Be Thou My Vision

Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art
Thou my best thought by day or by night
Waking or sleeping, Thy Presence my Light.

Be Thou my Wisdom and Thou my True Word
I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord
Thou my Great Father and I Thy true {child}
Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.

Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise
Thou my Inheritance, now and always
Thou and Thou only, first in my heart
High King of Heaven, my Treasure Thou art.

High King of Heaven, my victory won,
May I reach Heavens joys, O Bright Heaven’s Sun
Hear of my own heart, whatever befall
Still be my Vision, Ruler of All.

8th century Irish hymn, translated to English in 1912 by Eleanor Hull

This is one of my all-time favorite hymns – it speaks to a devotion to God that I desire yet am never able to achieve –

Please go HERE to listen to the hymn

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Crazy-making days

Sometimes internal forces and external distractions make for crazy-making feelings—
Sometimes I don’t even know which internal forces are at work—

Until I’m long past the crazy-making phase—
Smack-dab in the middle of the most-definitely-crazy phase—
Which by this time usually means I’ve eaten myself into oblivion—
Smoked way too many cigarettes—
And fussed at the poor creatures who share my abode—

Then when I finally put head to pillow—
The external annoyances become worse instead of better—
And the internal voices start screaming, “pay attention to me!”—

And when I finally listen
I can’t sleep
I can’t rest
I can’t stop the thoughts—

Even with a middle of the night shower to cleanse my head—
The internal forces won’t leave me alone—

They won’t leave me until I acknowledge them
And feel the pain
And feel the sorrow
And accept I can do nothing about what’s going on—
It’s out of my control—

And I’m forced with this decision—
To not forgive and continue to carry the burden of pain and anger, sorrow and disappointment—
Or
To forgive – myself included – and give it all to God—
Which means letting go of the pain and worry—
And most of all
Hardest of all
The most terrifying of all—

The Outcome.

What happens will happen in accordance with God’s will—
Without any interaction
Any opinion
Any thought
And that’s scary for me-to let go so thoroughly—

Lord,
Let me truly say, “Thy will be done.”
Forgive me as I forgive those who have caused much pain, even if they are unaware of that pain.
Forgive them, Father, for they know not what they do.
Forgive me as I learn this most difficult lesson.

Let me find You in the craziness
When the internal forces are roaring louder than any other thought
When the music of Your Love can’t be heard
When the Peace of Your embrace can’t be felt

Please dear God
Reach through the crazy-making distractions of my life
And make Your Presence Known in a way as only You can

So I will know that in spite of my feeling crazy—
Feeling like I’ve gone off the deep end—
Feeling bereft of any Light or Life Source—

Let me know
You are there—
I turn around and there You are—
I open my eyes and there You are—
I unstop my ears and there You are—
And there You Are—
And always will be—
Always.

2 Monks were walking…

Sounds like the beginning of a bad joke…

My sister told me this story a few days ago – she got through Oprah – I looked it up online and found a number of different versions – from Buddhist to Catholic to Jewish. This the version I liked best.

 

Two monks were strolling by a stream on their way home to the monastery. They were startled by the sound of a young woman in a bridal gown, sitting by the stream, crying softly. Tears rolled down her cheeks as she gazed across the water. She needed to cross to get to her wedding, but she was fearful that doing so might ruin her beautiful handmade gown.

In this particular sect, monks were prohibited from touching women. But one monk was filled with compassion for the bride. Ignoring the sanction, he hoisted the woman on his shoulders and carried her across the stream–assisting her journey and saving her gown. She smiled and bowed with gratitude as he noisily splashed his way back across the stream to rejoin his companion.

The second monk was livid. “How could you do that?” he scolded. “You know we are forbidden even to touch a woman, much less pick one up and carry her around!”

The offending monk listened in silence to a stern lecture that lasted all the way back to the monastery. His mind wandered as he felt the warm sunshine and listened to the singing birds. After returning to the monastery, he fell asleep for a few hours. He was jostled and awakened in the middle of the night by his fellow monk. “How could you carry that woman?” his agitated friend cried out. “Someone else could have helped her across the stream. You were a bad monk!”

“What woman?” the tired monk inquired groggily.

“Don’t you even remember? That woman you carried across the stream,” his colleague snapped.

“Oh, her,” laughed the sleepy monk. “I only carried her across the stream. You carried her all the way back to the monastery.”

 

Hmmm…what am I still carrying around?