Saturday, January 29, 2005

St Thomas Aquinas

Today is the feast day of St Thomas Aquinas--Aristotle's most influential expositor and a saint of the Catholic Church. In celebration, I'm posting this hymn as translated by Gerard Manley Hopkins, SJ:

Prayer of St Thomas Aquinas (1224-1274)

Godhead here in hiding, whom I do adore,
Lost in these bare shadows, shape and nothing more,
See, Lord, at thy service low lies here a heart,
Lost, all lost in wonder, at the God thou art.

Seeing, touching, tasting, are in thee deceived.
How says trusty hearing, that shall be believed.
What God’s son hath told me, take for truth I do.
Truth himself speaks truly—or there’s nothing true.

On the cross thy Godhead made no sign to men;
Here thy very manhood steals from human ken.
Both are my confession, both are my belief;
And I pray the prayer of the dying thief.

Jesus, whom I look at shrouded here below,
I beseech thee send me what I long for so.
Some day to gaze on thee, face to face in light,
And be blessed forever with thy glory’s sight.

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