1 O dearest Lord, thy sacred head with thorns was pierced for me; O pour thy blessing on my head that I may think for thee.
2 O dearest Lord, thy sacred hands with nails were pierced for me; O shed thy blessing on my hands that they may work for thee.
3 O dearest Lord, thy sacred feet
with nails were pierced for me;
O pour thy blessing on my feet
that they may follow thee.
4 O dearest Lord, thy sacred heart
with spear was pierced for me;
O pour thy Spirit in my heart
that I may live for thee.
I first heard this hymn at Canterbury Cathedral during Holy Week, and enjoyed its unsentimental simplicity and the fleshy images; this is a Jesus you could touch, as Thomas did. I’m glad to share ‘O dearest Lord’ with you in this Month of the Sacred Heart. May his blessing pour down over your head, hands, feet and heart as the sun pours down on the sea, the sand – and the people on the beach – in this picture from Wales.
Father Andrew, who wrote this hymn was a pioneering Anglican Franciscan, working in East London during World War II. Searchthrough Agnellus Mirror for more of his reflections.
While they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. Acts 1:7.
Charles Wesley wrote many hymns, and this one fits the end of Eastertide, the Feast of the Ascension of Jesus. I like the image of us soaring where Christ has led: on high and beyond. Let us soar now by enjoying as much as we can of what life offers, as Jackdaws, Starlings, Swifts and Seagulls so often seem to celebrate the gift of flight together. Together may we soar when we are called to go above the cloud and the sunset.
Christ has burst the gates of hell!
Love's redeeming work is done; fought the fight, the battle won: lo, our Sun's eclipse is o'er, lo, he sets in blood no more.
Vain the stone, the watch, the seal; Christ has burst the gates of hell; death in vain forbids his rise; Christ has opened paradise.
Lives again our glorious King; where, O death, is now thy sting? dying once, he all doth save; where thy victory, O grave?
Soar we now where Christ has led, following our exalted Head; made like him, like him we rise; ours the cross, the grave, the skies.
Hail the Lord of earth and heaven!
Praise to thee by both be given:
thee we greet triumphant now;
hail, the Resurrection Thou!
This hymn by Sister Mary Xavier was a staple of my childhood. It is worth turning to when life seems pointless or confusing, and ‘Lord, for tomorrow and its needs I do not pray‘ is enough of a motto, enough of a prayer, to see us through every day. A vocation is something to be lived out day by day; sometimes a day can be very different to what we expect, but today is enough for us; we can worry about tomorrow when it comes.
Lord, for tomorrow and its needs I do not pray; keep me, my God, from stain of sin just for today.
Let me both diligently work and duly pray; Let me be kind in word and deed, just for today.
Let me be slow to do my will, prompt to obey; help me to sacrifice myself, just for today.
Let me no wrong or idle word unthinking say; set thou a seal upon my lips just for today.
Lord, for tomorrow and its needs I do not pray; but keep me, guide me, love me, Lord, just for today.
Lyrics by Sybil Farish Partidge (1856 – 1917) – alias Sister Mary Xavier. Public Domain.
This is the ancient baptistry of Milan Cathedral; here it was that Saint Ambrose baptised Augustine, back in the fourth century. This area, adjacent to today’s Cathedral, was rediscovered when the Metro was being excavated after World War II. Ambrose was a good pastoral bishop, working to reconcile different bodies of Christians and to present the faith as a reasonable life choice in an age of scepticism. We just skipped his feast to accommodate Sister Johanna’s One Good Deed posts, which tied in nicely with Mary’s feast yesterday. Ambrose was great, but not that great!
Ambrose was also a poet, who wrote this evening hymn, still very much used today; this is J.M. Neale’s translation.
Before the ending of the day, Creator the world, we pray, that with thy wonted favour thou wouldst be our guard and keeper now.
From all ill dreams defend our eyes, from nightly fears and fantasies; tread under foot our ghostly foe, that no pollution we may know.
O Father, that we ask be done, through Jesus Christ thine only Son, who, with the Holy Ghost and thee, doth live and reign eternally. Amen.
This tapestry runner is on one of the benches in the church at Aberdaron. The words sound as though they are taken from a psalm but they are the opening words of a hymn, translated from the German of Dorothea von Schlegel. Dig a little further back (the internet is like that beach outside the church that we saw yesterday, full of treasures!) and yes, it is from Psalm 46:10-11:
Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.
And that’s enough from me: be still, listen for the waves outside the church, be still.