Friday, August 7, 2009

Lead, kindly Light

As I struggle to finish what may be the most mentally exhausting week of my life (I've been fighting strange random letters that emerge from my fingers when I try to type or write in English, to say nothing of Greek!), I've been appreciating the prayer book as a way to pray when I cannot think. The compline prayers open with a song or a poem, and this one struck me the other day.
Lead, kindly Light, amid the encircling gloom,
Lead thou me on;
The night is dark, and I am far from home,
Lead thou me on.
Keep thou my feet; I do not ask to see
The distant scene; one step enough for me.

I was not ever thus, nor prayed that thou
Shouldst lead me on;
I loved to choose and see my path; but now
Lead thou me on.
I loved the garish day, and, spite of fears,
Pride ruled my will: remember not past years.

So long thy power hath blest me, sure it still
Will lead me on
O’er moor and fen, o’er crag and torrent, till
The night is gone,
And with the morn those Angel faces smile,
Which I have loved long since, and lost awhile.

J. H. Newman


Cliff said...

Where could one procure such a book?

And thank you for the postcard. :) I was going to try and mail one back, then one thing led to another and it's now. Would there still be time?

Benjamin said...

Great post, both this one, and the last one!

Bro. Luuk Dominiek Jansen OP said...

I love that hymn, especially the two lines:

Keep thou my feet; I do not ask to see
The distant scene; one step enough for me.

Both in difficult time and a reminder in good times!

Em the luddite said...

Cliff, there's a nice Catholic bookstore on the north side of town called "In His Name," and you can find the info for them online. I'm sure they would either sell them or be able to order them.

But I did mean what I said about it being really complicated to learn to use... I could help you when I get home if you'd like.