Wednesday, July 29, 2009

HOTM ~July

O sacred Head, now wounded,
with grief and shame weighed down,
Now scornfully surrounded with thorns,
Thine only crown;
O sacred Head, what glory,
what bliss till now was Thine!
Yet, though despised and gory,
I joy to call Thee mine.

What thou, my Lord, hast suffered,
was all for sinners' gain;
mine, mine was the transgression,
but Thine the deadly pain.
Lo, here I fall, my Savior!
'Tis I deserve Thy place;
look on me with Thy favor,
vouchsafe to me Thy grace.

What language shall I borrow
to thank Thee, dearest friend,
for this Thy dying sorrow,
Thy pity without end?
O make me Thine forever;
and should I fainting be,
Lord, let me never, never
outlive my love for Thee.

O Sacred Head Now Wounded was written by Bernard of Clairvaux, author of five hymns. Bernard was born sometime in 1091 and died August 21, 1153 in France. His father was a knight and vassal of the Duke of Burgundy. Not following in his father's footsteps, Bernard entered the monastery of Citeaux in 1113. Well-known in Rome and rising in eminence in Church politics, he founded 163 monasteries throughout Europe and later became embroiled in papal schisms. He was the first Cistercian monk to be placed on the calender of the saints and was canonized by Pope Alexander III. Pope Pius VIII bestowed on him the title of Doctor of the Church. He is also remember as the Honey-Sweet Doctor, for his eloquence.
An interesting statement really tells how he viewed Mary and salvation, " No one can enter Heaven unless by Mary, as though through a door." He also strongly believed that prayers should be made to Mary.
Dante Alighieri, in his Divine Comedy: Paradise, places Bernard as the last guide for Dante. Most likely because they both were devoted to Mary and mysticism.
Martin Luther, 400 years later, said of him, "the best monk that ever lived, whom I ad­mire beyond all the rest put to­ge­ther.”

In Christ,

1 comment:

MJS said...

That is a great poem! I am new to this blog, I actually just found it through another blog and now I am adding it to my favorites! Its a beautiful blog! Have a great day!


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