Forgiveness + Love = Freedom


Even the Romans feared them. For centuries they avoided the Irish Celts, whom Julius Caesar had called “more savage than any other race.” When the newly Christianized Roman monks finally arrived in the 5th century, they looked down on the Irish barbarians. And in turn, the barbarians looked down on them, while continuing to live in fear of their own vengeful gods.

Then a Roman-British boy of 16 was captured and came to live among them. During his six years as a slave, he learned their language and their character. In slavery he found freedom, finally turning his heart toward God.

Patrick escaped, but then wandered restlessly. In his Confession he writes of a vision in which “the Voice of the Irish” cried out to him, “We appeal to you, holy servant boy, come (back) and walk among us.”

After his ordination, the young bishop returned to “walk among” them. They were stunned by this former slave’s embodiment of love and forgiveness. And as a result, not only commoners but warlords and nobles surrendered their hearts. Faith in the God not of vengeance but love spread like a flame. Patrick’s simple formula of forgiveness + love had set them free, just as it had him, just as it has me. And you? If so…

Pass it on.

About mitchteemley

Writer, Filmmaker, Humorist, Thinker-about-stuffer
This entry was posted in For Pastors and Teachers, Quips and Quotes, Religion/Faith and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

25 Responses to Forgiveness + Love = Freedom

  1. godoratheism says:

    Patrick is one of my favorite Christians. “Green beer” rather makes light of his tremendous accomplishments.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. VocareMentor says:

    A favorite book of mine is How the Irish Saved Civilization by Thomas Cahill. A large part of the book is about St. Patrick. – By the way, what did you think of The Wright Brothers by David McCullough?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. @vapor_sage says:

    There’s some St Patrick’s theme running through my reading and my post (hint) today. It’s a miracle 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. BelleUnruh says:

    I love the story of Patrick. He was blessed and was a blessing.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. VocareMentor says:

    Reblogged this on and commented:
    Here is a post about St. Patrick by Mitch Teemley. His blog is one of my favorites, and this post is excellent!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: Bad Theology: A Special St. Patrick’s Day Edition – Feeding on Folly

  7. Roos Ruse says:

    LOVE WINS! Great post, Mitch 🍀

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Roos Ruse says:

    Reblogged this on What Next and commented:
    Mitch Teemley nails it again. Slainte!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. landl30 says:

    Great post Mitch…. some other thoughts I’ve had on this over the years (I did a sabbatical taking five small parishes in County Cork a number of years ago)… that part of the reason Patrick etc were successful at converting the druidic celts, was that we could speak to their theology/mindset of blood sacrifice…. instead of denying it, we were able to share good news that took it and them seriously… that the good God had taken care of the blood sacrifice, and that they could therefore stop doing it. Which I suspect was good news indeed.
    Len Freeman

    Liked by 1 person

  10. gpavants says:

    Hi Mitch,

    He was quite a man. The Lord puts the right person to reach whatever people He is saving. Amazing. Thanks for sharing,


    Liked by 1 person

  11. boompawolf says:

    Reblogged this on disue.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Two comments. First, I like your writing style so keep them coming. I am experiencing a busy spell and have not been able to produce consistently but will od so soon. Second, it is pretty clear at this juncture in my life, at least in my experience, that forgiveness does more for the forgiver than the ones who are being forgiven, and yet, the gift of time has probably not finished doing its work.

    Liked by 1 person

    • mitchteemley says:

      I agree with you about forgiveness. Plus, it may be even more layered than that: I think the change that forgiving produces in us sometimes create needed changes in the one being forgiven, as well. Keep writing!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Kate Loveton says:

    Oh, I did like this!

    The longer I live, I realize it is all about love and forgiveness. So simple and yet so hard – and the challenge to all of us who wish to grow in Christ.

    Thanks, Mitch!

    Liked by 1 person

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