Tuesday, March 17, 2015

St. Patrick, Shield Me " Against the Heart's Idolatry"

St. Patrick's Breastplate is the name given to a litany composed by the saint. The significant human verses beg Christ to shield us.

Against the demon snares of sin,
The vice that gives temptation force,
The natural lusts that war within,
The hostile men that mar my course;
Or few or many, far or nigh,
In every place and in all hours,
Against their fierce hostility,
I bind to me these holy powers.
Against all Satan's spells and wiles,
Against false words of heresy,
Against the knowledge that defiles,
Against the heart's idolatry,
Against the wizard's evil craft,
Against the death wound and the burning,
The choking wave and the poisoned shaft,
Protect me, Christ, till Thy returning.
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.

If you lack demons, well you just aren't Irish.  You just aren't a flawed, or, like me, deeply flawed human being.

My favorite verse begs protection against " the heart's idolatry."

That is a good one.  The heart can be a human warehouse of flaws, as well as the store of best in men and women -compassion, loyalty, honor, piety, dignity and courage.  The heart can also be an emporium of regret, pride, anger, lust and gluttony.  The self-medication first aid kits we turn to in times of doubt.

Idolatry comes in many forms - self-worship, mistaking good for gold, pleasure as liturgy.

St. Patrick was a guy who woke up to himself after decades of sin and it took boatloads of Scotii ( Irish sea-pirates) who snatched him from a life of comfort and dragged him into slavery.

I am still an idolator and want to quit the club.

St. Patrick shield me the idolatries in my heart.

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