Christ behind and before me,
Christ beneath and above me,
Christ with me and in me,
Christ around and about me,
Christ on my right and on my left,
Christ when I lie down at night,
Christ when I rise in the morning,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone that speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.
This last section of the famous prayer attributed to Saint Patrick, the Apostle to Ireland, is certainly the most famous and oft quoted part. The obvious point to make here is how poetic and beautiful the text is. It is very memorable and therefore very useful for teaching those who could not read or did not have a copy of the Bible of their own. And so prayers, creeds and catechisms were how men and women learned and promulgated the Christian faith for more than a thousand years.
Just as the second section focused of Jesus in His Incarnation as Immanuel, “God with us”, this last section focuses on Christ Jesus, the Risen Lord, reigning, ascended, Lord of Lords, King of Kings, seated at the right hand of the Father. This is the supremely reigning, all powerful, all knowing, ever present Christ, who is also a Friend that will never leave us nor forsake us, and will be with us to the end of the age. He is the Christ that secures all of the promises of the Father and the One who sends the Holy Spirit to us as a Comforter, Guide and Counselor. He is the One who rejoices over both our day of birth into His Kingdom and the day of our death, when we shall meet Him face to face to receive the rewards of everlasting life. This is the Christ that caused John the beloved friend of Jesus to fall to his face as a dead man in His very Presence. If ever there was a Cosmic Christ, this is the One, a flaming, consuming fire. There is no secret kept from Him, and not even one bit of space in the Universe that He is not aware of and that He does not rule over. This is the Christ that is able to demand and receive all glory, all honor, all praise, all worship. He is worthy. Worship Him.
Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!