The second to last stanza contains the part of St. Patrick's Breastplate most commonly known. Many people pray just this stanza as part of their daily prayers. It summarizes much of the prayer, with the unique feature of specifically calling on Christ, instead of the Holy Trinity. Patrick asks for Christ to be everywhere around him - including inner space - as well as in all that he does. This stanza prays for a unity between mind and action. The actions of Patrick should make Christ visible to all, just as Patrick himself is careful to carry Christ within him. He also sends Christ before him, asking him to open the eyes, ears and hearts of those he will encounter that day.
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.
Finally, we return to the beginning. The prayer ends by repeating the first stanza, making up the second bookend, ending with a reassertion of the power and might of the Holy Trinity, the Creator (big C) of creation (little c). This, then, is the perspective that Patrick carries with him as he goes about his activities. God is with him, and everything and everyone is called to be in union with the Trinity.
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.
Pray the entire Breastplate again, asking God to walk with you in wisdom and guidance.
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