Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, we meet the first of a few readings from Ecclesiastes, written by an author who calls himself Qoheleth – Teacher. The book contains many loved and oft-repeated phrases that we might recognize:
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven
He has made everything beautiful in its time.
And today’s kick-off thought:
Vanity of vanities …. All is vanity.
Reading Ecclesiastes places us in the presence of a writer who is a realist at best, and a cynic at worst. Parts of the book can be downright depressing; other parts, elegant in their spare beauty.
We can finish a passage like today’s and hear echoes around us of Star Trek’s Borg mantra:
Resistance is futile.
Qoheleth says as much:
What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.
The phrase carries at least a little tinge of hopelessness. But I think a lot depends on the way we read it.
Realizing that “things are the way they are” can give us a sense of stability and trust. It can release us from struggling needlessly against realities that will not be moved. It can encourage us to find within these “immovables” the hidden path to a new grace. It can remind us that others have endured; so can we.
One of our Wisdom Sisters taught us that by naming and accepting our reality, we can move from fighting it into growing from it. She always said, “What is, is” – implying “now deal with it”.
It sounds spartan, but it actually can be very freeing. We can’t change so many things – the weather, the tides, the hearts of others. The years will pass, friendships blossom and fade. We will get old, if we are blessed with that gift. We’ll lose our jump shot and probably some of our hair – maybe a few others things too.
But God will always love us, abide with us and cherish us for eternity. We’re gonna’ make it, one way or the other – because ‘God Who is, is!”
Poetry: Prayer – Galway Kinnell
Whatever happens. Whatever what is is is what I want. Only that. But that.
Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, on this feast of St. Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist, we are blessed with an inspiring reading from Ephesians. We are reminded that each of us is called in God according to our particular gifts. Paul encourages us to live “in a manner worthy of the call we have received” in our Baptism.
For most of us, it has been quite a while since we were washed in the waters of our Baptism. A lot of other waters have passed under the bridge since then. We may, or may not, have recognized and responded to our call, continually carried to us on those life waters.
Each moment, each choice, each act and decision asks us once again to choose Christ – over sin, over self, over meaninglessness. Each life opportunity calls us closer to Jesus, to the pattern of his Cross, to the witness of his Resurrection.
Matthew heard such a call as he sat, perhaps dulled by the unconscious disengagement of his life, by the failure to live with intention and openness to grace. As He passed by Matthew, Jesus reached into that ennui, calling Matthew to evangelize all the future generations by his Gospel.
Jesus calls us to be evangelists too – every moment, every day. Our “Yes” to our particular call writes its own Gospel, telling the Good News through our faith, hope and love.
Pope Francis says this:
The spread of the Gospel is not guaranteed either by the number of persons, or by the prestige of the institution, or by the quantity of available resources. What counts is to be permeated by the love of Christ, to let oneself be led by the Holy Spirit and to graft one’s own life onto the tree of life, which is the Lord’s Cross.
Poetry: The Calling of Matthew by James Lasdun
Not the abrupt way, frozen In the one glance of a painter’s frame Christ in the doorway pointing. Matthew’s face Bright with perplexity, the glaze Of a lifetime at the countinghouse Cracked in the split second’s bolt of being chosen.
But over the years, slowly, Hinted at, an invisible curve; Persistent bias always favoring Backwardly the relinquished thing Over the kept, the gold signet ring Dropped in a beggar’s bowl, the eye not fully
Comprehending the hand, not yet; Heirloom damask thrust in a passing Stranger’s hand, the ceremonial saddle (Looped coins, crushed clouds of inline pearl) Given on an irresistible impulse to a servant. Where it sat
A saddle-shaped emptiness Briefly, obscurely brimming … Flagons Cellars of wine, then as impulse steadied into habit, habit to need, Need to compulsion, the whole vineyard The land itself, graves, herds, the ancestral house,
Given away, each object’s Hollowed-out void successively More vivid in him than the thing itself, As if renouncing merely gave Density to having; as if He’s glimpsed in nothingness a derelict’s
Secret of unabated, Inverse possession … And only then, Almost superfluous, does the figure Step softly to the shelter door; Casual, foreknown, almost familiar, Calmly received, like someone long awaited.
Music: When You Call My Name ~ Brian Doerksen & Steve Mitchinson
Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, our readings instruct us on what it means to belong to God – heart and soul.
