Thursday, October 18, 2012

Saint Patrick's "Breastplate" Prayer

One of the greatest prayers of Christendom is the Prayer of St. Patrick. His story is one of great faith and perseverance. The Catholics and Protestants of the emerald island inheritted the great character and work of St. Patrick, Patron Saint of Ireland.

"I arise today through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through the belief in the threeness,
Through the confession of the oneness
Of the Creator of Creation."

This is the greatest of protection prayers. In this prayer St. Patricks wards off all evil and wrongness. Apparently through his life there were many attempts to kill him and as any man of integrity and honour and faith he made his fair share of enemies. Only the irrelevant and weak are without controversy. The conquered and coopted are already ensnared. St. Patrick stood his ground and lifted his head above the utter debauchery and bickering of his day.

"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 Judgement Day.

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 innoscence of holy virgins,
In deeds of righteous men."

St. Patrick knew that we were part of an unseen spiritual war. He called upon the legions of angels and helpers that would join in our struggles if only called by prayer.. In the present seen world it was the deeds of righteous men that had made this world safe with order and law of more than  bullies, psychopaths, sociopaths and their gangs. In the day of St. Patrick there was chaos in Ireland with every valley ruled by bandits and thievery, rape and pillage were the neighbourly way. People literally dared not go out on the streets for fear of the gang wars and the utter devilish debauchery of the day.  The corruption in the courts of the local Kings and Queens was everywhere.

"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 love that Celtic Christianity is rooted in the world of Nature. The laws of nature were indeed seen as akin to the spiritual laws forming the basis between the alliance of science and spirituality today. There would be no Galileo being put to the stake in Christian Ireland because there has always been such a reverence for the truth found in the world around us. The Celtic Catholic and Christian celebrates the right nature and finds inspiration there as well as in scripture and church hall. It was indeed the Irish monks that saved civilization from the devolution of tribal thinking and internecine warfare. It's ironic in fact that some Irish would "own" St. Patrick as their own "tribal" motif reduced to a drunken footballer rally when his message was eternal and universal. Celts are known for their fayness, that capacity for seeing beyond the mere physical. This is indeed lost with the drunkeness that is such a curse in the Irish and the Irish diaspora.

"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 words 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 the snares of demons,
From the 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 y left,
Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down, Christ when I arise,
Christ in the heart of everyman 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 the belief in the threeness,
Through the confession of the oneness,
Of the Creator of Creation."

When I read St. Patrick's Breast Plate and when I hear songs like "Give me that Old Time Religion" and think of the core beliefs of Christianity and reflect on the true believers and those who practice their faith fearlessly, I understand why cannibals feared Christians.

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