This ancient Irish prayer was written either by Patrick or by one of his early Irish disciples. Notice how Trinitarian this prayer is. Notice how Christ-centered it is. Notice also how holistic it is – there is no sense in which the spiritual realm and the physical creation are against one another. Both belong to God and are on the side of the Christian. Notice the clues that show how real the persecution and danger still were when this prayer was written. The author reminds himself that he is not alone, but that he stands in a long and honorable line of spiritual beings and faithful believers. He constantly reminds himself that the true reward that matters is that which comes on the last day. As he preaches God’s word, he calls on all the power of God to protect him from enemies within and enemies without, among whom were the still-dangerous Celtic druids. The author doesn’t pretend their power isn’t real, but contends that the power of God is greater. Ultimately, the author trusts in the presence of Christ in the midst of the many dangers he faces. This is the kind of prayer we need to be writing in today’s contexts of persecution.
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 with his baptism; Through the strength of his crucifixion with 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; The obedience of angels; In the service of archangels; In hope of resurrection to meet with reward; In prayers of patriarch; In predictions of prophets; In preaching of apostles; In faith of confessors; In innocence of holy virgins; In deeds of righteous men.
I arise today; Through the strength of heaven: Light of sun; Radiance of moon; Splendor of fire; Speed of lightning; Swiftness of wind; Depth of Sea; Stability of earth; Firmness of 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 host to save us; From snares of devils; From temptation of vices; From everyone who shall wish me ill; Afar and near; Alone and in multitude.
I summon today all these powers between me and those evils; Against every cruel merciless power that may oppose 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 witches and smiths and wizards; Against every knowledge that corrupts man’s body and soul.
Christ to shield me today; Against poison, against burning; Against drowning, against wounding; So that there may come to me abundance of reward. 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 when I arise; Christ in the heart of every man 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 a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity; Through belief in the threeness; Through confession of the oneness; Of the Creator of Creation.Patrick or one of his spiritual descendants; Cahill, How the Irish Saved Civilization, pp. 116-119
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