Proverbs tosses out a series of minstrel-like two-liners that, because of their simplicity, might be overlooked for their beauty and depth. For example, the first couplet says:
Like a stream is the king’s heart in the hand of the LORD; wherever it pleases God, God directs it.
Would we all not desire that kind of heart, where our thoughts and choices are so directed by God’s power and grace – held and guided into freedom by God’s loving hand? How confident, peaceful and joyful our lives would be!
Today’s Psalm 119 is a passionate prayer to be guided through an entangling world by our deep loyalty to God’s own truth, learned by meditating day and night on God’s goodness.
Our Gospel, in an often misinterpreted incident, shows us how Jesus considers his true disciples as close to him as his own mother and family.
So today, to deepen our own closeness to God, let us practice making our ordinary life into a constant prayer – allowing it to flow, like water, over God’s tender, guiding hand.
We can do this by gratefully noticing God’s Presence in nature, in our companions, in the opportunities for kindness, honesty and service that come to us today.
Or, sadly, our experiences today might cause us to notice God’s absence in these places. This offers us an incentive to invite, beg and pester God to transform the desert places in our lives and world.
Whichever approach we take, it will open up a constant conversation with God about our life as we experience it at each moment. We begin to listen better to the Word of God revealing itself in our daily life. We begin to live more consciously in God’s Presence… in God’s dear family.
God’s Law is already written deep in the fabric of our lives. We pray for discernment to discover that guiding grace by opening our hearts to God’s Presence in our every experience.
Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, our readings encourage us to live lives of Charity and Light.
Today’s first reading opens two weeks of inspiration from the Wisdom Literature of the Hebrew Scriptures. These books include Job, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon, and parts of Psalms.
Wisdom literature differs from other books in the Old Testament in that the authors were sages rather than prophets or priests. Priests and prophets typically dealt with religious and moral concerns whereas sages generally focused on the practical aspects of how to live and the intellectual challenges that arise when contemplating the human experience.
Our passage from Proverbs offers a good dose of that sage advice with these basics of mutual charity:
Refuse no one the good on which they have a claim
Plot no evil against your neighbor,
Quarrel not with someone without cause,
Envy not lawless persons
Choose not their ways …
If we all followed that list, the world would be in pretty good shape. And, in Luke’s Gospel, Jesus says that once we get that shaped-up, we can take it up a notch — into the Light:
No one who lights a lamp conceals it with a vessel or sets it under a bed; rather, you place it on a lampstand so that those who enter may see the light.
Matthew’s version adds this line:
Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify God in heaven.
So how do I let Charity kindle God’s Light in me? The list from Proverbs can get me started, but what might my own “Charity Challenges” look like?
Poetry: Charity — The Greatest of All Three – Robert Morris
The soul serene, impenetrably just, Is first in CHARITY; we love to muse On such a model; knit in strictest bonds Of amity with spirits like disposed; Aiming at truth for her own sake, this one Passes beyond the golden line of Faith, Passes beyond the precious line of Hope, And sets foot unmoved on CHARITY . “A soul so softly radiant and so white, The track it leaves seems less of fire than light.”
Music: Lampstand – Ben Bigelow
(Spoiler alert: Those who are still able may want to dance by the end of this video!🤩 I just did a very good finger-snapping routine)
I learned this evening of the death of Bishop Robert Maginnis this past Wednesday. I thought immediately of a moment several years ago that touched my heart very deeply.
About eight years ago, I unexpectedly encountered a priest acquaintance after a hiatus of nearly forty years. He had come to McAuley Convent, our health and retirement facility, to visit his longtime assistant, Sister Mary Antonita. Deceased now, Sister was at that time a stately 96 years old, but living with the compromises of advanced years. Himself in his late eighties, he walked very slowly down the corridor toward me, and I paused to see if I could help.
Greeting him, I recognized something about his eyes, but could not really place him. He paused, catching some labored breaths, and studied my eyes too. “Give me a minute,” he said, quickly following it with “Nathaniel”, my old religious name.
He had the advantage over me, so I just honestly requested, “Help me out with your name.” He simply replied, “Maginnis”. As a wealth of memory and understanding opened in my mind, I smiled and said, “How good to see you again, Maginnis, after all these years.”
