Saint Patrick's Church Schola

Lenten 2006 Class -- Classical Spiritual Disciplines

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Tomorrow is the feast day of Saint Patrick. For many, if not all of us, this is a day for wearing green, celebrating our Irishness (real or assumed) and fun and frivolity. I am all for Irishness and fun and frivolity, :) but there is another reason for this day: to remember the life of one of the great missionaries of the Church.

As our church information packet says,

St. Patrick was the wealthy son of a clergyperson who lived in Roman Britain during the fifth century. As a young man he rejected the faith of his family and lived a wild life with his wealthy friends. When he was a teenager, raiders from Ireland kidnapped Patrick, took him to Ireland and sold him into slavery. For six years he faced hunger, privation and nakedness as he served his master as a shepherd.

During his servitude, Patrick returned to the faith of his family. When he was alone in the fields he turned to God and found solace through faith in Jesus Christ. After a number of years Patrick received a vision from God that called him to escape and return to his home. By God’s protection he returned home. In time he sensed a calling to be a priest in the church. In the midst of the years of preparation for this vocation, Patrick again heard God’s call. This time it was a call to return to the Irish and bring to them the message of God’s extravagant love revealed in Jesus Christ.

Patrick obeyed this heavenly voice and returned to Ireland as a Bishop to make disciples of Jesus Christ and organize communities of Christians throughout the land. Within Patrick’s lifetime, a multitude of faith communities were founded and within a few generations the Irish people were converted from paganism to Christianity. The Irish, or Celtic, Church then sent missionaries all over Scotland, England and Northern Europe.

Tomorrow is an opportunity to reflect on the life of Saint Patrick. He is a great example of holiness and missionary zeal. He reminds us that mission is not the purview of a few special folks, but is the lifeblood of all disciples of Jesus Christ.

A famous prayer, “The Lorica” or “The Breastplate of Saint Patrick” has been attributed to Patrick. Whether he actually wrote it or not, it captures the heart of this great man and the missionary movement he launched. Let me suggest that tomorrow (March 17) you integrate this prayer into your prayer time and ask God give you and all of Saint Patrick’s Church the missionary zeal of Patrick.

Blessings, Peter+

The Lorica or Breastplate of Saint Patrick

I bind unto myself today
the strong Name of the Trinity,
by invocation of the same,
the Three in One, and One in Three.

I bind this day to me 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 he heavenly way;
his coming at the day of doom:
I bind unto myself today.

I bind unto myself the power
of the great love of cherubim;
the sweet "Well done" in judgement hour;
the service of the seraphim;
confessors' faith, apostles' word,
the patriarchs' prayers, the prophets' scrolls;
all good deeds done unto the Lord,
and purity of virgin souls.

I bind unto myself today
the virtues of the starlit heaven,
the glorious sun's life-giving ray,
the whiteness of the moon at even,
the flashing of the lightning free,
the whirling wind's tempestuous shocks,
the stable earth, the deep salt sea,
around the old eternal rocks.

I bind unto myself today
the power of God to hold and lead,
his eye to watch, his might to stay,
his ear to hearken to my need;
the wisdom of my God to teach,
his hand to guide, his shield to ward;
the word of God to give me speech,
his heavenly host to be my guard.

Against the demon snares of sin,
the vice that gives temptation force,
the natural lusts that war within,
the hostile men that mar my course;
of few or many, far or nigh,
in every place, and in all hours
against their fierce hostility,
I bind to me these holy powers.

Against all Satan's spells and wiles,
against false words of heresy,
against the knowledge that defiles
against the heart's idolatry,
against the wizard's evil craft,
against the death-wound and the burning
the choking wave and poisoned shaft,
protect me, Christ, till thy returning.

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

I bind unto myself the Name,
the strong Name of the Trinity,
by invocation of the same,
the Three in One, and One in Three.
Of whom all nature hath creation,
eternal Father, Spirit, Word:
praise to the Lord of my salvation,
salvation is of Christ the Lord.


Tuesday, March 09, 2004

Jonathan Moore and Megan Rollins were married Saturday. March 6. It was a wonderful wedding. The service was very small -- family and a few friends. They plan to host a party on July 3 -- everyone will be invited. Should be a great time!!

Pray for Winston Walsh and the Walsh family. Winston will be baptized on Easter Sunday. When our tradition is practiced with integrity, parents, family members, sponsors and the whole church community are expected to covenant with God to make sure that Winston grows to be a faithful disciple of Jesus Christ. Let's pray to that end.

Pax, Peter