125: Happy St. Pat’s Day… well, sort of…

appy St. Patrick’s Day! We’ve got the popular Leprechaun Video (below) to celebrate. Plus, a couple of other intriguing holiday videos …

    BUT, Wait a minute! Is this really St. Pat’s Day?
    In Catholic churches around the world, the holiday already is history — thanks to Pope Benedict’s attempt to move the hoopla out of Holy Week.
    Except — Wait, Wait, not so fast!
    Millions will celebrate today, as well. Many pubs, bars and clubs booked bands and other entertainment well in advance of Benedict’s liturgical orders — so they’ll be pourin’ plenty o’ green beer today, no matter what the Vatican decreed. In parts of Ireland, parades waited for the traditional date, today. And Irish Protestants, who also revere the world-famous saint, don’t want St. Pat’s Day ever to move from March 17.

    IN FACT, this week is one of the world’s most jam-packed holiday weeks! (Click Here: To jump to a fuller list of this week’s many holidays around the world!).
    While this may sound terrific — have you looked around the world recently? Instead of converging in one, big, joyous global community — we seem to be fragmenting.
    Because the Western dates for Lent and Easter are so early this year, I’ve heard from quite a few Protestants and Catholics saying that their joy in Easter is diminished this year because they are aware that the Orthodox Christian world is observing Lent a month later. This variance in the religious rules for marking Easter has been a problem for centuries — but, now, more people than ever are aware of the problem.
    We’re living in an age when we seem to have the world at our fingertips “24/7” — yet, at the same time, the world is more divided and confusing than ever before.

    In Asia, at the moment, this principle I’m describing has become shockingly obvious to the people of Singapore.
    I visited Singapore in January and was impressed by this modern island-nation’s social engineering. The island is infamous for achieving carefully balanced ethnic and religious diversity through all-seeing, all-knowing, Big-Brother social controls.
    But, two weeks ago, the country’s No. 1 terrorist escaped from a high-security prison and has managed (as of Sunday evening) to elude the world’s biggest manhunt. This is a tiny island and 4 million people are mobilized in the search for this guy!
    Mystery buffs will be amazed to learn that this criminal even walks with a tell-tale limp — and still no one has spotted him!
    Alex Au, one of Singapore’s most famous bloggers (who I spent some time with in January), was so stunned by this turn of events that he wrote: “Suddenly, our picture of Singapore as a kind of Big Brother state is, well, full of holes.”

    And that’s not all. Americans’ windows on the world are changing rapidly, as well. The big U.S.-media news in the last few days is that TiVo is close to moving the vast ocean of Internet videos from YouTube onto our home television sets. Of course, that kind of step was just a matter of time with YouTube’s all-seeing eye expanding in popularity all around the world. One industry estimate says that YouTube alone is sucking up more Internet bandwidth now — than the entire Internet used in the year 2000.
    So, our problems with spiritual vision will only grow in coming years: More and more of the world is laying itself out at our fingertips 24-7 — yet we’re facing an ever-tougher challenge in glimpsing the Truth.

    Here’s a St. Patrick’s Day YouTube test you can take right now to weigh your own spiritual assumptions about the holiday. We’ve collected three YouTube videos themed to the holiday. Watch all three and tell us which one you think most closely matches your sense of the holiday.

    VIDEO NUMBER 1 even includes “When Irish Eyes Are Smiling.” It’s by far the most popular of the three video tributes to St. Patrick running on YouTube. (Click on the video screen that should appear next in this article. If there’s no screen visible — then Click to Visit YouTube to watch this first video.)

    VIDEO NUMBER 2 has been picked up by other news media around the U.S. as a great salute to St. Patrick. Yes, it’s the Leprechaun Video! And, as best we can calculate from various places it has appeared online, it’s the second most popular of these 3 videos. (Click on the video screen that should appear next in this article. If there’s no screen — Click to Visit YouTube to watch this second video.)

    VIDEO NUMBER 3 is the least-popular of this trio of St. Patrick videos. In fact, not many people have spotted this final film. This third video features “St. Patrick’s Breastplate.”
    And, WE’VE GOT A BONUS FOR YOU HERE: If you’re fascinated by “St. Patrick’s Breastplate,” the name of the traditional
prayer that is recited in the following video — then we’ve collected various English versions of St. Patrick’s Breastplate here, plus some intriguing background on its history.
    (Click on the video screen that should appear next in this article. If there’s no screen — Click to Visit YouTube to watch this third video.)

    Click on the “Comment” link at the end of the online version of this story. Or, you can Email ReadTheSpirit Editor David Crumm directly with your thoughts.

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