"The sweetest thing in all my life has been the longing —
to reach the Mountain, to find the place where all the beauty came from —
my country, the place where I ought to have been born. Do you think it all meant nothing,
all the longing? The longing for home? For indeed it now feels not like going, but like going back."


~C.S. Lewis




Friday, September 7, 2012

I arise today through the strength of heaven

When I first read through this poem-hymn, I knew I liked it. But then, I realized I was going too fast. I needed to read every word. Slowly. Every word.

And I reached the end and realized the sweeping freedom and unflinching confidence I so desire is available to me provided I do one thing: Embody the truth of Christ.

I don't understand those words. I know there was a life I was meant to live, a person I was meant to be, and I look desperately for it in every place -- in adventure, travel, relationships, self-improvement. I look until I come to realize that the glory I keep brushing around each turn like fog breathing along the ground -- of the life well lived, the victor's rising life, the life where I finally can live not I'm drowning half-awake -- this is God.

If I were to unreservedly believe every truth, every declaration in this hymn, if I could see the angels fighting and watch Jesus' blood drip down the cross and hear the prayers of ten million saints and watch a thousand suns be born and hear demons scream at their captives and understand the lies of men and feel what it means to have heaven waiting and understand what it is to be shepherded by the Creator, I would know what it means to live alive.

St. Patrick’s Breastplate 

I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through the 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 with 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 the service of archangels,
In hope of resurrection to meet with reward,
In prayers of patriarchs,
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,
Splendour 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 me
From snares of devils,
From temptations of vices,
From everyone who shall wish me ill,
Afar and anear,
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 every eye that sees me,
Christ in every 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.