This is a very short post, but it is meant to be very clear on this St. Patrick’s Day. I am not a big St. Patrick’s Day reveler though half-Irish I might be. My mother was so proud of her Irish roots, but I must admit that I typically (insert shame-face emoji here) have almost always felt a real disconnect with my own. It is much easier for me to identify with my other ancestors, those fiery, passionate, intense Italians and Jews. Now *that* I get!
Having said that, I have rarely felt as moved by the imagery of St. Patrick as I was with every word I read in a new book called “A Vulnerable Faith: Missional Living in the Radical Way of St. Patrick” by Jamie Arpin-Ricci from Paraclete Press.
Let me be clear about something before I begin – I have known Jamie on the internet since 2011. Add to that, his request that I read an early version and a revision of “A Vulnerable Faith” and offer an editorial review and endorsement. (I am not compensated for this work other than looking forward to receiving a hard copy of the book.) With that I can tell you, I have come to know this work well.
And what a powerful work it is! The author, who is not Catholic, once again manages to build on the foundation of a saint to set his book in motion. (Arpin-Ricci’s prior book, The Cost of Community: Jesus, St. Francis, and Life in the Kingdom was published in 2011. I recommend it.) Artfully using St. Patrick’s spirituality and the concepts of the 12 Steps, Arpin-Ricci leads us to an invitation into living in vulnerability as a path to freedom in Christ. And if you think about it, what other path to Christ is there, other surrendering to a vulnerable life?
The book begins with an introduction by none other than Jean Vanier, founder of L’Arche, and recent winner of The Templeton Prize 2015, himself no stranger to vulnerable living. His words set the stage for what it is to follow – an engaging excursion into releasing control and unwarranted fear and welcoming what happens when we take the risk to let go and let go and let go.
This quasi-review is short, but do not take that as a brush off. It is without reservation that I recommend this volume to you. If you really want to celebrate St. Patrick’s day with wisdom instead of in a stupor, get this book today. You won’t have a hangover and you will have a rich resource to support your faith journey. In fact, I’m guessing that you will like it enough to want to share it with friends and loved ones, and members of your worship community.
Here is the promotional video, which is stunning!