I missed the day traditionally set aside for the feast of St. Brigid of Kildare (February 1), but I didn’t want to miss saying something about this faithful lady who had such a great impact upon the Celtic church of the 5th century. Brigid was known for her hospitality and love of life. She loved to serve and meet the needs of God’s people and those who were suffering and she loved to do at her own table. Thus, when she thought of heaven and the heavenly life of Christian communion, she thought of it in the biblical imagery of the great feast. This poem, attributed to St. Brigid, illustrates her big-heartedness:
I would like to have the men of Heaven
in my own house;
with vats of good cheer
laid out for them.
I would like to have the three Marys,
their fame is so great.
I would like people
from every corner of Heaven.
I would like them to be cheerful
in their drinking.
I would like to have Jesus, too,
here amongst them.
I would like a great lake of beer
for the King of Kings.
I would like to be watching Heaven’s family
drinking it through all eternity.
When times are difficult we must double our efforts to show hospitality and mercy. Brigid’s example should be an inspiration to all of us.