Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Happy St. Patrick's Day to You!

In honor of St. Patrick's Day, rather than eating a meal of corned beef and cabbage...
Or drinking and toasting over a glass of whisky, "Irish holy water" as my priest called it this morning (he kills me)...
Or looking for a little leprechaun with his pot of gold at the end of the rainbow...
I thought I would celebrate with each of you through this gorgeous prayer.

Though assumed to be written by an anonymous source, it is attributed to St. Patrick because the prayer was written in the spirit of faith through which Patrick converted much of Ireland.  The shortened version lives on a piece of paper right next to my bedside.

For me, it is a poignant reminder of a time with my sisters, taking turns reading it aloud around the hospice bed of my father...our favorite Irishman.  

St. Patrick's Breastplate

I arise today 
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through belief in the Threeness,
Through confession of the Oneness
of the Creator of creation.

I arise today
Through the strength of Christ's birth with His baptism,
Through the strength of His crucifixion with His burial,
Through the strength of His resurrection with His ascension,
Through the strength of His descent for the judgment of doom.

I arise today
Through the strength of the love of cherubim,
In the obedience of angels,
In the service of archangels,
In the hope of resurrection to meet with reward,
In the prayers of patriarchs,
In the predictions of prophets,
In the preaching of apostles,
In the faith of confessors,
In the innocence of holy virgins,
In the deeds of righteous men.

I arise today, through
The strength of heaven,
The light of the sun,
The radiance of the moon,
The splendor of fire,
The speed of lightning,
The swiftness of wind,
The depth of the sea,
The stability of the earth,
The firmness of rock.

I arise today, through
God's strength to pilot me,
God's might to uphold me,
God's wisdom to guide me,
God's eye to look before me,
God's ear to hear me,
God's word to speak for me,
God's hand to guard me,
God's shield to protect me,
God's host to save me
From snares of devils,
From temptation of vices,
From everyone who shall wish me ill,
afar and near.

I summon today
All these powers between me and those evils,
Against every cruel and merciless power
that may oppose my body and soul,
Against incantations of false prophets,
Against black laws of pagandom,
Against false laws of heretics,
Against craft of idolatry,
Against spells of witches and smiths and wizards,
Against every knowledge that corrupts man's body and soul;
Christ to shield me today
Against poison, against burning,
Against drowning, against wounding,
So that there may come to me an abundance of reward.

Christ with me,
Christ before me,
Christ behind me,
Christ in me,
Christ beneath me,
Christ above me,
Christ on my right,
Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down,
Christ when I sit down,
Christ when I arise,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.

{Note: A shorter version of this prayer with just the 15 lines about Christ above is often all of the prayer that is offered. The conclusion follows below.}

I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through belief in the Threeness,
Through confession of the Oneness
of the Creator of creation.



For me,
I arise today grateful for each of you readers.
Grateful for His light in my life.
Grateful for the Holy Spirit who guides my words (whenever I ask!).
Grateful for every blessing and affliction in my life as they all lead me closer to Him and His infinite love.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!!!

...and thanks for reading...

Image cred:  Bing images, Creative Commons

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