Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Christ be with me

Lent is upon us and St Patrick’s Day follows close behind. So what better prayer to use in March as we start to walk the road to Calvary with Christ, while days stretch and life burgeons all around us, than this verse from 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 and restore me.

Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in heart of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.

St Patrick's Breastplate is traditionally said to have been written in Old Irish by the saint in the 5th Century, though modern scholars suggest it may be a little later. Isaiah and St Paul both talk of the 'breastplate of righteousness' as being part of the armour of God. This verse is like a little comforting talisman, which we can pray whenever we are worried or frightened to remind ourself of Jesus's words, 'Remember, I will be with you till the end of the age'.

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