With St. Patrick’s day in March, I thought an article on Irish culture would be
appropriate. I have been rereading Thomas Cahill’s The Hinges of History series, How the Irish Saved Civilization. It is a fascinating book drawn on the notion of illiterate, semi-nomadic warrior barbarians become an emerald isle of saints and scholars who saved Western civilization? In How the Irish Saved Civilization, Cahill tells us to look to men like Patrick, who was brought in chains to Ireland. He dedicated himself to making sure nobody would ever arrive that way again. Grafting traditional Christian teachings to the positive elements of Irish myths and magic rooted in nature, Patrick planted a message that spoke directly to the Irish psyche and heart. Patrick brought a non-Roman form of Christianity to an island of people fierce in their
traditions of loyalty, poetry, courage, and violence. Which I have argued for years that Ireland is more of Celtic Christianity vs Roman Christianity. Cahill argues the Irish scribes, monks who copied the great literature of the world, who approached their work with pride and playfulness, turning a task that many would consider dronelike into an art form. When the monks take off to
establish monasteries and spread Christianity throughout the world of early medieval Europe, they bring their books. The monks replant the seeds of learning and scholarship in lands barren of these since the fall of the Roman Empire. So, thanks to the Roman Legions and Emperor who could not be bothered with the Emerald Isle due to facing the Franks and Goths on the banks of the Rhine. More and more I have discovered fascinating information on Ireland from the perspective of history and personal genealogy. Did you know one of the oldest composed hymns is an Irish hymn ‘Be Thou My Vision’? One of my favorite Celtic blessings is : Nár laga Dia thu which means ‘May God never weaken you’ These words say volumes about one’s faith! See you in Church, Pastor John
pASTOR JOHN HOGUE
Rev. John Hogue is married to his wife Veronica and they have three sons, Daniel, Isaac and Nethanel. Pastor John is a graduate of Pittsburgh Theological Seminary.