You see, this was: Robert Patrick Maginnis, an American prelate of the Roman Catholic Church who served as Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia from 1996 to 2010. (Wikipedia)
But the person I saw, as soon as he said his name, was a humble, good man who had served God’s people with generosity and grace. I hadn’t seen him face to face since he was simply “Father”- when I was green with youth and he was just a shade or two deeper! Soft memories of shared times shimmered in my memory… but it was a long time ago.
Still I knew, the way a local Church knows its shepherds, that he had never abandoned his gentle simplicity for the exalted trappings of episcopacy. He had remained a man who fulfilled Pope Francis’s best hopes for priests:
“Always have before your eyes the example of the Good Shepherd, who did not come to be served, but to serve and to seek and save what was lost…“
Conscious of having been chosen among men and elected in their favor to attend to the things of God, exercise in gladness and sincere charity the priestly work of Christ, solely intent on pleasing God and not yourselves or human beings, other interests.” (Pope Francis in a homily before the ordination of 16 priests during Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica April 22, 2018)
And here “Maginnis” was that Saturday, having endured his own challenges with aging, making the effort necessary to visit his faithful friend. As I left them in the warm light by her window, my spirit was confirmed by a grace neither one of them realized they were continuing to give, so natural was their witness to Christian love and service.
Let’s pray for all our priests today, and especially in thanksgiving for Bishop Maginnis. These troubled times have been so hard on good priests like this beloved bishop. May they be strengthened and confirmed in their desire to serve Christ through serving his People.
May Robert Maginnis, a good and holy priest, rest in glory. Amen.
Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, our readings make one thing very clear: we cannot serve both God and “mammon”.
The problem is that we have a hard time figuring out what mammon is. Experience tells us that it’s a lot more than just money, because there are people with money who do a good job serving God.
It seems to me that “mammon” is more the illusion that we are only our “possessions” — our money, house, car, looks, degrees, physical abilities — and that we (or anybody else) is nothing without them.
This misperception is so intrinsic to our inability to live the Gospel that it cripples our souls. The love of “mammon” becomes an overwhelming, incurable addiction that feeds on the well-being of our neighbor.
As our first reading tells us, living by this addiction invokes God’s eternal anger. Describing the abuse heaped upon the poor, God warns the abusers:
The LORD has sworn by the pride of Jacob: Never will I forget a thing they have done!
Our Gospel tells us that we can’t have it both ways. We either live within the generosity and inclusivity of God, or we’re outside it:
No servant can serve two masters. He will either hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other.
This is a challenging but fundamental teaching of the Gospel. It is essential that we consider how we live it.
Walter Bruggemann, in his book Money and Possessions says this:
Jesus said it … succinctly. You cannot serve God and mammon. You cannot serve God and do what you please with your money or your sex or your land. And then he says, “Don’t be anxious, because everything you need will be given to you.” But you must decide. Christians have a long history of trying to squeeze Jesus out of public life and reduce him to a private little Savior. But to do this is to ignore what the Bible really says. Jesus talks a great deal about the kingdom of God—and what he means by that is a public life reorganized toward neighborliness. . . .
Let’s have the courage to pray with that thought today. Although challenging, the question is rather simple: how do we use what we have to live a Gospel life, the essence of which Jesus stated like this:
Love God above all things
and your neighbor as yourself.
Poetry: Cullen in the Afterlife – P. K. Page
(This poet is new to me. She is a Canadian poet whose work is noted for its vibrant images. I liked this poem in which she imagines the experience of finding oneself in the afterlife. She notes the difficulty of embracing Love when hampered by “mammon” which she called “Earthshine”.
And how partake of such a gift when he was handicapped by Earthshine—wore the stars, badges and medals of privilege and success? Desensitizers, brutalizers—all the tricks that mammon plays to make one sleep.
Cullen in the Afterlife – P. K. Page
He found it strange at ﬁrst. A new dimension.
One he had never guessed. The fourth? The ﬁfth?
How could he tell, who’d only known the third?
Something to do with eyesight, depth of ﬁeld.
Perspective quite beyond him. Everything ﬂat
or nearly ﬂat. The vanishing point
they’d tried to teach at school was out of sight
and out of mind. A blank.
Now, this diaphanous dimension—one
with neither up nor down, nor east nor west,
nor orienting star to give him north.
Even his name had left him. Strayed like a dog.
Yet he was bathed in some unearthly light,
a delicate no-color that made his ﬂesh
transparent, see-through, a Saran-Wrap self.
