RHYTHMICAL PRAYER to the SACRED MEMBERS OF JESUS HANGING ON THE
Ascribed to St. Bernard
PART I TO THE FEET
O Saviour of the world, I cry to Thee; O Saviour, suffering God, I
worship Thee; O wounded beauteous Love, I kneel to Thee; Thou
knowest, Lord, how I would follow Thee, If of Thyself Thou give
Thyself to Me.
Thy Presence I Believe; O come to me! Behold me prostrate, Jesus;
look on me! How beautiful Thou art! O turn to me! O in Thy tender
mercy turn to me, And let Thy untold pity pardon me!
With trembling love and feat I worship Thee; I kiss the grievous
nails which entered Thee, And think on those dire wounds which
tortured Thee, And, grieving, lift my weeping eyes to Thee,
Transfixed and dying all for love of me!
O wondrous grace! O gracious charity! O love of sinners in such
agony! Sweet Father of the poor! O who can be Unmoved to witness
this great mystery,-- The Healer smitten, hanging on a tree?
O gentle Jesus, turn Thee unto me; What I have broken do Thou bind
in me, And what is crooked make Thou straight in me; What I have
lost restore Thou unto me, And what is weak and sickly heal in me.
O Love! with all my strength I seek for Thee; Upon and in thy
Cross I look for Thee; With sorrow and with hope I turn to Thee,--
That through Thy Blood new health may come to me, That washed
therein Thy love may pardon me.
O take my heart, Thou Loved One; let it be Transfixed with those
dear wounds for love of Thee, O wound it, Jesus, with pure love of
Thee; And let it so be crucified with Thee, that it may be forever
joined to Thee.
Sweet Jesus, loving God, I cry to Thee; Thou guilty, yet I come
for love of Thee; O show Thyself, dear Saviour, kind to me!
Unworthy as I am, O turn to me, Nor at thy sacred Feet abandon me!
Dear Jesus, bathed in tears, I kneel to Thee; In shame and grief I
lift my eyes to Thee; Prostrate before Thy Cross I bow to Thee,
And thy dear Feet embrace; O look on me, Yea, from Thy Cross, O
look, and pardon me.
O my Beloved, stretched against that Thee, Whose arms divine are
now enfolding me, whose gracious Heart is now upholding me,-- O my
Beloved, let me wholly be Transformed, forgiven, one alone with
PART II TO THE KNEES
O Jesus, King of Saints, I worship Thee; O hope of sinners, hail!
I rest on Thee; True God, true man, Thou hangest on the Tree
Transfixed, with quivering flesh and shaking knees, A criminal
esteemed,--I worship Thee.
Alas, how poor, how naked, wilt Thou be! How hast Thou stript
Thyself for love of me, How made Thyself a gazing-stock to be! Not
forced, but, O my God! How willingly In all Thy limbs Thou
sufferest on that Tree!
Thy Precious Blood wells forth abundantly From all Thy open wounds
incessantly; All bathed therein, O God, in agony Thou standest on
the Cross of infamy, Awaiting the appointed hour to die.
O infinite, O wondrous majesty! O terrible, unheard-of poverty!
Ah, who, returning so great charity, I willing, Jesus, thus to
give for Thee His blood for Thine, in faithful love for Thee?
O Jesus, how shall I, then, answer Thee, Who am so vile, and have
not followed Thee? Or how repay the love that loveth me With such
sublime, such awful charity Transfixed, from double death to set
O Jesus, what Thy love hath been for me! O Jesus, death could
never conquer Thee! Ah, with what loving care Thou keepest me
Enfolded in Thine arms, lest I should be, By death of sin, a
moment torn from Thee!
Behold, O Jesus, how for love of Thee, With all my soul I
trembling cling to Thee, And Thy dear Knees embrace. O pity me!
Thou knowest why--in pity bear with me, And overlook the shame
that covers me!
O let the Blood I worship flow on me, That what I do may never
anger Thee; The Blood which flows at every pore from Thee Each
imperfection may it wash from me, That I may undefiled and perfect
O force me, best Beloved, to draw to Thee, Transfixed and bleeding
on the shameful Tree, Despised and stretched in dying agony! All
my desire, O Lord, is fixed on Thee; O call me, then, and I will
I have no other love, dear Lord, but Thee; Thou art my first and
last; I cling to Thee. It is no labor, Lord; love sets me free;
Then heal me, cleanse me, let me rest on Thee, For love is life,
and life is love--in Thee.
