Nov 3, 2012

The Longing of the Celtic Soul

From my book, Celtic Wisdom:

All souls, not only the Celtic soul, are restless. The Irish monks became wanderers precisely because of this longing to find their hearts' desire. Originally an eighth-century Irish prayer, they hymn 'Be Thou My Vision' beautifully expresses the Celtic soul's longing for God:

Scroll to the bottom to hear Roma Downey's version.

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, Thou my true Word;
I ever with Thee, Thou with me, Lord;
Thou my great Father, I thy true son;
Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.

Be Thou my battle-shield, sword for my fight,
Be Thou my dignity, Thou my delight.
Thou my soul's shelter, Thou my high tower.
Raise Thou me heavenward, O Power of my power.

Riches I heed not, nor man's empty praise,
Thou mine 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 heaven's joys, O bright heav'ns Son!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be my vision, O ruler of all.
TRANSLATED BY MARY E. BYRNE, VERSED BY ELEANOR H. HULL (1912) 

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