Tuesday, December 29, 2015

In Honor of our Lord's Blessed Name

A beautiful devotion for January, the month of the Holy Name of Jesus, is the recitation of the hymn “Iesu, Dulcis Memoria.” This twelfth century hymn, originally written in Latin, was composed by St. Bernard of Clairvaux. “Iesu, Dulcis Memoria” is a hymn of exceptional sweetness, and it is considered one of the greatest hymns of the Church. The song in its entirety contains 48 stanzas and was sung on the Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus. However, the portion of the hymn given in English below was used at Vespers. Throughout the month of January, may we honor our Lord by honoring His Holy Name, expressing our love and praise of Him just as St. Bernard penned in this beautiful hymn.  (You can hear the Latin version sung here.)

"Adoration of the Shepherds"
Jesu, Dulcis Memoria

IESU, dulcis memoria,
dans vera cordis gaudia,
sed super mel et omnia,
eius dulcis praesentia.

Nil canitur suavius,
nil auditur iucundius,
nil cogitatur dulcius,
quam Iesus Dei Filius.

Iesu, spes paenitentibus,
quam pius es petentibus!
quam bonus te quaerentibus!
sed quid invenientibus!

Nec lingua valet dicere,
nec littera exprimere:
expertus potest credere,
quid sit Iesum diligere.

Sis, Iesu, nostrum gaudium,
qui es futurus praemium:
sit nostra in te gloria,
per cuncta semper saecula.
Jesus, Sweet Memory

Jesus, the very thought of Thee
With sweetness fills the breast!
Yet sweeter far Thy face to see
And in Thy presence rest.

No voice can sing, no heart can frame,
Nor can the memory find,
A sweeter sound than Jesus' name,
The Savior of mankind.

O hope of every contrite heart!
0 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 hope be Thou,
As Thou our prize shalt be;
In Thee be all our glory now,
And through eternity.

God bless!

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