This morning on St Paddy’s day, my family and I gathered for communion and then reflected on a portion of his famously penned prayer…
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 shield to protect me,
God’s host to save me
From snares of devils,
From temptation of vices,
From everyone who shall wish me ill, afar and near.
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.
Then, we did a little reflection together…
What follows is a reflection based on the second half of St Patrick’s Breastplate (Prayer). Some of us may not wear combat gear in our daily lives but this prayer/reflection on St. Patrick’s Breastplate may function as divine armour to protect against the difficulties we may face in life.
Silently, become aware of what is going on around you. Close your eyes and sit in a comfortable upright position in their chair. Become aware of your breathing. Once you are in a prayerful state, keep your eyes closed and listen openly to the reflection.
Christ with me – Invite Christ quietly into your heart.
Christ before me – Think about events or things coming up over the next few days/weeks that you may be worried about. Ask Christ to help you face these challenges that lie ahead.
Christ behind me – Consider moments in your past that you may have found difficult. Spend a few minutes thinking about how Christ was present in these moments.
Christ in me – Spend now some quiet time deepening your relationship with Christ. Talk with Him and listen to God who is always with you.
Christ beneath me – All of us need help at points in our lives. It is at the lowest points that Christ is there carrying us through. Ask God now if there is anything you need help with.
Christ above me – Just as an umbrella protects us from the rain, Christ protects all of us. Think about somebody close to you that needs God’s protective care at this moment. Ask God to help them.
Christ on my right hand – Christ uses your hands to help and comfort others in today’s world. How can you use your hands to further God’s kingdom here on earth?
Christ on my left hand – God is always by your side even though you might not realise it. Thank God for never giving up on you even during those moments when you have turned away from him.
Christ when I lie down – Even when we sleep God is there watching over us and protecting us. Thank God quietly for his loving protective presence in your life.
Christ when I arise – When you wake up in the morning do you notice the beauty of the world around you? Thank God for his beautiful gift of creation.
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me – Recall a kind act that someone has done. How have they been the light of Christ to you?
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me – If someone who knows you really well were to give an honest answer to the question – What is the best thing about your friend? What do you think their answer would be? Would others say the same about you? Ask Jesus what He says about you.
Christ in every eye that sees me – Imagine that somebody took a photograph of you this morning interacting with your family/friends without you realising it. Do you think you would be happy with what the image captured? Did you speak kind or harsh words to a loved one? Did you help your family member/friend or were you angry with them? Talk with the Lord about this. Ask Jesus what He sees when He looks at you.
Christ in every ear that hears me – Think back over the conversations you have had with others this week. Have you been kind and thoughtful in what you have said or have your words been hurtful or damaging to others? Talk with the Lord about this. Ask Jesus how He hears your heart.
St. Patrick came to Ireland to help people discover your loving presence. May I take comfort from the fact that whatever challenges I may face in life you will always be there at my side to help and guide me through. Help me to be your witness in the world, showing others your loving presence through my words and actions.
Source, adapted from: https://decandsusan.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/st-patricks-breastplate.pdf