Thumbing through Greene and O’Connor’s Golden Treasury of Irish Poetry (AD 600 to 1200) I came across this short hymn that I thought I would share. Night prayer has never been an easy practice for me being a morning person and by nature lazy. Yet this seemed to me to be most fitting to recite at the end of the day.
These words build a bridge and offer a way for us to rediscover the diversity of our fellow travelers, both human and angelic. I know I cannot bridge the gap alone and of course understand that the Divine Grace bled for me from the cross is all-sufficient. Yet this western privatisation of salvation, into a ‘me centred’ doctrine, leaves me feeling lonely. I am not sure we were meant to climb the mountain alone. I am reminded of the psalmist declaration;
He will command his angels concerning you,
To guard you in all your ways.
Upon their hands they will lift you up,
So your foot will not strike itself against a stone.
Anyway the Hymn;
Angel! great miracled Michael,
Carry my request to the Lord.
Do you hear me?
Ask of the forgiving God forgiveness for all my great evil.
Do not delay!
Carry my greedy request to the King, to the High King.
Bring protection to my soul in its hour of leaving earth.
To meet my waiting soul come stoutly with many thousands of angels.
Warrior, against the crooked, twisted, warring world come to my help indeed.
Do not spurn what I say, do not desert me while I live!
I choose you to redeem my mind, my sense, my body.
Intercessor, victorious fighter, angelic slayer of the Antichrist!
Mael ĺsu Ó Brolchán