This week I am sharing with you the story of St. Patrick, a young Christian who strayed but God didn’t give up on him. Through his hardships, Patrick realized he needed God. He developed a prayer life that talked to God throughout the day and in the midst of troubles. He evangelized those who didn’t know God. And through it all, he grew closer to God and others.
Legend claims that Patrick used the three-leafed shamrock as a tool to teach the pagans about the Trinity. The unique Celtic Cross became his standard for representing Christ. And there are differing versions of his purported breastplate (or “Shield”) which defines the Trinity and his allegiance to him.
Patrick developed a deeper love for God during his life, and loved expressing it to others. The following confession is attributed to St. Patrick:
I bind unto myself today the strong name of the Trinity,
by invocation of the same, the Three in One, the One in Three.
I bind this day to me forever by power of faith Christ’s incarnation,
his baptism in the Jordan River, his death on the 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 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.
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,
of whom all nature hath creation, eternal Father, Spirit, Word;
praise to the God of my salvation, salvation is of Christ the Lord!
PRAYER: Dear God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, as the troubles in this world deepen, draw me deeper into you. Hold me close, and as you do, let my words and actions draw others closer to you. To us. Amen.
FURTHER MEDITATION: Meditate today on the confession of St. Patrick above. Slow down. Allow the Holy Spirit to guide you and enlighten you, pausing and praying at words that draw your attention. Praise Father, Son and Holy Spirit!