Friday, 14 April 2017

The Limbs of Our Jesus

Membra Jesu Nostri by St. Bernard of Clairveaux set to music by Dietrich Buxtehude.

To His Feet

Behold, upon the mountains
the feet of one bringing good news
and proclaiming peace.

Hail, salvation of the world,
Hail, hail, dear Jesus!
On Your cross would I hang
Truly, You know why
Give me Your strength.

The nails in Your feet, the hard blows
and so grievous marks
I embrace with love,
Fearful at the sight of You
Mindful of Your wounds.

Sweet Jesus, merciful God
I cry to You, in my guilt
Show me Your grace,
Turn me not unworthy away
From Your sacred feet.

Hail, salvation of the world,
Hail, hail, dear Jesus!
On Your cross would I hang
Truly, You know why
Give me Your strength.

+ + +

To His Knees

You will be brought to nurse
and dandled on the knees

Hail Jesus, King of Saints
Hope of sinners' prayers,
like an offender on the wood of the cross,
a man hanging, true God,
Bending on failing knees!

What answer shall I give You,
Vile as I am in deed, hard in my heart?
How shall I repay Your love,
Who chose to die for me
Lest I die the second death?

That I may seek You with pure heart,
Be my first care,
It is no labour nor shall I be loaded down:
But I shall be cleansed,
When I embrace You.

+ + +

To His Hands

What are those wounds
in the midst of Your hands?

Hail, Jesus, good shepherd,
wearied in agony,
tormented on the cross
nailed to the cross
Your sacred hands stretched out.

Holy hands, I embrace you,
and, lamenting, I delight in you,
I give thanks for the terrible wounds,
the hard nails, the holy drops,
shedding tears with kisses.

Washed in Your blood
I wholly entrust myself to You;
may these holy hands of Yours
defend me, Jesus Christ,
in the final dangers.

+ + + 

To His Sides

Arise, my love,
my beautiful one, and come,
my dove in the clefts of the rock,
in the hollow of the cliff.

Hail, side of the Saviour,
in which the honey of sweetness is hidden,
in which the power of love is exposed,
from which gushes the spring of blood
that cleans the dirty hearts.

Lo I approach You,
Pardon, Jesus, if I sin,
With reverent countenance
freely I come to You
to behold Your wounds.

In the hour of death, may my soul
Enter, Jesus, Your side
Hence dying may it go into You,
Lest the cruel lion seize it,
But let it dwell with You.

+ + +

To His Breast

Like newborn infants,
long for the guileless milk of reason,
that by it you may grow into salvation,
if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.

Hail God, my salvation,
sweet Jesus, my beloved,
hail, breast to be revered,
to be touched with trembling,
dwelling of love.

Give me a clean breast,
ardent, pious, moaning,
an abnegated will,
always conforming to You,
with an abundance of virtues.

Hail, true temple of God,
I pray, have mercy on me,
You, the ark of all that is good,
make me be placed with the chosen,
rich vessel, God of all.

+ + +

To His Heart

You have wounded my heart,
my sister, my bride,
You have wounded my heart.

Heart of the highest king, I greet You,
I salute You with a joyous heart,
it delights me to embrace You
and my heart aspires to this:
that You move me to speak to You.

Through the marrow of my heart,
of a sinner and culprit,
may Your love be conveyed
by whom Your heart was seized,
languishing through the wound of love.

I call with the living voice of the heart,
sweet heart, for I love You,
to incline to my heart,
so that it may commit itself to you
in the breast devoted to You.

+ + +

To His Face

Let Your face shine upon Your servant,
save me in Your mercy.

Hail, bloodied head,
all crowned with thorns,
beaten, wounded,
struck with a cane,
the face soiled with spit.

When I must die,
do not then be away from me,
in the anxious hour of death
come, Jesus, without delay,
protect me and set me free!

When You command me to depart,
dear Jesus, then appear,
O lover to be embraced,
then show Yourself
on the cross that brings salvation.



Roberto Hope Sánchez Mejorada said...

Prayer to Christ on Calvary
by Gabriela Mistral
translated from the Spanish by Roberto Hope

This afternoon, O Christ on Calvary
I came to plead to Thee for my ill flesh
but on seeing Thee, my eyes just went and came
from Thy wounded body to my own with shame.

How can I about my tired feet complain
when Thine so badly shattered I observe?
How can I show my empty hands to Thee
when Thine so full of wounds are spattered?

How can I my solitude to Thee explain
when hoisted on the Cross alone Thou art?
How can I tell Thee that no love I have
when I see that Thy heart all torn Thou hast?

Now I no longer can anything recall
from me now all my ills have fled.
The vigor in the pleading I had brought
has from my cadging mouth now been suppressed.

And now I only plead to plead for nothing,
just to be here beside Thy dying image,
to go on learning that all pain is nothing
but holy doorkey to Thy holy gateway.

Vox Cantoris said...


How beautiful.

Thank you.


Anonymous said... I see His Blood Upon the Rose by Joseph Mary Plunket

I see his blood upon the rose
And in the stars the glory of his eyes,
His body gleams amid eternal snows,
His tears fall from the skies.

I see his face in every flower;
The thunder and the singing of the birds
Are but his voice—and carven by his power
Rocks are his written words.

All pathways by his feet are worn,
His strong heart stirs the ever-beating sea,
His crown of thorns is twined with every thorn,
His cross is every tree.

Anonymous said...

If I remember right, Bishop Fulton Sheen used to read that poem.