It is mercy I desire, and not sacrifice. — Hosea 6:6
Mass readings: Hosea 6:1-6 / Luke 18:9-14
St. Patrick’s Prayer
The tradition of St. Patrick’s breastplate (Lorica) prayer is almost as lovely as the prayer itself. We’re told that St. Patrick and his fellow missionaries were traveling to court, when they were nearly attacked by ambushers. Sensing danger, St. Patrick’s group chanted the Lorica and were turned into deer as they walked past the would-be attackers.
Sometimes, the prayer is called “The Cry of the Deer.” With many versions and many verses, the prayer exults in Christ’s abiding presence. We awake and sleep in Christ. We breathe and walk in Christ. Perhaps the most famous lines of the prayer will suffice here: “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.” Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
Prayer: How grateful we are, O Lord, for Your abiding presence.