Wednesday, March 14, 2012

St. Patrick

Did you know that St. Patrick was a visionary?  I didn't.  I have always associated him with the conversion of a bunch of idol worshipers by using the shamrock as a symbol for the Trinity.  I had no idea that God had told him in visions that he would convert all of Ireland in the process.  I also had no idea that he was the Patron Saint of snakebites.  Apparently, there is a legend that he drove all the snakes out of Ireland.  I guess I never associated Ireland with lots of snakes......which would stand to reason if St. Patrick drove them all out!  Hmmm.  Interesting.

I love learning new things about Saints.  Frankly, I think our Catholic Saints are a true untapped resource on our spiritual journey!  These men and women lived through tough times and yet they were willing to be martyred for the sake of Christ.  These should the role models for our children...not sports figures or movie stars.

It isn't often, in this day and age, that we have the opportunity (yes...opportunity) for least not in this country.  However, there are people in other parts of this world that are truly persecuted and killed for their christian faith.  It's happening everyday.  For instance, there's the story of Dorothy Stang, a sister of Notre Dame.  She died after reading the Beatitudes to her killers.  Can you imagine?

As for St. Patrick, there is no historical account of how he died.  Suffice it to say that his Sainthood comes from his virtuous and holy life and by the souls that he helped to save...although he was never formally canonized by the Pope.

So, when you wake up on Saturday morning...think about St. Patrick and what he managed to accomplish for God....converting an entire country!  Maybe he can inspire us along our walk to encourage even just one person in hopes of showing them (either by word or example) the way to heaven.

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.
I arise today
Through 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 today
Through the strength of the love of cherubim,
In the obedience of angels,
In the service of archangels,
In the hope of resurrection to meet with reward,
In the prayers of patriarchs,
In the predictions of prophets,
In the preaching of apostles,
In the faith of confessors,
In the innocence of holy virgins,
In the deeds of righteous men.
I arise today, through
The strength of heaven,
The light of the sun,
The radiance of the moon,
The splendor of fire,
The speed of lightning,
The swiftness of wind,
The depth of the sea,
The stability of the earth,
The firmness of rock.
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.
I summon today
All these powers between me and those evils,
Against every cruel and 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 today
Against poison, against burning,
Against drowning, against wounding,
So that there may come to me an 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 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.

When St. Paul referred to putting on the “Armor of God” in his letter to the Ephesians (6:11) to fight sin and evil inclinations, he could have been thinking of prayers just like this one! We may not wear combat gear in our daily lives, but St. Patrick's Breastplate can function as divine armor for protection against spiritual adversity.

(Prayer and last paragraph credit).

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