Today is St Brigid's Day
Today is St Brigid's day. If, like me, you enjoy a Celtic twist to your Christian life then the 1st and 2nd of February, the days of the feast of Imbolc and Candlemas are the days when she is uppermost in our awareness. As with a lot of the Celtic saints there are many myths and legends about her life that we would struggle to take literally
One such legend tells us that one day she was looking for land to build a monastery for her community and King Leinster refused her request. She persevered! She then asked for as much land as her cloak would cover, so the king agreed since her cloak was so small. Laughing, he didn't hesitate to agree to her unconventional request but miraculously the cloak grew as she laid it down, to cover many acres. The king could not retract his agreement and so it was that Brigit gained the land to build the monastery at Kildare.
Brigid was known for her abundant generosity. It is said that she would always give away her fathers butter, milk and meat to anyone who was in need. She even once gave her fathers finest bejewelled sword to a leper so that the leper could sell it and buy much needed provisions. Desperate to find a solution her father tried on many occasions to marry her off but she would have none of it! Her heart was devoted to Christ and she dedicated her life in service to him.
Along with St Patrick, St Brigid is one of the most important figures in the history of Ireland's Christian beginnings.
Brigid is known for many things such as kindness, generosity of heart, hospitality, her outreach to the poor and needy, her love and care of animals and indeed all of nature and her bravery in speaking truth to power - all qualities that are most needed today. To celebrate St Brigid's day people will make St Brigid's crosses out of reeds, but there are many other ways of engaging with the Brigid energy, here are a few;
Reflect on your own relationship with the earth, is there more that you can do to help our planet?
Reflect on your own call to kindness and hospitality, where is this most needed around you?
Where might you be being called to speak truth to power in the injustices we see around us?
Are there lessons to be learnt from Brigid's extravagant generosity.
So with St Brigid offering us some food for thought for this week do watch out for the early signs of spring for when the snowdrops begin to appear legend has it that her spirit draws near, indeed some say they are her footprints!