Posted by: geolocke | 2015/01/11

A Song and a Prayer

I do not know what I wish to say this evening. I have been home sick most of this past week and my thoughts have turned upon many topics. It seems very likely that I will not be attending Mass in the morning and I think that is a shame, even though I know that I do not need to be sharing my germs with the congregation. The Body of Christ serves out in the world, but gathers together for Mass on Sundays to Worship, Honor, Praise the Lord and participate in the Thanksgiving Banquet, the Eucharist, The Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ our Lord.

There is much I wish to share, many subjects to be put forth and discussed. I wish to chat about Our Lady’s Rosary, and my healing; my conversion (re-conversion) and the Love that seems to flow ever stronger from my heart, but in the back of my sickness-addled brain, all I can seem to focus on is that I am not fit to attend Mass tomorrow, and that saddens me a little.

I really do like attending Mass, and not just on Sunday but on any day I find I can make it. Daily Mass has, for me, a different feeling of celebration than the Sunday Mass. I find it more personal and intimate, although no less grand than a ‘proper’ Sunday Mass. If my schedule and duties would allow it, I would try to attend Mass every day.

Still, I have my daily Prayers of the Hours so I can follow along every day and receive communion within the desire of my heart though my body will only be here in my prayer room. This train of thought brings to mind something I once read that J. R. R. Tolkien wrote to his son Christopher in one of his letters:

If you don’t do so already, make a habit of the ‘praises’. I use them much (in Latin): the Gloria Patri, the Gloria in Excelsis, the Ladaute Dominum; the Laudate Pueri Dominum (of which I am specially fond), one of the Sunday psalms; and the Magnificat; also the Litany of Loretto (with the prayer Sub tuum præsidium). If you have these by heart you never need for words of joy. It is also a good and admirable thing to know by heart the Cannon of the Mass, for you can say this in your heart if ever hard circumstance keeps you from hearing Mass. So endeth Fæder lár his suna.* With very much love.

Longaõ þonne þy lǽs þe him con léoþa worn,
oþþe mid hondum con hearpan grétan;
hafaþ him his glíwes giefe, þe him God sealde.

From the Exeter Book. Less doth yearning trouble him who knoweth many songs, or with his hands can touch the harp: his possession is his gift of ‘glee’ (= music and/or verse) which God gave him.

How these old words smite one out of dark antiquity! ‘Longaõ’! All down the ages men (of our kind, most awarely) have felt it: not necessarily caused by sorrow, or the hard world, but sharpened by it. ^1

*Anglo Saxon for ‘[The] Father’s counsel to [his] son.’

What comforting and wise advice from a father to a son. I have several Psalms that I know by heart and I follow the daily prayers of Mass. I have one additional prayer that I am trying to memorize in both Latin and English. It is another old prayer that speaks to me of my feelings about the Sacrifice of the Mass. While the English helps me to understand better, the Latin flows more lyrically on my tongue. The prayer is called the Anima Christi:

Anima Christi, sanctifica me.
Corpus Christi, salva me.
Sanguis Christi, inebria me.
Aqua lateris Christi, lava me.
Passio Christi, conforta me.
O bone Iesu, exaudi me.
Intra tua vulnera absconde me.
Ne permittas me separari a te.
Ab hoste maligno defende me.
In hora mortis meae voca me.
Et iube me venire ad te,
ut cum Sanctis tuis laudem te
in saecula saeculorum. Amen.

Soul of Christ, sanctify me.
Body of Christ, save me.
Blood of Christ, inebriate me.
Water from the side of Christ, wash me.
Passion of Christ, strengthen me.
O good Jesus, hear me.
Within thy wounds hide me.
Suffer me not to be separated from thee.
From the malicious enemy defend me.
In the hour of my death call me
and bid me come unto thee,
that with thy saints I may praise thee
for ever and ever. Amen. ^2

Having started out not knowing what to say, I sure seem to have said a lot. I wish you all Peace of heart and health of body, mind and spirit.

Footnote 1: From “The Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien” by Humphrey Carpenter published by the Houghton Mifflin Co. 1981, Letter #54: To Christopher Tolkien, Paragraph 2 to end of letter.

Footnote 2: Latin Prayer and English Translation as published in Magnificat Magazine



  1. Very lovely and very inspiring. There seem to be bright aspects to the darkness of being sick, aren’t there? You never cease to amaze me.


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