Day 363 | Wednesday, March 17th
HAPPY ST. PATRICK’S DAY
For the Woodlands residents, this is a significant day in our journey over the past year. As we gather at noon to pray together our Lord’s Prayer, this will be the 52 week we have gathered since being shut down by COVID-19. We have been doing this for one full year. I look forward to being together today at noon with all of you.
I have been thinking back to one year ago. We attended worship on March 15th, sang in the choir and the next day we heard the news that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the state would be on shut down. This was something I had never experienced. What were we to do? We were told to stay in, wear masks, wash our hands, use sanitizing wipes, stay away from other people – at least 6 feet away. Everything we had considered normal was changed into something strange and abnormal.
I guess I went into shepherd mode thinking about how this change was going to affect our Woodlands community. Prayer was the first thought. Then came the idea of gathering for the Lord’s prayer one day a week. How would we do that and remain safe. The invitation went out to all who were living here at the time to come out to the end of each driveway or on the front porch on Wednesday, March 18, 2020, at noon. I would go out to the street and blow a whistle right at noon and we would join in prayer together.
We did this for several weeks until we felt safe to meet in the street and maintain a safe distance as we prayed together. This gave us an opportunity to make sure everyone was doing OK and staying healthy and safe. With God’s blessing, we have been gathering for 52 weeks at noon on Wednesday without bad weather. In fact, most every week, the sun has come out if only for the moment.
For those of you who read this but who are not a resident of the Woodlands community, perhaps you have joined us at noon from your homes. This is an invitation to do just that as we continue to gather weekly for prayer.
A couple days after the first gathering for prayer, I began writing these daily inspirations. I will write more about that on Friday.
Now, I want to share with you the prayer of Saint Patrick, a St. Patrick’s Prayer and St. Patrick’s Breastplate.
“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
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.
St. Patrick’s Prayer
May the Strength of God pilot us. May the Power of God preserve us.
May the Wisdom of God instruct us. May the Hand of God protect us.
May the Way of God direct us. May the Shield of God defend us.
May the Host of God guard us Against the snares of the evil ones, Against temptations of the world.
May Christ be with us! May Christ be before us! May Christ be in us, Christ be over all!
May Thy Salvation, Lord, Always be ours, This day, O Lord, and evermore. Amen.
St Patrick's Breastplate
Christ be with me, Christ within me
Christ behind me, Christ before me
Christ beside me, Christ to win me
Christ to comfort me 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 or stranger.