17th July

True Wealth

Do not store up for yourselves riches here upon earth, where moths and rust destroy, and robbers break in and steal. Instead, store up riches for yourselves in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and robbers cannot break in and steal. Matthew 6:19,20

Brigid’s monastery brewed ale for the churches round about and, as Christianity spread, Brigid’s faith-sharing teams went out to churches far and wide. Easter was an opportunity to minister to the increased numbers who came, and in one church a blind person, a consumptive, a leper and a mentally ill person were healed through Brigid’s ministry.

Once Brigid visited a place where the Christians feared to preach God’s Word because a madman was about. Brigid challenged the madman to preach the Word of God himself, which he did! She told nuns who saw the Devil ‘Make Christ’s Cross on your face and on your eyes.’

Her unknown biographer writes ‘Her heart and mind were a throne of rest for the Holy Spirit. She was simple towards God; compassionate towards the wretched; she was splendid in miracles and marvels.‘

Someone in the ninth century composed a famous poem entitled ‘Hail Brigid’. Its theme is the disappearance of the pagan world of Ireland and the triumph of Christianity. This was symbolised by the abandonment of the ancient hill-fort of Allen as the seat of the once powerful kings of Leinster, and its replacement by Brigid and her Kildare monastic network. This had become the main source of blessing and protection for the people.

In later times Brigid was imagined to be the mid-wife, or the wet-nurse, present at Christ’s birth, and she was made a symbol of the Bride of Christ. She became the guardian of the poor who work the land, and the patron of those who study. Beautiful prayers have come down to us which reflect these traditions.

May the fruits God gave Brigid lie on me .
May the delights God gave Brigid lie on me .
May the healings God gave Brigid lie on me .
May the virtues God gave Brigid lie on me
And on my loved ones