2016 has been a dark year for many people, myself included. As it draws to a close, I am happy to see it go but I am also preparing myself for 2017 and what is to come. I find that the Lorica of St. Patrick is a helpful one in my preparation.
To be completely fair, this is a long prayer and I am not going to go through the entirety of it here. In addition, it should be noted that St. Patrick himself probably did not write the prayer, but it captures the spirit of Patrick and I think that he himself would of prayed something quite similar to this.
Patrick was known for prayer, he was a slave in Ireland in the 4th century and he came back to preach to the people who had once enslaved him. He would begin to pray day and night to God for the people of Ireland whom he loved deeply. In the Lorica, there is one part of this prayer that stands out to me above the rest and it lies toward the end:
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 every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of every man who speaks of me,
Christ in the eye that sees me,
Christ in the ear that hears me.
As our year draws to a close, I want us to ask ourselves whether or not Christ was a part of our year. How so? Why not? What now? I love this part of the prayer because it screams out how central the person of Christ was to St. Patrick and how central he should be to our own lives. 2016 was rough friends, but 2017 could be better…or worse. We won’t know until it happens. For now though, let us prepare our hearts and our minds by letting Christ shape who we are.
Here are links to the prayer of St. Patrick, some books, as well as a Youtube video!
Confession of Patrick
Veggietales Edition of St. Patrick
Book about St. Patrick