Monday, March 17, 2008

St. Patrick's Breastplate. . . an eloquent prayer

When i was a kid, all i ever thought of at St. Patrick's Day was wearing green and Shamrock Shakes at McDonalds.

When i was a young adult, all i ever thought of at St. Patrick's Day was the day i delivered our stillborn daughters.

Now, as a middle aged woman, I have discovered there is more to this day than what i associated it with or how i felt because of it

Patrick (Padraig) was captured as a teen, sold into slavery. He escaped after 6 years of slavery and made his way to France, where he became a monk and returned to Ireland in 432, as a missionary. He made many converts to Christ among the Irish tribes. This is only a bare bones summary of his life.

I love the prayer of "St. Patrick's Breastplate". . its lyrical and beautifully spiritually authentic. This is my prayer, i love it - I have excerpted it here . . its quite long.

I bind unto myself today
the strong Name of the Trinity
by invocation of the same,
the 3 in 1, the 1 in 3

i bind this day to me forever
by power of faith, Christ's incarnation
His baptism in Jordan river,
His death on cross for my salvation
His bursting from the spiced tomb
His riding up the Heavenly way
His coming at the day of doom
i bind unto myself today

i bind unto myself today the virtue of the starlit Heaven
the glorious sun's life-giving ray, the whiteness of the moon at even
the flashing of the lightning free
the whirling wind's tempestuous shocks
the stable earth, the deep salt sea around the old, eternal rocks

the power of God to hold and lead
His eye to watch, His might to stay
His ear to harken to my need
The wisdom of my God to teach
His hand to guide, His shield to ward
The word of God to be my speech
His Heavenly host to be my guard

against all Satan's spells and wiles
against all false words and heresy
against the knowledge that defiles
against the heart's idolatry
against the wizard's evil craft
against the death wound and the burning
the choking wave, the poisoned shaft
protect me, Christ till thy returning

Christ be with me, Christ within me
Christ behind me, Christ before me
Christ beside me, Christ to win me
Christ to comfort and restore me
Christ beneath me, Christ above me
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger
Christ in hearts of all that love me
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger

I bind unto myself the Name, the strong Name of the Trinity
by invocation of the same, the 3 in 1, the 1 in 3
by whom all nature hath creation
Eternal Father, Spirit, Word
Praise to the Lord of my salvation
Salvation is of Christ, the Lord

1 comment:

electroluminescence said...

brilliant. beautiful. glorious.