First, I want to post a part of the Saint Patrick’s Breastplate Prayer for you to read and reflect with. It may be different from what you know, but it is the one on my holy card.
Christ, be 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 where I lie,
Christ where I sit,
Christ where I arise,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of every man who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.
This is the part that stands out to me the most. Perhaps it is one that might stand out for many of you as well. Here is my little reflection on that section of the prayer.
“Christ, be with me.” Jesus, come to my assistance and never leave me alone in this life. I find so much of life we are wanting someone to be with us in everything that we do. Quite often we have no one who we can relate to or have with us on the journey. Ask for Jesus to come and be with you. It is so peaceful if you ‘just are’ with Jesus.
“Christ before me.” Jesus, when I am lost and unsure of where to go, guide me in Your pathways on the path I must follow. Do you get lost? I certainly do, and not just lost in the physical sense, but also in the spiritual sense and in your inner being. There are so many times in life that I lose track of where I am going and I go to Jesus hoping that He will come before me and guide me on my way.
“Christ behind me.” Jesus, every time that I run from you or turn my back to you, please follow me and stay with me in everything. Ever catch yourself running from Jesus, from all God wants of you? Every find yourself hopeless not wanting to see anything of faith? Pray that Jesus is behind you to catch you when you fall and chase you when you run away from Him. He will save you.
“Christ in me.” Jesus I ask you, help me to remember and to act as Your living temple here on earth. Every time we receive Jesus in the Eucharist, we are giving ourselves to Him to live within us. How beautiful is that?! Receive Jesus often. Not only in the Eucharist, but in your surroundings as well. He is everywhere, allow Him to enter into you. As you receive Jesus in you, shine with His love no matter what.
“Christ beneath me.” Jesus, please hold me up in the times that I want to sink to the ground; keep me up ion my feet. There are times when we question our faith and that is healthy. Then there are times when we begin to turn to doubt and become hopeless; that is not healthy. We must never forget, even when we are trying to, that we can turn to Jesus to grab us and hold us up from falling to the dark side of life. Jesus is in our footsteps on the ground keeping us from going downward. Ask often that He keep you afloat.
“Christ above me.” Watch over me Jesus, as I go about my day; keep me with the goal of heaven in mind but don’t allow me to think too highly of myself. I find two different meanings in this phrase. Jesus is wanting to guide us upward towards heaven, and we should always be facing that direction. At the same time, Jesus is up there keeping us level so that we are not so full of ourselves that we think we are so much better than others. While it is true in some aspects we may be better than another at something, we should not be high in the clouds over it. As you go about your day, pray Jesus has your gaze fixed upward on Him with a longing to join Him.
“Christ on my right.” In all the good things I do, take note of it Jesus; please let me know I am doing good and acknowledge it so I don’t despair. We all want recognition for something that we have done that is right and good. Where do you look for that recognition? When we get it from those around us, it is always uplifting. What we really need to do, though, is look that Jesus is happy with what we have done because He is the one guiding our goodness here on earth.
“Christ on my left.” Every time I am tempted to do something that is not good, Jesus be there to stop me and bring me back to peace in You. So, the right hand is typically associated with good, therefore the left hand associated with bad. We can deny it, but we all have that bad thing or two that we are tempted to lean for and go to. Just as Jesus is there to see the good, He is there to try and stop you from doing things you shouldn’t, or forgiving you when you come to Him repentant. Ask for forgiveness, pray that Jesus keep you from temptation; He knows what it is like.
“Christ where I lie.” In my sleep, I am vulnerable Jesus; keep me safe as I rest. In our laying down and sleep, we find ourselves very vulnerable to what ever may try to penetrate our being. Praying for Christ to be with you where you lie is so important. Having a crucifix in your room, by your bed, or wherever you are when you sleep is something worth while. He will protect you as you are resting to do His will.
“Christ where I sit.” As I sit and contemplate you through prayer and work, keep my focus on You and help me not to be anxious in my waiting. So many times when we sit, we can get tired and lose track of the point and focus of the prayer or work or game we are playing. Let us always pray that in all we do while still, it is still for the love of Jesus.
“Christ where I arise.” As I get up to do Your will, guide me oh Jesus in everything I do. As I move about everything that I do in every day, I constantly remind myself that it all must be with Jesus in mind. He is the one who gives me the strength to rise up and do His will.
“Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me.” When I share my heart, let it be filled with Your love Jesus. Our heart should be so conformed to His that when are heart meets the hearts of others, Jesus’ love enters into their heart and therefore their minds.
“Christ in the mouth of every man who speaks of me.” When other speak of me Jesus, let it be that You are in the words they say of me. Every time that you speak, others should speak of you as if you have Jesus in your life, which you do. They should be caught in His love in which even more would hear when they speak of me within the realm of His love..
“Christ in every eye that sees me.” As I move about my day, Jesus I pray that all my actions are a reflection of You and Your love. Many say actions speak louder than words. If this is true, all that others see of me should surpass the greatness of the love of my words so that they may be drawn to see what I am doing. Your love must radiate from the way that I act. Many people can read body language better than words. Pray that others see Jesus in you.
“Christ in every ear that hears me.” When I speak my words, let they be like Your words Jesus. As others are hearing me in everything I am for Jesus, they should be able to hear Him speaking from me. Are people hearing Jesus in what you say? Pray that Jesus speaks through you for others to hear.
These are my reflections, take them as they are and for whatever they may be worth to you. Have any reflections of your own? Please feel free to share them here with all of us! Peace.