Sunday, 5 June 2011

June Prayers to the Sacred Heart (4): Veni, Creator Spiritus

Prayer, of course can be sung. There are several popular hymns to the Sacred Heart, and I may blog about these. But there are many hymns which should be regarded as hymns about the Sacred Heart but generally are not considered as such – but they should be! One of the greatest is, of course , Veni Creator Spiritus.

Today is the Ascension of the Lord. And I am reminded of how it points towards Pentecost and the Feast of the Sacred Heart. In the Acts Jesus tells the apostles that in due course, after he has ascended to the Father, they will receive the power of the Holy Spirit. And it is therefore fitting that the prayer for today is this ancient and beautiful hymn. How sad that it is not heard today as much as it was in the past. The first and fourth verses also echo the words of St Paul in his epistle to the Ephesians (read at mass today) - which prays that God may give us a spirit of revelation’ and that the spirit will ‘open the eyes of our heart’. (Ephesians,1: 15-23. ) Although the reading at mass today went with ‘eyes of the mind’. But, the Latin vulgate ( as we are using a Latin hymn) translates the phrase ‘opening the eyes of your mind’ (verse 18) as ‘inluminatos oculos cordis vestri ut sciatis quae sit spes vocationis eius quae divitiae gloriae hereditatis eius in sanctis’ That is, enlightening the eyes of your hearts. Wisely, the parish priest went with ‘’eyes of your heart’ in his epistle . Which is much better!!
Teilhard would have warmed to Paul’s vision of the ‘fullness of him who fills all in all’. Taken together, the icon (above) and St Paul's epistle and the hymn Veni, Creator Spiritus give a beautiful focus for our prayer to the Sacred Heart this Ascension day.

Veni, Creator Spiritus, verses 1 and 4
(In the first verse in translation pectora (breast) is usually translated as ‘in our hearts take up thy rest’.)

Veni, Creator Spiritus,
mentes tuorum visita,
imple superna gratia
quae tu creasti pectora.

Come, Holy Spirit, Creator blest,
and in our hearts take up Thy rest;
come with Thy grace and heavenly aid
to fill the hearts which Thou hast made.

Accende lumen sensibus:
infunde amorem cordibus:
infirma nostri corporis
virtute firmans perpeti.

Kindle our sense from above,
and make our hearts o'erflow with love;
with patience firm and virtue high
the weakness of our flesh supply.

To listen to this music, go HERE

The icon above is, for me, so suggestive of the images illustrating Dante's vision, and has relevance to our Sacred Heart ( I think!)

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