Thursday, March 17, 2005

Top O' the Morning to You

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Saints' feast days are indeed times to celebrate (though do recall for your general disposition that we are still in the season of Lent). In fact, my family has a tradition that if it's your saint's feast day (for your first, middle and Confirmation name) you get to pick your favorite dinner that night or what restaurant you want to eat out to celebrate. Of course, there are many Marian feasts and my brothers and sister insist I pick only one, but I gently remind them that the Mother of God is the Queen of All Saints and thus it is fitting we celebrate her more by taking me out to dinner.

But I digress. Below is a portion of, in my opinion, one of the most beautiful prayers ever written. It's called the Breastplate of St. Patrick (also known as the Lorica or Deer's Cry). Tradition holds that St. Patrick composed it about the year 433. He was travelling to meet the king when he learned druids were in hiding along the path waiting to ambush and kill him and his men. Patrick and his followers prayed this prayer, and when they passed the druids in hiding, the druids did not see them, but instead saw a doe followed by fawns. Here's part of the prayer:

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 in breadth, Christ in length, Christ in height, 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.

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. Salvation is of the Lord. Salvation is of the Lord. Salvation is of Christ. May Thy Salvation, O Lord, be ever with us. Amen.

Here's a link to the whole prayer. I suggest it as part of your morning prayer routine.

P.S. - Happy feast day to my wonderful big brother, Patrick.