26th March

The Apple Of God’s Eye

The Lord said to his people ‘I scattered you in all directions … But now anyone who strikes you strikes the apple of my eye’. Zechariah 2: 6, 8

I did not go to Ireland of my own accord; not, that is, until I had nearly perished. This was for my good, for in this way the Lord purged me, and made me fit to be what I am now, but which once I was far from being – someone who cares and labours for the salvation of others. In those days I did not care for anyone, not even for myself.

On the occasion when several of my seniors rejected me God spoke to me personally. He did not say ‘you have seen’ but ‘we have seen’, as if he included himself. It was as if God was saying ‘Whoever touches you touches the apple of my eye’.

Therefore I thank God who has strengthened me in everything … After this experience I felt not a little strength, and my trust was proved right before God and people.

And so I say boldly, my conscience does not blame me now or in the future: God is my witness that I have not lied in the account I have given you.

Enough of this. I must not, however, hide the gift God gave me in the land of my captivity, because there I earnestly sought him, and there I found him, and he saved me from all evil because – so I believe – of his Spirit who lives in me.
Patrick of Ireland

Father, you affirmed your Son at his baptism
before he entered a time of testing.
Father, you affirmed your servant Patrick
in the midst of his time of trial.
Father, affirm me in my time of need.
May I rest in the assurance
that I am the apple of your eye.