“𝑊ℎ𝑒𝑛 𝑤𝑒 𝑤𝑖𝑙𝑙 𝑟𝑒𝑐𝑜𝑔𝑛𝑖𝑧𝑒 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑓𝑎𝑐𝑡 𝑡ℎ𝑎𝑡 𝐶ℎ𝑟𝑖𝑠𝑡 ℎ𝑎𝑠 𝑝𝑎𝑖𝑑 𝑓𝑜𝑟 𝑜𝑢𝑟 𝑡𝑟𝑎𝑛𝑠𝑔𝑟𝑒𝑠𝑠𝑖𝑜𝑛𝑠, 𝑤𝑒 𝑏𝑒𝑔𝑖𝑛 𝑡𝑜 𝑎𝑐𝑞𝑢𝑖𝑟𝑒 𝑓𝑎𝑖𝑡ℎ 𝑡ℎ𝑎𝑡 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝐿𝑜𝑟𝑑 𝑤𝑖𝑙𝑙 𝑔𝑖𝑣𝑒 𝑢𝑠 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑠𝑡𝑟𝑒𝑛𝑔𝑡ℎ 𝑡𝑜 𝑡𝑟𝑢𝑙𝑦 𝑐ℎ𝑎𝑛𝑔𝑒 𝑜𝑢𝑟 𝑙𝑖𝑣𝑒𝑠.”
𝗔𝗯𝗼𝘂𝘁 𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝗛𝘆𝗺𝗻
Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153) was born in what is now considered France at Fontaines near Dijon in 1090 or 1091, his father, Tecelin or Tesselin, was a knight who died in the First Crusade, as well as a friend and vassal of the Duke of Burgundy.
He was one of the most influential spiritual leaders of his time, a man who kings and dignitaries turned to for counsel and advice. His sermons and writings impacted Europe’s religious landscape for centuries and remain relevant to this day. In addition to making contributions through the written and spoken word, Bernard was integral in the establishment of several monasteries across Europe.
In spite of these remarkable achievements, 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙛𝙤𝙘𝙪𝙨 𝙤𝙛 𝙝𝙞𝙨 𝙡𝙞𝙛𝙚 𝙧𝙚𝙢𝙖𝙞𝙣𝙚𝙙 𝙩𝙬𝙤𝙛𝙤𝙡𝙙: 𝙆𝙣𝙤𝙬𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙂𝙤𝙙 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙨𝙚𝙧𝙫𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙣𝙚𝙚𝙙𝙮.
We see his desire to know Christ reflected in this hymn. “Jesus, the very thought of Thee with sweetness fills my breast; but sweeter far Thy face to see and in Thy presence rest.”
The hymn was first translated into English by Edward Caswall (1818-1878). The music was added by John Bacchus Dykes (1823-1876).
𝗪𝗵𝗲𝗻 𝘄𝗲 𝘄𝗶𝗹𝗹 𝗿𝗲𝗰𝗼𝗴𝗻𝗶𝘇𝗲 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗳𝗮𝗰𝘁 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀𝘁 𝗵𝗮𝘀 𝗽𝗮𝗶𝗱 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝘁𝗿𝗮𝗻𝘀𝗴𝗿𝗲𝘀𝘀𝗶𝗼𝗻𝘀, 𝘄𝗲 𝗯𝗲𝗴𝗶𝗻 𝘁𝗼 𝗮𝗰𝗾𝘂𝗶𝗿𝗲 𝗳𝗮𝗶𝘁𝗵 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗟𝗼𝗿𝗱 𝘄𝗶𝗹𝗹 𝗴𝗶𝘃𝗲 𝘂𝘀 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝘀𝘁𝗿𝗲𝗻𝗴𝘁𝗵 𝘁𝗼 𝘁𝗿𝘂𝗹𝘆 𝗰𝗵𝗮𝗻𝗴𝗲 𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗹𝗶𝘃𝗲𝘀. This faith gives us the power to change, because we feel confident that if we put Christ’s teachings to work in our lives, he will purge us of the effects of sin. As a consequence, this faith in the Lord and his mercy gives us the enduring power to continually seek righteousness.
𝗜𝗻𝗱𝗲𝗲𝗱, 𝘁𝗼 𝘁𝗵𝗼𝘀𝗲 𝘀𝗼𝗿𝗿𝗼𝘄𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗶𝗻 𝘀𝗶𝗻, 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝘃𝗲𝗿𝘆 𝘁𝗵𝗼𝘂𝗴𝗵𝘁 𝗼𝗳 𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗦𝗮𝘃𝗶𝗼𝗿 𝗯𝗿𝗶𝗻𝗴𝘀 𝗵𝗼𝗽𝗲, 𝗷𝗼𝘆, 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗽𝗼𝘄𝗲𝗿 𝘁𝗼 𝗿𝗲𝗽𝗲𝗻𝘁.
Jesus, the very thought of thee
With sweetness fills my breast;
But sweeter far thy face to see,
And in thy presence rest.
Nor voice can sing, nor tongue can frame,
Mor can the mem’ry find
A sweeter sound than thy blest name,
O Savior of mankind!
O hope of ev’ry contrite heart,
O joy of all the meek,
To those who fall, how kind thou art!
How good to those who seek!
Jesus, our only joy be thou,
As thou our prize wilt be;
Jesus, be thou our glory now,
And thru eternity.