I arise (5) – stepping out of hell

I arise (5) – stepping out of hell

This series explores “The Lorika of St. Patrick”/ “St. Patrick’s Breastplate”, a beautiful prayer or poem of protection.

The next verse is this:

I arise through the strength of His descent for the Judgment of Doom

This strikes our ears strangely. We need to understand the mediaeval concept of “the harrowing of hell”:

In this image we see humanity being rescued, represented by Adam and Eve at front right.

God, in the form of Christ, literally pulls them out by hand as the monsters of hell look on threateningly but, ultimately, with no power to stop the “rescue mission”.

So rising “through the strength of His descent for the Judgment of Doom” means stepping out of whatever terrible mess we find ourselves in each new day – or rather reaching out to be pulled out of the day’s mess by God.

I find it a hopeful line!

One thought on “I arise (5) – stepping out of hell

  1. This is a fascinating image, a different spin on the usual Orthodox icon of the Resurrection, which shows Christ descending into the realm of death raising first Adam and Eve, with other old covenant worthies behind them. But there is no mouth of hell in the Orthodox representation, because it is the realm of death, Hades, that is depicted, not Hell per se. And I know that is a difference between the traditions. Western traditions do speak of Harrowing of Hell, where’s in the Orthodox tradition it is a Descent to Hades (Death, not Hell). Fascinating. But I like your reflection and the verse from St. Patrick. I’m reading your posts backward, so this is the first of your Patrick series that I’m reading.

    Liked by 1 person

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