His body without substance and his mind
with nothing to think about—although intact—
was totally minus purpose. He must think.
Think of a Rubens, he said to himself. But where
Rubens had been there was a void, a vast
emptiness—no opulence. And then
Cézanne who broke all matter up—
made light of it, in fact. And mad Van Gogh
who, blinded by the light, cut off his ear.
Gone—that shadowy assembly—vanished, done.
Gone without substance. Like himself. A shell.
Insensate in a ﬂash. (What was that ﬂash—
bereft of all but essence?) Was it death?
He wondered about the word, so ﬁlled with breath
yet breathless, breathless, breathless. A full stop.
“Divino Espirito Santo,” he had said
once in Brazil, “Soul of my very soul.”
He’d prayed in Portuguese, an easier tongue—
for newly agnostic Anglos—than his own,
burdened with shibboleths and past beliefs.
“Alma de minha alma”—liquid words
that made a calm within him. Where within?
Was there a word for it? Was it his heart?
Engulfed by love. Held in a healing beam
of love-light. Had he earned such love?
And how partake of such a gift when he
was handicapped by Earthshine—wore the stars,
badges and medals of privilege and success?
the tricks that mammon plays to make one sleep.
He must wake up. He must expose and strip successive layers to ﬁnd his soul again. Where had the rubble come from? He was like a junkyard—cluttered, ﬁlled with scrap iron, tin. As dead as any metal not in use.
So he must start once more. He had begun how many times? Faint glimmerings and dim memories of pasts behind the past recently lived—the animal pasts and vague vegetable pasts—those climbing vines and fruits; and mineral pasts (a slower pulse) the shine of gold and silver and the gray of iron. The “upward anguish.”
What a rush of wings above him as he thought the phrase and knew angels were overhead, and over them a million suns and moons.
Music: a simple mantra, but powerful if we can live it: Love God, Love Neighbor by Dale Sechrest
Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, Paul strongly confronts the doubts of the Corinthian community regarding the Resurrection.
Someone may say, “How are the dead raised? With what kind of body will they come back?” You fool!
1 Corinthians 15:35
Remember that these post-Resurrection Christians had expected an immediate Parousia, or end of time. They thought that with the completion of Christ’s redemptive act, that was it! Time for heaven for all us believers. Yippee!
Well, not so fast!
When Parousia didn’t happen, the people grew a little confounded. They began to awaken to the hard lesson that redemption is not time-bound, but continues in the timeless gift of grace given to new generations. It is up to us to work through our own lives to become one with the Pascal Mystery of Christ.
In the miracle of God’s eternity, each of us has the chance to engage the power of Christ’s Passion, Death and Resurrection by the faithful living of our own lives – no matter if we have lived in the first or the twenty-first century.
God doesn’t do “time” and doesn’t have a calendar.
But still I feel for those struggling Corinthians! It’s hard to believe sometimes, don’t you agree? It’s hard to wade through the sometimes tumultuous unfolding of our lives and history to find God.
When I taught eighth graders many years ago, one intelligent young girl asked me this question:
What if everything you believe is wrong? Was the way you live your life worth it?
It was a powerful question and it has stayed with me for half a century. I continue to ask myself versions of the same question especially when I can’t find God in the circumstances of my life or world – when children are sick, or old people suffer, or human beings dreadfully hurt one another – and I have no answers.
Like the early Corinthians, I ask God, “Where are You? I thought your Resurrection healed all this? I thought You had redeemed our suffering world!
Paul and Jesus, in our readings today, give us images to help us mature in a long and lasting faith that doesn’t answer but receives these questions with trust and hope.
What you sow is not brought to life unless it dies. And what you sow is not the body that is to be but a bare kernel of wheat, perhaps, or of some other kind.
So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown corruptible; it is raised incorruptible. It is sown dishonorable; it is raised glorious. It is sown weak; it is raised powerful. It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual one.
1 Corinthians 15
By faith, the power of Christ’s Resurrection has been sown in us like a seed. Because we are creatures of time, that power needs time to root itself in every aspect of our lives – our choices, actions, our very nature.
Jesus tells us that God is sowing the seeds of the Resurrection in our lives. Our job is simply provide good soil by choosing to believe and act on God’s Word.
