Tuesday April 20, 2010

All creatures of our God and King
Lift up your voice and with us sing,
Alleluia! Alleluia!
Thou burning sun with golden beam,
Thou silver moon with softer gleam!

O praise Him! O praise Him!
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

Thou rushing wind that art so strong
Ye clouds that sail in Heaven along,
O praise Him! Alleluia!
Thou rising moon, in praise rejoice,
Ye lights of evening, find a voice!

O praise Him! O praise Him!
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

Thou flowing water, pure and clear,
Make music for thy Lord to hear,
O praise Him! Alleluia!
Thou fire so masterful and bright,
That givest man both warmth and light.

O praise Him! O praise Him!
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

Dear mother earth, who day by day
Unfoldest blessings on our way,
O praise Him! Alleluia!
The flowers and fruits that in thee grow,
Let them His glory also show.

O praise Him! O praise Him!
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

And all ye men of tender heart,
Forgiving others, take your part,
O sing ye! Alleluia!
Ye who long pain and sorrow bear,
Praise God and on Him cast your care!

O praise Him! O praise Him!
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

And thou most kind and gentle Death,
Waiting to hush our latest breath,
O praise Him! Alleluia!
Thou leadest home the child of God,
And Christ our Lord the way hath trod.

O praise Him! O praise Him!
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

Let all things their Creator bless,
And worship Him in humbleness,
O praise Him! Alleluia!
Praise, praise the Father, praise the Son,
And praise the Spirit, Three in One!

O praise Him! O praise Him!
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

~Francis of Assisi, cir­ca 1225 (Can­ti­co di frat­re so­le, Song of Bro­ther Sun). He wrote this hymn short­ly be­fore his death, but it was not pub­lished for al­most 400 years. Trans­lat­ed to Eng­lish by William H. Draper for a children’s Whit­sun­tide fes­ti­val in Leeds, Eng­land; first ap­peared in the Pub­lic School Hymn Book, 1919~

Thou hidden source of calm repose,
Thou all sufficient love divine,
My help and refuge from my foes,
Secure I am if Thou art mine;
And lo! from sin and grief and shame
I hide me, Jesus, in Thy Name.

Thy mighty Name salvation is,
And keeps my happy soul above;
Comfort it brings, and power and peace,
And joy and everlasting love;
To me with Thy dear Name are given
Pardon and holiness and Heaven.

Jesus, my all in all Thou art,
My rest in toil, my ease in pain,
The healing of my broken heart,
In war my peace, in loss my gain,
My smile beneath the tyrant’s frown,
In shame my glory and my crown.

In want my plentiful supply,
In weakness my almighty power,
In bonds my perfect liberty,
My light in Satan’s darkest hour,
In grief my joy unspeakable,
My life in death, my Heaven in hell.

~Charles Wesley, “Hymns and Sac­red Po­ems“, 1749~

Psalm 4
(With interspersed thoughts by me, praying this psalm, in italics.)

To the choirmaster: with stringed instruments. A Psalm of David.

Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness!
(Sometimes I feel like I am literally begging You to answer. And sometimes I can’t tell if you do.)
   You have given me relief when I was in distress.
(You are my only relief. My distress chases me daily. Continue to be my relief!)
   Be gracious to me and hear my prayer!
(Hear me, please. Listen to the cries of your maidservant. Have mercy on my humble estate.)

O men, how long shall my honor be turned into shame?
   How long will you love vain words and seek after lies?
(Oh Lord, sometimes I feel like my own honor is shameful. I feel tempted to love vanity and lies, as it is sometimes easier than loving righteousness and truth, for the devil is sugar-coated and cunning. Cause me to be honorable. And cause me to not only seek righteousness and truth, but to love it with every bone in my body.)

But know that the LORD has set apart the godly for Himself;
   the LORD hears when I call to Him.
(Lord, I am Yours; You have called me and adopted me as Your child. As my Father, hear my prayers, my calls, my cries, my pleas.)

Be angry, and do not sin;
    ponder in your own hearts on your beds, and be silent.
(So often, Lord, I feel anger bubbling up inside. Sometime it is righteous anger, and sometimes it is not. Forgive me, Father, for sinning in anger. Teach me to have anger only as You do. As I silently lie here and ponder You and Your kingdom, Your people and Your ways; teach me righteous love, righteous compassion, and righteous anger. I am angry at sin, at death, at their consequences.)

Offer right sacrifices,
   and put your trust in the LORD.
(I bring you a broken spirit, my Lord, a broken and contrite heart. Be please to accept these sacrifices, as I praise You both in joy and in tears. Cause me to trust You more and more each day, and lead me paths of righteousness for Your name’s sake.)

 There are many who say, “Who will show us some good?
    Lift up the light of Your face upon us, O LORD!”
(People have asked me recently why I trust You. And how I know that You lift the light of Your face upon us. Of this I am confident, though: You do, and You will. Show us some good, my Lord, according to Your great measure of mercies.)
You have put more joy in my heart
   than they have when their grain and wine abound.
(The joy in my heart comes from You, from Your salvation, from Your promises to me as Your child. All the promises of earth and vanity are nothing but vapors and lies. Remind me daily, my King, to drink from the well of joy You have placed in my heart by Your grace.)

In peace I will both lie down and sleep;
   for You alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety.
(Thank You for peace, for rest, for eternal safety in Your bosom. Thank You, my Father, for these blessings! Bless and keep us, and make Your face to shine upon us, lift up Your countenance upon us, and give us peace. You are our shepherd and captain. Keep us mindful of Your careful, gentle hand; show us Your mighty protection and wise guiding.)

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