Pauca Verba is Latin for A Few Words.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The day after the Boston Marathon

There are still lots of very good people on the earth. Yesterday in Boston there were the contestants running the race, their families and friends come to cheer them on, the many people who were there to organize the event, and of course, the hundreds who arrived within seconds and minutes to assist after the explosions.

But there are also people who do extraordinarily evil things. People who don't care that a little boy would be killed. And little girls and boys are killed all over the world everyday by people who target them or allow them to be what some call collateral damage. No one is exempt. Our country is part of a world where evil things happen.

It is said that Saint Patrick wrote a prayer and prayed it whenever he knew he'd have encounters with Druid priests who wanted him dead. The prayer is commonly called, Saint Patrick's Breastplate - a breastplate being the piece of armor that covers our vulnerable hearts. It is also called the Lorica - a lorica being a mystical garment that serves to protect against dangers.

There are numerous translations of the prayer and extensive debate about what's authentic and good or awful translating. Let's leave all of that to people who want to do scholarly things. More importantly here's an invitation to simply pray the prayer often, even daily. Pray it for yourself. Pray it for family and friends. Pray it for the children. Pray it for our nation and all the nations.

Here's an online translation of Saint Patrick's Breastplate.

I bind unto myself today
The strong Name of the Trinity,
By invocation of the same
The Three in One and One in Three.

I bind this today to me forever
By power of faith, Christ's incarnation;
His baptism in Jordan river
His death on Cross for my salvation;
His bursting from the spiced tomb,
His riding up the heavenly way,
His coming at the day of doom
I bind unto myself today.

I bind unto myself the power
Of the great love of cherubim;
The sweet 'Well done' in judgment hour,
The service of the seraphim,
Confessors' faith, Apostles' word,
The Patriarchs' prayers, the prophets' scrolls,
All good deeds done unto the Lord
And purity of virgin souls.

I bind unto myself today
The virtues of the star lit heaven,
The glorious sun's life giving ray,
The whiteness of the moon at even,
The flashing of the lightning free
The whirling wind's tempestuous shocks,
The stable earth, the deep salt sea
Around the old eternal rocks.

I bind unto myself today
The power of God to hold and lead,
His eye to watch, His might to stay,
His ear to hearken to my need.
The wisdom of my God to teach,
His hand to guide, His shield to ward;
The word of God to give me speech,
His heavenly host to be my guard.

Against the demon snares of sin,
The vice that gives temptation force,
The natural lust that wars within,
The hostile men that mar my course;
Or few or many, far or nigh,
In every place and in all hours,
Against their fierce hostility
I bind to me these holy powers.

Against all Satan's spells and wiles,
Against false words of heresy,
Against the knowledge that defiles,
Against the heart's idolatry,
Against the Wizard's evil craft,
Against the death wound and the burning,
The choking wave, the poisoned shaft,
Protect me, Christ till Thy returning.

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 hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.

I bind unto myself the Name,
The strong Name of the Trinity,
By invocation of the same,
The Three in One and One in Three.
By Whom all nature hath creation,
Eternal Father, Spirit, Word:
Praise to the Lord of my salvation,
Salvation is of Christ the Lord.

1 comment:

  1. We can hope that people will turn to God in these times and not away from Him. Thank you for this prayer. I have never heard of it.