A reflection on St. Patrick’s prayer

An Irish author reflects upon the prayer of Saint Patrick this St. Patrick’s Day, March 17. These very powerful, uplifting words represent complete trust and faith in God our Creator.

As we reflect upon the prayer of Saint Patrick this St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, we see that these very powerful, yet intrinsically beautiful uplifting words, represent a total transformation of the self with complete trust and faith in the Divine, God our Creator.

This prayer is known widely as “Morning Prayer,” “St. Patrick’s Breastplate,” or “The Lorica.” It’s not known whether St. Patrick is actually the author or whether someone else wrote it years later and it was attributed to St. Patrick. But it is widely associated with him and his ministry.

I arise today
Through the strength of heaven;
Light of the sun,
Splendor of fire,
Speed of lightning,
Swiftness of the wind,
Depth of the sea,
Stability of the earth,
Firmness of the rock.

I arise today
Through God’s strength to pilot me;
God’s might to uphold me,
God’s wisdom to guide me,
God’s eye to look before me,
God’s ear to hear me,
God’s word to speak for me,
God’s hand to guard me,
God’s way to lie before me,
God’s shield to protect me,
God’s hosts to save me
Afar and anear,
Alone or in a multitude.

Christ shield me today
Against wounding
Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,
Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ on my right, Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down,
Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in the eye that sees me,
Christ in the ear that hears me.

I arise today
Through the mighty strength
Of the Lord of creation.

From the onset, St. Patrick tells us that he arises “through the strength of heaven.”

“God’s might to uphold me, God’s wisdom to guide me … God’s word to speak for me … God’s shield to protect me … afar and anear, alone or in a multitude.”

The essence of this prayer is a bit like World Vision, as we see this come to light through the embodiment of World Vision’s global humanitarian aid, focus on children, and relief work. As they guide and protect various communities and children, they also provide overseas education and community support.

Time after time, World Vision responds without a moment’s hesitation when natural disasters happen — earthquakes, flooding, hurricanes, and other disasters. As they quickly gather their global network of disaster experts who work tirelessly together and access the situation, they help heal and alleviate human suffering while still focusing on the welfare and protection of children.

World Vision also provides for maternal and child health with access to clean water and sanitation and health services for children, babies, and mothers.

Like the history of St. Patrick, who was originally kept as a slave and eventually rose to freedom, inspiring many, World Vision also seeks to help alleviate the suffering of the forgotten, the impoverished, and put an end to child suffering, abuse, and slavery by providing education, training and awareness programs to children, their families, and the community.

As a global overseas aid agency, the ethos of World Vision is to work together in the light of Christ to bring about long lasting change, providing a better future for millions of children worldwide and their families.

And like St. Patrick, World Vision draws its strength to continue on through the Divine Light of Creation.

Caroline is an Irish author, a left-hander, and a twin (twin sister). She lives in the West of Ireland in the beautiful Burren region with her husband Eoghan and her two cats Parker and Harvey.

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