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Trade a Pint of Green Beer for a Breastplate

Matthew Harrison

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Well top of the mornin’ to you – it’s St. Patrick’s Day… a day in which everybody claims Irish ancestry!
The upside is the fact that many people – be they Polish or Indian – celebrate this great saint. The downside is that they often celebrate it by binge drinking.
There are, of course, a number of better ways to remember St. Patrick. One way is to recite the following prayer, St. Patrick's Breastplate:
Christ be with me, Christ within me.
Christ behind me, Christ before me.
Christ beside me, Christ to win me.
Christ to comfort me 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 or stranger.
The prayer is a shortened version of the hymn by the same name (and also known as The Dear’s Cry) and is a wonderful reminder of the daily presence of our Lord in our lives.
I also love the title of this prayer -- "breastplate." It conjures up the image of a knight donning a piece of armour before he rides into battle! In this case, the armour is Christ -- he provides protection in the many daily battles we face against temptations or evil. I'm sure this Apostle of the Emerald Isle relied a great deal on Christ as his breastplate having had the mission of converting a pagan nation to Christianity entrusted to him.
So this St. Patrick's Day let us allow ourselves to be clothed in the armour of Christ; that He may be our breastplate in all the missions that are entrusted to us.
St. Patrick, pray for us!

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