[Bernard of Clairvaux died on Aug 20, 1153. Bernard was a famous medieval monk best known for leading the Cistercian reform movement, his theological writings with their emphasis on divine love, and his involvement with the Second Crusade. Today’s prayer is taken from the beginning and ending of a prayer hymn commonly attributed to Bernard.]
Nor voice can sing, nor heart can frame,
Nor can the memory find
A sweeter sound than Thy blest Name,
O Savior of mankind!
O hope of every contrite heart,
O joy of all the meek,
To those who fall, how kind Thou art!
How good to those who seek!
But what to those who find? Ah, this
Nor tongue nor pen can show;
The love of Jesus, what it is,
None but His loved ones know.
Jesus, our only joy be Thou,
As Thou our prize will be;
Jesus be Thou our glory now,
And through eternity.
O Jesus, King most wonderful
Thou Conqueror renowned,
Thou sweetness most ineffable
In Whom all joys are found!
When once Thou visitest the heart,
Then truth begins to shine,
Then earthly vanities depart,
Then kindles love divine.
O Jesus, light of all below,
Thou fount of living fire,
Surpassing all the joys we know,
And all we can desire.
Jesus, our love and joy to Thee,
The virgin’s holy Son,
All might and praise and glory be,
While endless ages run.
High and Holy God, give me this day a word of truth
to silence the lies that would devour my soul
and kind encourgements to strengthen me when I fall.
Gracious One, I come quietly to your door needing to receive from your hands the nourishment that gives life.
Amen and Amen.
Let Your goodness Lord appear to us, that we
made in your image, conform ourselves to it.
In our own strength
we cannot imitate Your majesty, power, and wonder
nor is it fitting for us to try.
But Your mercy reaches from the heavens
through the clouds to the earth below.
You have come to us as a small child,
but you have brought us the greatest of all gifts,
the gift of eternal love
Caress us with Your tiny hands,
embrace us with Your tiny arms
and pierce our hearts with Your soft, sweet cries.
Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153)