“This is the meaning of the parable. The seed is the word of God. Those on the path are the ones who have heard, but the Devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts that they may not believe and be saved. Those on rocky ground are the ones who, when they hear, receive the word with joy, but they have no root; they believe only for a time and fall away in time of temptation. As for the seed that fell among thorns, they are the ones who have heard, but as they go along, they are choked by the anxieties and riches and pleasures of life, and they fail to produce mature fruit. But as for the seed that fell on rich soil, they are the ones who, when they have heard the word, embrace it with a generous and good heart, and bear fruit through perseverance.”
Poetry: Flickering Mind – Denise Levertov
Lord, not you it is I who am absent. At first belief was a joy I kept in secret, stealing alone into sacred places: a quick glance, and away -- and back, circling. I have long since uttered your name but now I elude your presence. I stop to think about you, and my mind at once like a minnow darts away, darts into the shadows, into gleams that fret unceasing over the river's purling and passing. Not for one second will my self hold still, but wanders anywhere, everywhere it can turn. Not you, it is I am absent. You are the stream, the fish, the light, the pulsing shadow. You the unchanging presence, in whom all moves and changes. How can I focus my flickering, perceive at the fountain's heart the sapphire I know is there?
Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, we pray with Psalm 17, a confident prayer calling on God’s intervention.
The psalmist tenders a plea:
Hear, O LORD, a just suit; attend to my outcry; hearken to my prayer from lips without deceit. Psalm 17:1
But before reiterating that plea, the pray-er convinces God that she is worthy of an answer:
You have tested my heart, searched it in the night. You have tried me by fire, but find no malice in me. My mouth has not transgressed as others often do. As your lips have instructed me, I have kept from the way of the lawless.Psalm 17: 3-4
It sounds a little boastful but it really isn’t. The one who prays this psalm is very familiar with God and God with her. There are no secrets between them. She knows that she is infinitely loved and protected, not despite her vulnerability but because of it.
The psalmist, from long experience, is confident asking for help, as we would be asking a friend to turn and listen to us:
I call upon you; answer me, O God. Turn your ear to me; hear my speech.Psalm 17: 7
Have you ever been asked for prayers because you are “a good prayer”? It happens to nuns all the time.
But no one’s prayer is more powerful than another. We say “Of course” to such requests because it is our intention to join our prayer with that of the requester.
Show your wonderful mercy, you who deliver with your right arm those who seek refuge from their foes. Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wingsPsalm 17: 8-9
Each of us is God’s “eye-apple”. Each of us, when we give ourselves to a long familiarity with God, will be wrapped in the confidence of one whose prayer is always answered.
( In a second posting, I’ll be sending on an extra meditation on The Eye of God by Macrina Wiederkehr – beautifully profound.)
Poetry: As Kingfishers Catch Fire – Gerard Manley Hopkins
As kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies draw flame; As tumbled over rim in roundy wells Stones ring; like each tucked string tells, each hung bell’s Bow swung finds tongue to fling out broad its name; Each mortal thing does one thing and the same: Deals out that being indoors each one dwells; Selves — goes itself; myself it speaks and spells, Crying Whát I dó is me: for that I came.
I say móre: the just man justices; Keeps grace: thát keeps all his goings graces; Acts in God’s eye what in God’s eye he is — Chríst — for Christ plays in ten thousand places, Lovely in limbs, and lovely in eyes not his To the Father through the features of men’s faces.
Music: The Apple of My Eye by Umb-5 and Sam Carter
Sometimes a non-spiritual song captures a spiritual meaning in a beautiful way. Let God sing to you with this lovely song.
Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, we pray with Our Mother of Sorrows.
Poetry: Pieta – R.S. Thomas
Always the same hills Crown the horizon, Remote witnesses Of the still scene And in the foreground The tall Cross, Sombre, untenanted, Aches for the Body That is back in the cradle of a maid's arms.
Mary’s greatest sorrows came, not from circumstances she bore personally, but from her anguish at the sufferings of Jesus. Like so many mothers, fathers, spouses, children and friends, Mary suffered because she loved.
It is so hard to watch someone we love endure pain. We feel helpless, lost and perhaps angry. We may be tempted to turn away from our beloved’s pain because it empties us as well as them.
This is the beauty and power of Mary’s love: it did not turn. Mary’s devotion accompanied Jesus – even through crucifixion and death – for the sake of our salvation.
Today’s liturgy offers us the powerful sequence “Stabat Mater”.
