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Life is tough. Nuns are tougher.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

The Luck O' the Irish


Now that I've ruined every one's week with my views on Medjugorje I'm prepared to suffer myself with what I was shocked to find is now being called "St. Patrick's Day Weekend."

This is wrong on so many levels.

To begin with, I have always made a habit of ducking certain holidays as much as possible. They are the ones that have to do with excessive drinking squared. By "squared" I mean the whole point of the holiday is excessive drinking (a sin, by the way) plus an added bonus.

Excessive drinking + guns = New Year's Eve
Excessive drinking + masks = Halloween
Excessive drinking + small bombs = July Fourth

Excessive drinking + more excessive drinking = St. Patrick's Day.

My father used to call it 'amateur night'. My father was no amateur himself.

I have never quite been able to figure out what happened with St. Patrick's Day. Here we have a great saint whose feast day is celebrated only by excessive drinking and Irish food. Everyone knows the Irish have the worst cuisine on the planet! St. Patrick wasn't even Irish. Poor St. Patrick. What went wrong?

Just today we were in the supermarket. I couldn't figure out why they had put squeezy bottles of mustard over by the meat section. Or why party food, like salsa and avocados, were on sale. Sister St. Aloysius reminded me of the Church fund raiser this weekend. As I am all set with my fuzzy pipe cleaner shamrock, I had let the whole thing out of my mind, as I always do with the wretched excess holidays.

Sister St. Aloysius does not have a pipe cleaner shamrock to wear yet, so we were perusing them there in the store next to the leprechauns and the shiny green top hats. Two women joined us at the rack. "Look," said the red head, "these shamrocks don't have four leaf clovers!"

"They're not supposed to," I told her. "The shamrock is a symbol of the Holy Trinity. St. Patrick used it to teach people that there are three Persons in One God...see...one stem, three leaves, but one clover...it's one, but it's three...see...? If it had four leaves it wouldn't be a shamrock."

It was at that point that my eyes fell upon the shopping cart they shared. A case of "Shamrock Ale." Poor St. Patrick and his lesson plan, literally gone to hell in a hand cart.

The only explanation I can come up with is that since Irish people drink a lot (don't start in on me about this, I've been to Ireland and the people there drink a lot, so much so that they remain sober), someone decided that the way to celebrate the saint that brought Christianity to the pagan Irish is to drink. Oh! and to have the beer dyed green! So appetizing.

Just another level wrongness. The leprechauns are tossed in there for those remaining heathens clamoring for gold.

At least this year the festivities don't land on Friday, so every one's Church fundraisers are safe from having to obtain a special dispensation from the Bishop to eat the corned beef. You can even have some at home around your supper table this year. You should eat the Church corned beef if your parish is serving it up, whether you like it or not. They need the money.

I really can't abide corned beef, so I'll be having extra for Lent.

21 comments:

Bridget(yes, I'm Irish) said...

Just when I thought I liked you!! HAHAHHA just kidding!!

PraiseDivineMercy said...

If you were here Sister, you would have three of the priests at our parish to contend with--Irish all.

They insist that one must spend time on that day at mass and in prayer before going out to celebrate.

Monica said...

Please don't anybody tell Sr. MM that I'll be serving Irish coffee on the feast of the good St. Patrick. Sure we'll be raisin' a toast to the land of saints and scholars!

Lois Grebowski said...

"Everyone knows the Irish have the worst cuisine on the planet!"

Like the English they kill their food twice -- first time when they slaughter it; the second time when they cook it.

:-D)

Mairead said...

Thank you, Sister! My birthday is on St. Patrick's Day, and for years I've been decrying the overcommercialization of a holiday that has been taken completely away from the original meaning-so much so that I've been called Charlie Brown :) Anyway, thank you for this!

ps. I do love everything else Irish, just as an addendum

Fouquette Racing said...

ha ha! One of your best!

Alexa said...

About that scapular, Sister. Doesn't one have to be enrolled?


And, well, I'm French-Irish. An oxy-moron.

?

Debbie said...

My daughter's public school refers to it as "Shamrock Day." Somehow I'm not as inspired to raise a toast to a plant. Might the secularization of St. Paddy's feast day name inadvertantly solve the problem? Hmmm...

Sparki said...

Ummm...isn't the party food for March Madness (the NCAA basketball tournaments)?

Michele Q said...

And so few seem to remember that the 19th is the Solemnity of St. Joseph. It's a SOLEMNITY - truly a day to feast and since it's on Monday this year we get a long weekend from our Lenten fasting. :-)

Cris said...

Oh Sister! My maiden name being "Patrick" you can bet that there is a lot of good ol' Irish Catholic family drinking going on! My dear ol' Pappy always said that you can tell a good Irish Catholic family by the number of Priests they have, the number of nuns they have and then number of children in jail that they have.
I won't be having any green ones this year due to baby #4, but I will be adding green food coloring to the mashed potato dish. I can't help it-
Erin Go Bragh
~St. Patrick's blessings to you!

Anonymous said...

I did the green mashed potatoes thing when our children were small. But now we celebrate St. Joseph' day...an Italian tradition (I'm Italian). Our food is just so much better! And wine is actually good for you!
God bless you, Sister. I love you!

cattiekit said...

Another post that had me ROTFLMAO.
;>D

I have a tiny shamrock trapped inside a small resin heart that I wear as a pendant. I always wear green (or mostly green)tops.

Erin Go Bragh indeed! :>D

Can't do alcohol. So it's no virtue that I don't lift one of those green beers to old St. Pat.

I think my husband would look askance at green mashed potatoes (sorry cris!). He refers to most shades of green as "evil". ???

St. Joe! The patron saint of Italy! You go, anon-girl. ;>D

debbie, the schools around here secularize *all* the holidays out of some kind of PC desire not to *offend* anybody.

(ex) Halloween = Fall Harvest Festival

We have lots of fundamentalists here who think calling it Halloween is inviting Lucifer himself to come up and do his worst.

I think that's giving too much power to a day where you take the cleverly dressed-up kids to beg candy from the neighbors. :>/

So, if secularization it is, it *does* seem to be the wave of the future. :>/

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cattiekit said...

So, 'Ster....

Would St. Paddy's Day be "drinking to the 4th power"? ;>D

Monica said...

we just came back from the St. Joseph dinner at our parish. The best conversation at the table was what would Sr. MM say about the blessed 'lucky' fava beans they handed out to everyone. : ) Happy Feast of St. Joseph day, everyone!

meem said...

Spread the word: Real Irish people eat HAM and cabbage. None of this American corned-beef stuff.

duchessSoF said...

Guinness IS Irish food.
BTW, I am STEALING your story of the 3 leaf clover and steam representing the Trinity. I will start to use this instead of the fork (3 prongs, one fork to eat with) in prison, juvy hall, with the kidlets, when I visit them tonight. :)

Tallulah Morehead said...

I'm sorry dear Sister, but I do not understand your concept "Excessive Drinking". However, I was delighted to learn that my darling charming Patrick MacNee has been granted Sainthood. I'll drink to that!

Cheers darling.

duchessSoF said...

Tallulah Morehead needs to repent!
SISTAH!

Poetryman said...

Love, Luck and God's Blessings to one and all!


---klqtzzz