Happy St. Patricks Day!

Today’s Reading:

St. Patrick’s BreastPlate      


I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through the 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 obedience of angels,
In the service of archangels,
In hope of resurrection to meet with reward,
In prayers of patriarchs,
In predictions of prophets,
In preaching of apostles,
In faith of confessors,
In innocence of holy virgins,
In deeds of righteous men.
I arise today
Through the strength of heaven:
Light of sun,
Radiance of moon,
Splendor of fire,
Speed of lightning,
Swiftness of wind,
Depth of sea,
Stability of earth,
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 way to lie before me,
God’s shield to protect me,
God’s host to save me
From snares of devils,
From temptations of vices,
From everyone who shall wish me ill,
Afar and anear,
Alone and in multitude.
I summon today all these powers between me and those evils,
Against every cruel 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 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.
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.

St. Patrick’s Day has a pretty special place in my heart.  Although I don’t claim to be Irish I did live in Ireland for a few months during my Junior year of college. I lived in Galway, Ireland on a Study Abroad program.  On St. Patrick’s day in 2002, the group from Willamette University was in Belfast.  That was the weekend we learned about Northern Ireland conflict, the difference a few colors make, and when to leave town.  In the morning, Belfast was hopping with joy.  We got to see the parade moving downtown, lots of music and lots of fun.  By the afternoon, we were told we needed to leave before minor riots broke out.  That was also the weekend we wept over murals that portrayed the past, opened our eyes to walls built all over town to separate and learned about how religious fighting doesn’t always center around the religion.

When I returned I discovered more about St. Patrick.  I had taken much Irish history while in Ireland. I learned a bit of Gaelic although I can still only jig to one side.  I was even in Irish theater!  I sung U2 with the best of them but the impact of St. Patrick (or Padraig in Gaelic) didn’t sink in until I read the above poetry. When I realized that Patrick went back to the very people who kidnapped him to do the work of Christ, after I had seen the land that still calls to many, I was moved.  When Patrick says, “Christ beside me.” He is really visualizing Christ beside him and needs him to be there.  Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me.  What if we walked around knowing that some piece of holiness was in us, beneath us, above us? 

Today as you wear green, celebrate, and try not to get pinched remember to pause for a moment, and think about the holiness flowing through you.  I would also say take a moment and google St. Patrick today…you may get intrigued by his story beyond wearing green.



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