Cork, the original castle dates to AD 1210. The famous "Blarney Stone" lies at the top of the castle and as the legend holds, if you hang upside down to lean over to kiss the stone, you will be blessed with the "gift of eloquence" (a/k/a the gift of gab). Jance and I both managed the steep climb to the top and took part in the tradition.

"The shackles are undone.
The bullets quit the gun.
The heat that’s in the sun will keep us when there's none.
The rule has been disproved.
The stone it has been moved.
The grave is now a groove.
All debts are removed."

- Window in the Skies by U2

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Life in Dublin

PICT0010, originally uploaded by Meridith Louise.

Since St. Patrick's Day is a few short days away, I thought that I'd share a few pictures from my trip to Ireland in '07 this week. I was aiming to get the red door of the church down the street, but just as soon as I hit the shutter on my camera, a truck just happened to go by. Despite that mishap, I do like the way the picture captures a slice of daily life on a street in Dublin's Temple Bar neighborhood.