Wednesday, March 17, 2010

St. Patrick's Breastplate

Since today's the day to honor our Irish ancestors, (I figure most Americans have a dash of this and a dash of that), I wanted to learn something new about St. Patrick. In case you don't know, he lived from 385- 451 A.D. - in a time when putting on your breastplate might have been the difference between living or dying on any particular day.

I often feel like I'm in a daily battle, how about you? I love the scripture about putting on the armour of God, but I confess I don't always conciously do it, as important as it is.

Anyway, St. Patrick was a missionary bishop whose preaching transformed ancient Ireland. Patrick was called supernaturally, in a dream, to leave his Christian village in England and proclaim Christ amid murderous Druids and slave-traders. Knowing he faced torture, enslavement and death daily, he needed a strength that comes only from living in the presence of God.

His famous prayer--known as "Patrick's Breastplate"--can have an amazing effect in strengthening us today.
"I arise today through the strength of heaven, 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 where I lie, Christ where I sit, Christ where I arise, Christ in the heart of' every man who thinks of me. Christ in the mouth of every man who speaks of me, Christ in every eye that sees me, Christ in every ear that hears me, May your mighty salvation, Lord, be ever-present with me."

Peace, my friends.

1 comment:

Sue J. said...

That is definitely something new about St. Patrick for me. Wow!

Our bells have played "Be Thou My Vision" when we go out into the community. The hymn tune is called "Slane." There is a hill in Ireland called Slane Hill, on which Patrick ran into a bit of trouble with King Logaire. Patrick lit candles on Easter Eve, celebrated as a pagan holidy. That privilege was supposed to be reserved for the king.

Turns out that Patrick's boldness (even in defiance of the king) won over Logaire, who let Patrick continue is missionary work. Can't hear "Be Thou My Vision" now and not think of St. Patrick's devotion to the Lord.

Happy Green Day back to ya!