St. Patrick's Day

This weekend, I had 12 of my children in my grasp all weekend. 

12 of the lives I hit my knees for each morning, and utter intercession for throughout the day.

This morning I woke up early, to get a jump start on our Sunday flurry, and I took a moment to go back and reread the history of St. Patrick's Day.

If you don't know, St. Patrick, the Patron Saint of Ireland, returned to Ireland somewhere around the mid-400's A.D. in order to preach the Gospel to the Irish people, after claiming to have been told to do so in visions from God.

Though much of his life details are unknown, there are two claims that resonate deep within me. 

1. At the age of 16, his family's estate in Britain was raided and destroyed by Irishmen. It is believed he, himself, was taken captive and held for six years. Upon gaining his freedom, he obeys a call to return to the very ones who destroyed his heritage, his family, his wealth, and a significant portion of his youth. 

2. In committing himself to proclaim the Gospel to the Irish people, he was conscious of incorporating symbols and traditions of significance to them in his message. In other words, he studied the people to whom God had called him. He didn't step in and love the way he expected them to want to be loved. He prepared and met them where they were, and then set to call Christ forward in them. 

To see the possibility of the Hope of Glory within the very ones who represent your former destruction~ that is faith to hold fast to the vision of what they, that person, could be with the fullness of Christ within.

And, because I have to find something to celebrate with all my favorite kiddos in the house...

The Breakfast Spread...Not healthy, but they were stoked.

Signs leading to the treasure of gold chocolate...

The Path of Gold and Green Marshmallows (which they all hated)...

And some of my favorite words, attributed to St. Patrick, now known as the "St. Patrick Breastplate Hymn." We'll be reading through this in our family devotion tonight. We've been memorizing the last two stanzas for school. Love them.

I bind unto myself today
The strong Name of the Trinity,
By invocation of the same
The Three in One and One in Three.

I bind this today to me forever
By power of faith, Christ’s incarnation;
His baptism in Jordan river,
His death on Cross for my salvation;
His bursting from the spicèd tomb,
His riding up the heavenly way,
His coming at the day of doom
I bind unto myself today.

I bind unto myself the power
Of the great love of cherubim;
The sweet ‘Well done’ in judgment hour,
The service of the seraphim,
Confessors’ faith, Apostles’ word,
The Patriarchs’ prayers, the prophets’ scrolls,
All good deeds done unto the Lord
And purity of virgin souls.

I bind unto myself today
The virtues of the star lit heaven,
The glorious sun’s life giving ray,
The whiteness of the moon at even,
The flashing of the lightning free,
The whirling wind’s tempestuous shocks,
The stable earth, the deep salt sea
Around the old eternal rocks.

I bind unto myself today
The power of God to hold and lead,
His eye to watch, His might to stay,
His ear to hearken to my need.
The wisdom of my God to teach,
His hand to guide, His shield to ward;
The word of God to give me speech,
His heavenly host to be my guard.

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, 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.

I bind unto myself the Name,
The strong Name of the Trinity,
By invocation of the same,
The Three in One and One in Three.
By Whom all nature hath creation,
Eternal Father, Spirit, Word:
Praise to the Lord of my salvation,
Salvation is of Christ the Lord.

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