St Patrick did you a favour

by Christine Sine

Celtic Cross Iona

I just received an email from a shopping outlet headed “St Patrick did you a favour”. It then went on to describe how I could enjoy St Patrick’s day luck by shopping their sale. How sad when this is what St Patrick has come to mean for many people in our culture. For others it is nothing more than another opportunity to overindulge & drink themselves silly. I suppose this upsets me because I think the real St Patrick is such an example for us to live up to. Can you imagine – he was a slave in Ireland, managed to escape and then heard God call him back to the country as a missionary and in three decades the whole country was basically Christian and so began an incredible movement of God’s spirit that evangelized not just Ireland but Britain, Europe and some think parts of Russia as well. But it wasn’t always easy. Patrick was attacked, beaten and again enslaved. Yet through it all he gained an incredible sense of the presence of God. Meditate on that as you read this liturgy which has Patrick’s Breasplate woven through it. (The prayer is in bold)

We bind unto ourselves today the strong name of the trinity,
By invocation of the same, the Three in One and One in three.
We bind this day to us forever, by power of faith, Christ’s Incarnation;
His baptism in the Jordan River; his death on cross for my salvation;
His bursting from the spiced tomb; His riding up the heavenly way;
his coming at the day of doom; We bind unto ourselves today.

We put on this day the armour of light
We cast off the works of darkness
We clothe ourselves with Christ

Christ behind us, Christ before us,
Christ beside us, Christ to win us,
Christ to comfort and restore me,
Christ beneath us, Christ above us,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love us,
Christ in mouth of friend & stranger

We wrap ourselves around with the belt of truth
We strap on the breastplate of righteousness
We take up the shield of faith
We shod our feet with the gospel of peace
We place the helmet of salvation on our heads
We clothe ourselves with Christ

We bind unto ourselves today, the power of God to hold and lead,
God’s eye to watch, God’s might to stay, God’s ear to harken to our need,
The wisdom of our God to teach, God’s hand to guide, and shield to ward,
The Word of God to give us speech, God’s heavenly host to be our guard.

Eternal God sheltering us
Christ before us and behind us
Holy Spirit deep within us
We clothe ourselves with your presence

We bind unto ourselves today the strong name of the Trinity,
By invocation of the same, the Three in One, the One in Three.
Of whom all nature hath creation, Eternal God, Spirit, Word;
Praise to the God of our salvation, Salvation is of Christ the Lord
.

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