Strong Hand of Love

Today many Christians remember Catherine of Siena, 14th century monastic, Doctor of the Catholic church, and one of our mothers in the Great Cloud of Witnesses. A few commentators noted her in relation to Catherine Middleton’s wedding today. A prayer of Catherine’s:

Ineffable Godhead!
Oh supreme Goodness
who for love alone made us in your image and likeness!

For when you created humankind
you did not say (as when you made the other creatures),
“Let it be made.”
No, you said — O unutterable love —
“Let us make humankind in our own image and likeness,”
so that in this the whole Trinity might give assent together.

And in the powers of our soul
you fashioned us after the very Trinity,
Godhead eternal.

To fashion us after yourself, eternal Father —
you who as Father hold and keep all things within yourself —
you gave us memory
to hold and keep what our understanding perceives and knows
of you, infinite Goodness.

And in knowing,
our understanding shares in the Wisdom
that is your only-begotten Son.

You gave us our will, gentle Mercy, Holy Spirit,
which like a hand reaches up
filled with your love
to take whatever our understanding knows
of your unutterable goodness;
and then this will,
this strong hand of love,
fills our memory and affection with you.

Thanks, thanks be to you, high eternal Godhead,
that you have shown us such great love
by fashioning us with these gracious powers in our soul:

understanding to know you;
memory to keep you in mind,
to hold you within ourselves;
will and love to love you more than anything else.

It is only reasonable
that I should love you, infinite Goodness,
once I know you.

To know him is to love him.

Mark Heard’s “Strong Hand of Love,” Bruce Cockburn


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