Be thou my vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that thou art:
Thou my best thought both by day and by night,
Waking or sleeping, thy presence my light. (Irish Traditional, Tune SLANE)
O Light of the World, we stumble around in the darkness of this world which confounds us and causes us to live in fear, and through tear-filled eyes we see the pain and struggle in this world:
- the President of the Philippines, Duterte, withdrawing the country from the International Criminal Court rather than own up to injustices committed;
- sex slavery rampant in Nigeria and Libya, with kidnappings of young women continuing regularly;
- the recent plane crash in Nepal with at least 49 dead and many others injured;
- Soviet-era nerve agents being used to strike down double agent, Sergei Skripal, and his daughter in England, resulting in the ousting of 23 Soviet diplomats from the U.K.;
- the extreme cold weather affecting the Eastern United States and the United Kingdom.
Be thou my wisdom, and thou my true word;
I ever with thee and thou with me, Lord.
Thou my souls shelter, and thou my high tow’r.
Raise thou me heav’nward, O Pow’r of my power.
But you continue to shine light into the darkness, Holy One; you continue to speak in a voice both wise and true, and so we can lift our hearts and voices in gratitude and rejoicing for:
- the life and work of Stephen Hawking, the incredible scientist who overcame great physical disability to come to symbolize the power of the human mind, as he sought to explain some of the most complicated questions of life;
- the possibility of a summit between Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe and North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un, with the hope for maintaining peace in East Asia;
- the thousands of young people throughout the United States who, on the one-month anniversary of the high school shooting in Parkland, Florida, organized a walk-out to raise awareness about gun violence and to hold their legislators accountable;
- Viola Desmond, known as Canada’s Rosa Parks, becoming the first black person to appear on Canadian currency, announced on International Women’s Day;
- the countless ordinary citizens who are choosing the difficult path of running for office in order to do justice, to love kindness, and to assure equality for all people.
Riches I heed not, nor vain, empty praise,
Thou mine inheritance, now and always;
Thou and thou only, the first in my heart,
Great God of heaven, my treasure thou art.
Great God of heaven, open our hearts and minds and eyes to see this world and its peoples as you see us, always through the lens of Love, incarnated in Jesus the Christ and in us, your own beloved children.
Let this be so. Amen.