Saturday, March 17, 2012

The Feast Day of St. Patrick

Today is the feast day of St. Patrick, perhaps one of the most famous saints.  Many people will celebrate this day by drinking green beer, watching a parade, drinking more green beer, baking soda bread, drinking more green beer, eating corned beef and cabbage, drinking more green beer, and drinking more green beer.

I've already written more in-depth meditations on St. Patrick.  My Living Lutheran piece talks about Celtic monks and what the modern church can learn from them.

This morning, on my creativity blog, I wrote a piece about those monks and what they can teach those of us trying to live a creative life.

Both pieces return to the idea of Celtic monks who found themselves in distant outposts trying to till a stony, thorny soil.  What are we do to in those hostile circumstances?

The answer, of course, will be as varied as the wide scope of humanity.  But the Celtic monks show us that out of a harsh landscape, great centers of education, creativity, and spirituality can be born and can thrive.

Here's a prayer for your feast day, a prayer said to be written by St. Patrick himself, a prayer commonly known as St. Patrick's Breast-Plate:

"I bind to myself today: The strong virtue of the Invocation of the Trinity: I believe the Trinity in the Unity The Creator of the Universe.

I bind to myself today: The virtue of the Incarnation of Christ with His Baptism, The virtue of His crucifixion with His burial, The virtue of His Resurrection with His Ascension, The virtue of His coming on the Judgement Day.

I bind to myself today: The virtue of the love of seraphim, In the obedience of angels, In the hope of resurrection unto reward, In prayers of Patriarchs, In predictions of Prophets, In preaching of Apostles, In faith of Confessors, In purity of holy Virgins, In deeds of righteous men.

I bind to myself today: The power of Heaven, The light of the sun, The brightness of the moon, The splendour of fire, The flashing of lightning, The swiftness of wind, The depth of sea, The stability of earth, The compactness of rocks.

I bind to myself today: God's Power to guide me, God's Might to uphold me, God's Wisdom to teach me, God's Eye to watch over me, God's Ear to hear me, God's Word to give me speech, God's Hand to guide me, God's Way to lie before me, God's Shield to shelter me, God's Host to secure me, Against the snares of demons, Against the seductions of vices."

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