We feebly struggle, they in glory shine! Saturday, Oct 31 2009 

Today is the Solemnity of All Saints. This is the day we commemorate the entire communion of saints, of which we ourselves hope to have an eternal part. Today is an especially important feast for several reasons – the two that press on my mind right now are catechesis and intercession.

For catechesis, this is the day when best to explain to children or Christian neophytes just what we believe saints are. We do not believe they are a sort of pseudo-Christian pantheon, with patron saints merely replacing pagan gods. (more…)

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A hymn for Ascensiontide Wednesday, May 27 2009 

Hymn number 35 from the Divine Office, sung during “Eastertide II”.

Come down, O love divine,
Seek thou this soul of mine,
And visit it with thine own ardour glowing;
O Comforter draw near,
Within my heart appear,
And kindle it, thy holy flame bestowing.

O let it freely burn,
Till earthly passions turn
To dust and ashes in its heat consuming;
And let thy glorious light
Shine ever on my sight,
And clothe me round, the while my path illuming.

Let holy charity
Mine outward vesture be,
And lowliness become mine inner clothing.
True lowliness of heart,
Which takes the humbler part,
And o’er its own shortcomings weeps with loathing.

And so the yearning strong,
With which the soul will long,
Shall far outpass the power of human telling;
For none can guess its grace,
Till he become the place
Wherein the Holy Spirit makes his dwelling.

Bianco da Siena d 1434
Tr R. F. Littledale 1833-90

I wonder if the original language was Latin or Italian. Guessing by the composer’s death, probably Latin. I should see about finding it.