Sunday, December 20, 2009

Undiscovered riches

As if the beautiful hymn O Holy Night weren't already glorious enough, I have a little extra-special gift for you as we approach the joys of the Christmas season.

My Dear Husband remarked that the French lyrics of O Holy Night reveal some beautiful theological truths that are missing in the English version. He was kind enough to write them out for me so I can share them with you. Enjoy and be blessed!

Traditional English
From the French

O Holy Night! The stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of the dear Saviors’ birth.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining.
Till He appeared and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
Fall on your knees! Oh, hear the angel voices!
O night divine, the night when Christ was born;
O night, O Holy Night , O night divine!
Midnight, Christians, it is the solemn hour
When he Man-God descended to us
To erase the original stain
And to stop the anger of His Father.
The whole world trembles with hope
At this night which gives it a Savior.
People, on your knees! Wait for your deliverance.
Noel! Noel! Here is the Redeemer. (2x)

Led by the light of faith serenely beaming,
With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand.
O'er the world a star is sweetly gleaming,
Now come the wise men from Orient land.
The King of kings lay thus in lowly manger;
In all our trials born to be our friend.
He knows our need, our weakness is no stranger,
Behold your King! Before him lowly bend!

May the burning light of our faith
Guide us to the cradle of the Babe.
As before a brilliant star
Led there the chiefs of the East.
The King of kings is born in a humble manger
Though powerful in your day and proud of your own grandeur,
To that pride, it is from that place that God preaches.
Bow your foreheads before the Redeemer. (2x)

Truly He taught us to love one another,
His law is love and His gospel is peace.
Chains he shall break, for the slave is our brother.
And in his name all oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
With all our hearts we praise His holy name.
Christ is the Lord! Then ever, ever praise we,
His power and glory ever more proclaim!

The Redeemer has broken every barrier;
The earth is free and heaven is open.
He sees a brother where there was only a slave.
Love unites those whom iron enchained.
Who will tell Him our thanks?
It is for us that He is born, he suffers and dies.
People, stand up! Sing of your deliverance!
Noel! Noel! Sing to the Redeemer. (2x)

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Lovely person, lovely heart, lovely prayer

While web-meandering today, I followed a trail of breadcrumbs that started with Gregorian Chant sites, moved on to the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of the Apostles and their beautiful description of Mary's dwelling at Ephesus (which I've been privileged to visit); at the bottom of which page can be found the lovely prayer for priests written by Mother Louise-Margaret Claret de la Touche, who is beautifully profiled by Fr. Mark at Vultus Christi. (See honey, I'm not really wasting time at all!)

Fr. Mark posted the beautiful painting by Mother Louise-Margaret that you see here. The more I look at it, the more inspiring I find it.

During this year of prayer for priests, I've seen a number of intercessory prayers for these servants of God, but Mother Louise Margaret's I find especially deep and beautiful, particularly the final paragraph:
O Jesus, eternal High Prist, divine offerer of sacrifice, who in an incomparable act of love for men, your brethren, allowed the Christian priesthood to flow from your Sacred Heart, continue to pour out on your priests the life-giving streams of infinite Love.

Live in them, transform them into yourself, render them by your grace the instruments of your mercies, act in then and through them. Grant that, having been completely clothed with you by the faithful imitation of your virtues, they may perform in your name and by the strength of your Spirit, the works which you yourself have accomplished for the salvation of the world.

Divine Redeemer of souls, see how great is the multitude of those who still sleep in the darkness of error; count the number of those unfailthful sheep that are walking on the edge of the eternal abyss; consider the crowds of the poor, the hungry, the ignorant and the weak who are groaning in their state of abandonment. Return to us by your priests, live again in very truth in them; act through them and pass again through the world teaching, pardoning, consoling, offering sacrifice, renewing the sacred bonds of love between the Heart of God and the hearts of men. Amen.


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"There is no God who condones taking the life of an innocent human being. This much we know."

Pres. Barack Obama, Feb 5, 2009