Thursday, March 17, 2011

Lorica Of St. Patrick

I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through a belief in the Threeness,
Through confession of the Oneness
Of the Creator of creation.

I arise today
Through the strength of Christ's birth and His baptism,
Through the strength of His crucifixion and His burial,
Through the strength of His resurrection and His ascension,
Through the strength of His descent for the judgment of doom.

I arise today
Through the strength of the love of cherubim,
In obedience of angels,
In service of archangels,
In the hope of resurrection to meet with reward,
In the prayers of patriarchs,
In preachings of the apostles,
In faiths of confessors,
In innocence of virgins,
In deeds of righteous men.

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
From snares of the devil,
From temptations of vices,
From every one who desires me ill,
Afar and anear,
Alone or in a mulitude.
I summon today all these powers between me and evil,
Against every cruel merciless power that opposes my body and soul,
Against incantations of false prophets,
Against black laws of pagandom,
Against false laws of heretics,
Against craft of idolatry,
Against spells of women and smiths and wizards,
Against every knowledge that corrupts man's body and soul.
Christ shield me today
Against poison, against burning,
Against drowning, against wounding,
So that reward may come to me in abundance.

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.

I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through a belief in the Threeness,
Through a confession of the Oneness
Of the Creator of creation

St. Patrick (ca. 377)

Monday, March 14, 2011

The Sea

Atlantis rediscovered
A legend; perhaps not
Tsunamis wreaking havoc
Eternal we are not

The sea it will take over
Envelop all we see
Waves wash all and carry all
Nevermore to be

The longing in me pulses
As though in labour pains
Creation seeks its freedom
Heaven to regain

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Some Thoughts For Ash Wednesday

Today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent, which is a movable forty day fast which correlates to the preeminent season of Easter, the fifty day feast.

So, why the ashes and why the fasting? The ashes are a sign of mourning and repentance. We humans are destined to death. Everything in our short life here on earth is leading to the inevitable time when our bodies give out. No matter how well we eat, how much we exercise or meditate, we are dying. Our 21st century western society would have us deny this fact. Simply observing various health campaigns, the emphasis on youth culture, the prevalence of plastic surgery and anti aging creams and lotions,  and the relegation of the elderly into institutions, it becomes clear that ours is a society in deep denial and avoidance of this very fact.

Ash Wednesday reminds us of our mortality, or our finiteness and of what has lead us to this inevitable destination. It places in the forefront, that it is sin which leads to death and is a call to repentance and in fact to new life. As the ashes are placed on our foreheads, we will be reminded that from dust we have come and to dust we will return. It is to shake us out of our daydream into reality. We wear the ashes as a reminder of our complicity with death and a sign of our repentance for that complicity. Job 42:3-6, Jeremiah 6:26, Daniel 9:3

The fasting during Lent reminds us of where our true desire lies and reorients our thoughts to where our true hunger is fulfilled, in God. To reorient is to repent, to accept God's forgiveness and to accept the Christ life that now lives within us.

C.S. Lewis wrote in Mere Christianity:
A live body is not one that never gets hurt, but one that can to some extent repair itself. In the same way a Christian is not a man who never goes wrong, but a man who is enabled to repent and pick himself up and begin over again after each stumble - because the Christ-life is inside him, repairing him all the time, enabling him to repeat (in some degree) the kind of voluntary death which Christ Himself carried out.
We all are dying. The voluntary death to self leads to life. The grasping of life leads to death. Ash Wednesday and Lent makes us more aware of this choice and aids in orienting our lives to the only one who can give life.

For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. Matthew 16:25

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Happy 10th Birthday, Olivia!

Today, my youngest enters into double digits. What a lovely and thoughtful person she is becoming. She loves animals, particularly horses and has now completed her first horse tournament, placing second in Walk and Trot Equitation in her age group. She dreams of running a farm and is becoming quite the pianist. Kindness, loyalty and diligence are qualities which immediately come to mind when describing her.

Happy birthday, dear, sweet daughter!