Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Real Saint Patrick

St. Patrick of Ireland is one of the world's most popular saints.
Apostle of Ireland, born at Kilpatrick, near Dumbarton, in Scotland, in the year 387; died at Saul, Downpatrick, Ireland, 17 March, 461.

Along with St. Nicholas and St. Valentine, the secular world shares our love of these saints. This is also a day when everyone's Irish.
There are many legends and stories of St. Patrick, but this is his story.
Patrick was born around 385 in Scotland, probably Kilpatrick. His parents were Calpurnius and Conchessa, who were Romans living in Britian in charge of the colonies.
As a boy of fourteen or so, he was captured during a raiding party and taken to Ireland as a slave to herd and tend sheep. Ireland at this time was a land of Druids and pagans. He learned the language and practices of the people who held him.
During his captivity, he turned to God in prayer. He wrote
"The love of God and his fear grew in me more and more, as did the faith, and my soul was rosed, so that, in a single day, I have said as many as a hundred prayers and in the night, nearly the same." "I prayed in the woods and on the mountain, even before dawn. I felt no hurt from the snow or ice or rain."
Patrick's captivity lasted until he was twenty, when he escaped after having a dream from God in which he was told to leave Ireland by going to the coast. There he found some sailors who took him back to Britian, where he reunited with his family.
He had another dream in which the people of Ireland were calling out to him "We beg you, holy youth, to come and walk among us once more."
He began his studies for the priesthood. He was ordained by St. Germanus, the Bishop of Auxerre, whom he had studied under for years.
Later, Patrick was ordained a bishop, and was sent to take the Gospel to Ireland. He arrived in Ireland March 25, 433, at Slane. One legend says that he met a chieftain of one of the tribes, who tried to kill Patrick. Patrick converted Dichu (the chieftain) after he was unable to move his arm until he became friendly to Patrick.
Patrick began preaching the Gospel throughout Ireland, converting many. He and his disciples preached and converted thousands and began building churches all over the country. Kings, their families, and entire kingdoms converted to Christianity when hearing Patrick's message.
Patrick by now had many disciples, among them Beningnus, Auxilius, Iserninus, and Fiaac, (all later canonized as well).
Patrick preached and converted all of Ireland for 40 years. He worked many miracles and wrote of his love for God in Confessions. After years of living in poverty, traveling and enduring much suffering he died March 17, 461.
He died at Saul, where he had built the first church.
Why a shamrock?
Patrick used the shamrock to explain the Trinity, and has been associated with him and the Irish since that time.
In His Footsteps:
Patrick was a humble, pious, gentle man, whose love and total devotion to and trust in God should be a shining example to each of us. He feared nothing, not even death, so complete was his trust in God, and of the importance of his mission. 

Info on St. Patrick was taken from Catholic Online.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Glorifying Srimati Radhika

"Radharani is a beautiful crescent moon of nectar born from the ocean of Vrsabhanu's family. The line of red vermilion decorating the lovely part of Radha's hai looks like a sweet river of nectar. I pray that my mind remains eternally fixed on Radhika, who becomes stunned with love for Krsna whenever She hears about His transcendental form and qualities. Kishori binds Her beautiful braids with delicate, fragrant jasmine flowers. Radha's large lotus eyes, restless with amorous desires, condemn the agile movements of khanjana birds.

"Radha's walking is more graceful than the gait of a regal mad elephant. Kishor's sweet golden limbs are more charming than the petals of a golden campaka flower. The golden creepers of Radharani's tender arms are decorated with jeweled armlets and bracelets. The astonishingly wonderful loveliness of Radha's divine form constantly enchants all the beautifulyoung girls of Vraja.

"Radharani's gently smiling face conquers the elegance of the full moon. Condensed fresh sweetness has appeared as Radha's lovely broad hips, which are bound by strings of bells. A wonderfullycolorful blouse conceals the beautiful golden waterpots of Radhika's large breasts. Radha's glossy red lips fillSyama's mind with a great longing to taste the delicious nectar therein. Radharani's shapely chin is splendidly anointed with a charming dot of musk. A large radiant pearl inlaid with gold and jewels hangs from Radha's pretty nose.

"Radhika's blissful divine form is the essence of the sweet ocean of beauty surging with waves of love for Syama. The deer of Krsna's eyes has fallen into the well of nectar known as Radha's enchanting navel. A red sari encircles Radha's divine body, which is made even made more dazzling by Her brilliant earrings, necklaces and anklets. Kishori trembles with amorous passion whenever She sees Gokulacnadra's footprints on the forest path. Those whose hearts are greedy to taste the nectar of vraja-rasa must glorify the incomparably beautiful transcendental body of Radhika as per the descriptions of the expert s in Vrndavana mellows."

                                         -Govinda das Kaviraja

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Psalm 141

 O Lord, I call to You; come quickly to me.

Hear my voice when I call to You.
May my prayer be set before You like incense;
may the lifting up of my hands be like the evening sacrifice.

Set a guard over my mouth, O Lord;
keep watch over the door of my lips.

Let not my heart be drawn to what is evil,
to take part in wicked deeds with men who are evildoers;
let me not eat of their delicacies.

Let a righteous man strike me-it is a kindness;
let him rebuke me-it is oil on my head.
My head will not refuse it.

Yet my prayer is ever against the deeds of evildoers;
their rulers will be thrown down from the cliffs,
and the wicked will learn that my words were well spoken.They will say, "As one plows and breaks up the earth,
so our bones have been scattered at the mouth of the grave."

But my eyes are fixed on You, O Sovereign Lord;
in You I take refuge-do not give me over to death.
Keep me from the snares they have laid for me,
from the traps set by evildoers.
Let the wicked fall into their own nets,
while I pass by in safety.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Four Qualities

" Sri caitanya Mahaprabhu destroyed the pride of Kandarpa when He stayed in the house of Ramananda. He exhibited His neutrality in the house of Damodara. He taught patience during His stay at the house of Haridas, and He taught humility through Rupa and Sanatana. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu taught all people the four Qualities of a devotee- continence, neutrality, patience, and humility."
                            - From Bhakti-Ratnakara