Dignity & beauty….
St. Patrick's BreastplateI arise todayThrough a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,Through belief in the threeness,Through confession of the onenessOf the Creator of creation.I arise todayThrough 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 todayThrough 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 todayThrough 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 meFrom 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 todayAgainst 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 todayThrough a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,Through belief in the threeness,Through confession of the oneness,Of the Creator of Creation.
I was arguing with a Spanish friend over who were the more devout Catholics, the Irish or the Spanish. He won the argument when he asked, "Have you ever heard of an "Our Lady of Dublin?"
Back in the day, an Irish Catholic, a Baptist, and a Jew are all working in a city ditch in Brooklyn right across the street from a brothel. Pretty soon, a Baptist preacher walks up to the brothel and looks around, then quickly dashes in. The Irishman says, "Ah, ya' see, 'tis a sad, and shameful day in the Protestant world." They continue working, then a rabbi shows up in front of the house of ill repute, looks around, then dashes in. The Irishman looks at the Jew and says, "Ah,shame. What a disgraceful day it must be in the Jewish world." They go back to work. Soon, a Priest walks up to the same building, looks around, then quickly heads inside. The Irishman stands up, removes his hat, and crosses himself, saying, "Ah, my brothers, stand for a moment of silence for someone has surely died."
Sardonic humor aside... anecdotally, Saint Patrick (my Patron) evangelized the ruling lords of Ireland; however, he was a wanted man for such and carried a price on his head for scores of years. He was enabled to navigate the distances between their fiefs amongst the poor and enslaved through the woods much as a Navy SEAL would today with stealth and grace. The bounty hunters would track him with hounds and several times they cornered Saint Patrick; yet, he would evade them miraculously by fading into the surrounding bush like a stag. Ergo, he earned the moniker “The Deer” because no archer could make their mark upon him nonetheless murder him! The point to this story is the prayer “Gregg” sends us here is also known as the “The Deer’s Cry.” Tradition has it that Saint Patrick was known to say this prayer several hundred times a day so that his murmuring of this exhortation was so common it became an article clothing for him, and because of the prayer’s rigor a clothing that served as armor. Thus “St. Patrick’s Breastplate.” It became a family prayer for me and my children and we still recite it oftentimes.
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