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Christ in Your Life:
St. Patrick's Breastplate

Christ ever with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me
Christ within me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me
Christ to my right side, Christ to my left side
Christ in his breadth, Christ in his length, Christ in depth
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me
Christ in the mouth of every man who speaks to me
Christ in every eye that sees me
Christ in every ear that hears me.

attributed to St. Patrick

Those who have journeyed on the path of Christ before us are pioneers. They have blazed the way for us to follow. Each pioneer has left his or her own individual markers to assist us.

Patrick was such a pioneer. Born in Britain, captured as a youth, enslaved for years in Ireland as a shepherd, Patrick had little formal education, but a depth of spiritual experience. He escaped his captivity to return to Britain. Amazingly, he volunteered to return to pagan Ireland to bring the experience of Christ to his former captors.

Patrick combined a intense sense of the ever present Christ with a ferocious willingness to challenge the pagan power structure. These personal aspects came together in his profound prayer life seeking Christ's protection and guidance.

The above section is from a hymn called Patrick's Lorica or spiritual breastplate. It is also known as "Deer's Cry". In the hymn, Patrick extols God's strength, wisdom and protection against evil and cruel powers. Although probably written long after Patrick himself, the hymn so perfectly captures his personality and it has been attributed to him. He clearly was its inspiration.

I have used the above section as a prayer which I repeat through out the day. I have found that its use has deepened my own sense of Christ's presence and imparted some of Patrick's strength in confronting the world's evil. I commend it to your use. It is easy to memorize. Try using it during the day.

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Document last modified on Saturday, 18-Aug-2012 20:38:44 EDT