LORICA: PRAYER OF PROTECTION
The arms of God be around my shoulders,
the touch of the Holy Spirit upon my head,
the sign of Christ's cross upon my forehead,
the sound of the Holy Spirit in my ears,
the fragrance of the Holy Spirit in my nostrils,
the vision of heaven's company in my eyes,
the conversation of heaven's company on my lips,
the work of God's church in my hands,
the service of God and the neighbor in my feet,
a home for God in my heart,
and to God, the Father of all, my entire being.
the Lorica of St. Fursa
The Lorica is a great Irish/Celtic prayer form that takes it's impetus from St. Paul's image of putting on the spiritual armor of the Lord. (check out Ephesians chapter 6). I got to thinking this evening, as the apple tree outside my window is in full bloom in the light of the setting sun, that our prayer is often stilted and formal, devoid of life and energy. The Lorica resets that prayer in the every day. It makes me root my prayer in experience, forces me to find God in what I do and say--so much so that I 'put on Christ' as I experience the Lord each day. As much as I love all traditional forms of prayer, since I was a little child I have found God most readily in the Eucharist and in nature. The God whom I receive at Communion is the same God who created and permeates all that He has created. The Lorica reminds me of that constant presence of God that sings throughout all of creation. By using such vivid words drawn from nature and our own existence, this prayer resets my spiritual vision so that I can dwell with God not simply in thought but in my everyday existence, in my entire being.