Stabat Mater Dolorosa is considered one of the seven greatest Latin hymns of all time. It is based upon the prophecy of Simeon that a sword was to pierce the heart of His mother, Mary (Lk 2:35). The hymn originated in the 13th century during the peak of Franciscan devotion to the crucified Jesus and has been attributed to Pope Innocent III (d. 1216), St. Bonaventure, or more commonly, Jacopone da Todi (1230-1306), who is considered by most to be the real author.
The hymn is often associated with the Stations of the Cross. In 1727 it was prescribed as a Sequence for the Mass of the Seven Sorrows of Mary (September 15) where it is still used today. (preces-latinae.org)
Music: Stabat Mater Dolorosa – Giovanni Battista Pergolesi (1710-1736) This is a glorious rendition. If you have time, you might listen to it on a rainy afternoon or evening as you pray.
STABAT Mater dolorosa iuxta Crucem lacrimosa, dum pendebat Filius.
At the Cross her station keeping, stood the mournful Mother weeping, close to Jesus to the last.
Cuius animam gementem, contristatam et dolentem pertransivit gladius.
Through her heart, His sorrow sharing, all His bitter anguish bearing, now at length the sword has passed.
O quam tristis et afflicta fuit illa benedicta, mater Unigeniti!
O how sad and sore distressed was that Mother, highly blest, of the sole-begotten One.
Quae maerebat et dolebat, pia Mater, dum videbat nati poenas inclyti.
Christ above in torment hangs, she beneath beholds the pangs of her dying glorious Son.
Quis est homo qui non fleret, matrem Christi si videret in tanto supplicio?
Is there one who would not weep, whelmed in miseries so deep, Christ’s dear Mother to behold?
Quis non posset contristari Christi Matrem contemplari dolentem cum Filio?
Can the human heart refrain from partaking in her pain, in that Mother’s pain untold?
Pro peccatis suae gentis vidit Iesum in tormentis, et flagellis subditum.
Bruised, derided, cursed, defiled, she beheld her tender Child All with bloody scourges rent:
Vidit suum dulcem Natum moriendo desolatum, dum emisit spiritum.
For the sins of His own nation, saw Him hang in desolation, Till His spirit forth He sent.
Eia, Mater, fons amoris me sentire vim doloris fac, ut tecum lugeam.
O thou Mother! fount of love! Touch my spirit from above, make my heart with thine accord:
Fac, ut ardeat cor meum in amando Christum Deum ut sibi complaceam.
Make me feel as thou hast felt; make my soul to glow and melt with the love of Christ my Lord.
Sancta Mater, istud agas, crucifixi fige plagas cordi meo valide.
Holy Mother! pierce me through, in my heart each wound renew of my Savior crucified:
Tui Nati vulnerati, tam dignati pro me pati, poenas mecum divide.
Let me share with thee His pain, who for all my sins was slain, who for me in torments died.
Fac me tecum pie flere, crucifixo condolere, donec ego vixero.
Let me mingle tears with thee, mourning Him who mourned for me, all the days that I may live:
Iuxta Crucem tecum stare, et me tibi sociare in planctu desidero.
By the Cross with thee to stay, there with thee to weep and pray, is all I ask of thee to give.
Virgo virginum praeclara, mihi iam non sis amara, fac me tecum plangere.
Virgin of all virgins blest!, Listen to my fond request: let me share thy grief divine;
Fac, ut portem Christi mortem, passionis fac consortem, et plagas recolere.
Let me, to my latest breath, in my body bear the death of that dying Son of thine.
Fac me plagis vulnerari, fac me Cruce inebriari, et cruore Filii.
Wounded with His every wound, steep my soul till it hath swooned, in His very Blood away;
Flammis ne urar succensus, per te, Virgo, sim defensus in die iudicii.
Be to me, O Virgin, nigh, lest in flames I burn and die, in His awful Judgment Day.
Christe, cum sit hinc exire, da per Matrem me venire ad palmam victoriae.
Christ, when Thou shalt call me hence, by Thy Mother my defense, by Thy Cross my victory;
Quando corpus morietur, fac, ut animae donetur paradisi gloria. Amen.
While my body here decays, may my soul Thy goodness praise, safe in paradise with Thee. Amen.
From the Liturgia Horarum. Translation by Fr. Edward Caswall (1814-1878)