Trauma to Transformation
“I testify in truth and in great joy of heart before God and his holy angels that I never had any other reason for returning to that nation from which I had earlier escaped, except the Gospel and God’s promises.” - from Saint Patrick’s Confessions
Although the story is encrusted with legend and blurred by over 1600 years of retelling, the basic facts are quite well accepted. As a British teenager, Patrick was captured by an Irish raiding party and enslaved as a shepherd in Ireland for six years. He escaped back to England but then returned to Ireland to evangelize the people who had abused and exploited him.
Ireland was never the same. Baptizing thousands, establishing churches, ordaining priests, and living an exemplary life, God used St. Patrick to change the course of a nation.
St. Patrick did not allow the wounds of his past to limit his love. Through God’s power, he overcame the injustice done to him and shared God’s love with his captors.
If we let him, God loves to use our traumas to transform us and others.
Paul wrote to the Romans, "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)
God’s love is not based on our worthiness but on His character. Any resentment and bitterness St. Patrick could have felt toward the Irish were washed away by the love that flowed from his transformed heart.
Let go of the past. Abandon getting even. Share truth freely. And love lavishly.