The Breastplate of St. Patrick
On March 17 we celebrate the life and ministry of the 5th century Irish saint, Patrick. As legend tells, Patrick banished all snakes from the isles. He used the shamrock to teach pagan Celts to understand the Trinity. He expressed boldness in Christ, also an intimacy with him. May the following prayer, based the Breastplate of St. Patrick lead us into a deeper life in Christ.
Holy Christ: Savior, Guide and Friend, we come to you in prayer.
Christ be with me. Wherever we are, whatever we do, you are with us. We remember your promise, “Lo, I am with you always.”
Christ within me. Some people spend their lives seeking you and making all sorts of pilgrimages to try and find you. The wonderful truth is: You are not far, but very near, as near as our own breath. If we quiet our souls, we will discover you.
Christ behind me. You walk in our past, into those dark rooms we thought we had closed. The good news is that you bring the light of acceptance to those shadowy places. When we invite you into our past, we experience your forgiveness. We offer you all that we are ashamed of, all that we wish to forget, all that still pains us, and all the hurt we have caused others.
Christ before me. Wherever life is leading us, you have already gone before. You give us courage and hope. Even though we may not know what lies ahead; we know you are with us. “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for thou art with me.”
Christ beside me. You are strength in our weakness, a guide when we are lost, a presence in our loneliness, and a companion in our pleasure. You are ready to carry our burdens, even carry us if need be.
Christ to win me. There are many ways that we deny or ignore you, but you are always seeking to win us over and yearning to love us.
Christ to comfort and restore me. You have come so that we have life in all its fullness. You are our comforter, our source of strength, our life. In you we can find refreshment, restoration, renewal.
Christ beneath me. No matter how far we have sunk, you descend lower to lift us up. That is the meaning of the Cross.
Christ above me. As you lift us up, you bring us toward God, and will not let us go. That is the meaning of the Resurrection.
Christ in Quiet. We need to slow the busy-ness that consumes us. Your Spirit quiets our minds, our souls, and our bodies. In this quietness, you give us peace. Christ in danger. In the storms that threaten us and against adversaries that frighten us, you are here, our Risen Lord.
Christ in all the hearts that love me. Thankfully, you come to us in love, and love comes to us in many forms. When we truly love, we open our lives to one another, and also to you. “Those who love abide in God and God abides in them.”
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger. Help us to see how you are already present among us, and help us to reveal that presence. O Christ, we find and share your love through one another: “I sought my God; my God I could not see. I sought my soul, my soul eluded me. I sought my brother, and found all three.”
Ann Jahnes, Lent 2018