St. Patrick’s day is upon us once again. If you look at how it is celebrated, you would think that the principle gifts Patrick gave to us are Irish people, beer, green clothes and being drunk in public. While Irish people are indeed a gift (ahem), Patrick’s greatest gifts to the world are found in the testimony of His devotion to His God above all else in life.
Patrick desired that Christ Jesus would be his all in this life. He sought his Savior alone to be everything he wanted and needed. He is echoing the teaching of the apostle Paul, “But Christ is all and in all.” Christ Jesus can be our “all and in all” if we simply let go of all control over our living, our relationships, our things and surrender to the life of His Spirit within us.
To give us a glimpse of Patrick’s commitment to Christ Jesus as his everything in life, here the some of the words of a poem he wrote (not the entire poem). This well-known piece is often referred to as “St. Patrick’s Lorica” or “St. Patrick’s Breastplate.” In this we find the prayer of Patrick regarding his relationship with his Savior living in him.
St. Patrick’s Breastplate.
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.”