We are at the cross-quarter day here at this old house, that day that marks the half-way point between the winter equinox and the spring equinox. It is lightly snowing, a gift of water in “savings account” form as snow melt is a major source of summer water. Living in a semi-arid climate, I have learned not to complain about wet weather as it is what keeps my faucets flowing throughout the year.

I would like to finish our brief overview of the Prayer of St. Patrick or “St. Patrick’s Breastplate” that we began two blogs ago. We are going to look at the most well-known section today:

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.

Some people use only this section of the prayer. In the hymnal version of the entire prayer, this section is set differently than the rest of the prayer. https://hymnary.org/text/i_bind_unto_myself_today#authority_media_flexscores shows a hymnal arrangement of the entire prayer. This section is set to a lovely melody easily learned and memorized if so desired.

When I use this section in my prayers, I continue on at the end to personalize it to my day: “Christ in every e-mail I send, Christ in every phone call I make, Christ in [naming specific tasks and activities planned for the day].”

The beauty of this entire prayer is that while St. Patrick was dealing with “witches, wizards, attempts to poison him” and other evils that may not seem relevant to us today, we all face a host of evils that comes to us through marketing lies, unrealistic TV shows, fake news, attempts through popular media to make it “all about me,” and other things that can draw our hearts and minds from God. I find it grounding to join St. Patrick across the centuries to pray against evil of any kind, making this ancient prayer appropriate to anything and anyone that tries to harm me in some way throughout my day: false guilt, shame, arrogance, entitlement, pride, anger, and any other host of “demons” that assail me day or night.

Here is another version of the prayer for you to meditate on:Image result for free photo music to st. patrick's breastplate

My hope is through this short series that you might gain a deeper familiarity with this great prayer and that you might find it useful in your daily meditation time. I encourage you to let it connect you with the Christian community throughout time and history as well as to personalize it to your daily needs.