PART III TO THE HANDS
Hail, holy Shepherd! Lord, I worship Thee, Fatigued with combat,
steeped in misery; Whose sacred Hands, outstretched in agony, All
pierced and dislocated on the Tree, Are fastened to the wood of
Dear holy Hands, I humbly worship ye, With roses filled, fresh
blossoms of that Tree; The cruel iron enters into ye, While open
gashes yield unceasingly The Precious stream down-dropping from
Behold, Thy Blood, O Jesus, flows on me-- The price of my
salvation falls on me; O ruddy as the rose, it drops on me. Sweet
Precious Blood, it wells abundantly From both Thy sacred Hands to
set me free.
My heart leaps up, O Jesus, unto Thee; Drawn by those nail-pierced
Hands it flies to Thee; Drawn by those Blood-stained Hands
stretched out for me, My soul breaks out with sighing unto Thee,
And longs to slake its thirst, O Love, in Thee.
My God, what great stupendous charity-- Both good and bad are
welcomed here by Thee! The slothful heart Thou drawest graciously,
The loving one Thou callest tenderly, And unto all a pardon
Behold, I now present myself to Thee, Who dost present thy
bleeding Hands to me; The sick Thou healest when they come to
Thee; Thou canst not, therefore, turn away from me, Whose love
Thou knowest, Lord, is all for Thee.
O my Beloved, fastened to the Tree, Draw, by Thy love, my senses
unto Thee; My will, my intellect, my memory, And all I am, make
subject unto Thee, In whose dear arms alone is liberty.
O draw me for Thy Cross' sake to Thee; O draw me for Thy so wide
charity; Sweet Jesus, draw my heart in truth to Thee, O put an end
to all my misery, And crown me with Thy Cross and victory!
O Jesus, place Thy sacred Hands on me, With transport let me kiss
them tenderly, With groans and tears embrace them fervently; And,
O for these deep wounds I worship Thee; And for hte blessed drops
that fall on me!
O dearest Jesus, I commend to Thee Myself, and all I am, most
perfectly; Bathed in Thy Blood, behold, I live for Thee; O, may
Thy blessed Hands encompass me, And in extremity deliver me!
PART IV TO THE SIDE
O Jesus, highest Good, I yearn for Thee; O Jesus, merciful, I hope
in Thee, Whose sacred Body hands upon the Tree, Whose limbs, all
dislocated painfully, Are stretched in torture, all for love of
Hail, sacred Side of Jesus! Verily The hidden spring of mercy lies
in Thee, The source of honeyed sweetness dwells in Thee, The
fountain of redemption flows from Thee, The secret well of love
that cleanses me.
Behold, O King of Love, I draw to Thee; If I am wrong, O Jesus,
pardon me; Thy love, Beloved, calls me lovingly, As I with
blushing cheek gaze willingly Upon the living wound that bleeds
O gentle opening, I worship Thee; O open door and deep, I look in
Thee; O most pure stream, I gaze and gaze on Thee: More ruddy than
the rose, I draw to Thee; More healing than all health, I fly to
More sweet than wine Thine odor is for me; The poisoned breath of
sin it drives from me; Thou art the draught of life poured out for
me. O ye who thirst, come, drink thereof with me; And Thou, sweet
wound, O open unto me.
O red wound open, let me draw to Thee, And let my throbbing heart
be filled from Thee! Ah, see! My heart, Beloved, faints for Thee.
O my Beloved, open unto me, That I may pass and lose myself in
Lord, with my mouth I touch and worship Thee, With all the
strength I have I cling to Thee, With all my love I plunge my
heart in Thee, My very life-blood would I drawn from Thee,-- O
Jesus, Jesus! Draw me into Thee!
How Sweet Thy savor is! Who tastes of Thee, O Jesus Christ, can
relish naught but Thee; Who tastes Thy living sweetness lives by
Thee; All else is void--the soul must die for Thee; So faints my
heart,--so would I die for thee.
I languish, Lord! O let me hide in Thee! In Thy sweet Side, my
Love, O bury me! And may the fire divine consuming Thee Burn in my
heart where it lies hid in Thee, Without a fear reposing
When in the hour of death Thou callest me, O Love of loves, may my
soul enter Thee; May my last breath, O Jesus fly to Thee; So no
fierce beast may drive my heart from Thee, But in Thy Side may it
remain with Thee!
PART V TO THE BREAST
O God of my salvation, hail to Thee! O Jesus, sweetest Love, all
hail to Thee! O venerable Breast, I worship Thee; O dwelling-place
of love, I fly to Thee, With trembling touch adore and worship
Hail, throne of the Most Holy Trinity! Hail, ark immense of tender
charity! Thou stay of weakness and infirmity, Sweet rest of weary
souls who rest on Thee, Dear couch of loving ones who lean on
With reverence, O Love, I kneel to Thee, O worthy to be ever
sought by me; Behold me, Jesus, looking unto Thee. O, set my heart
on fire, dear Love, from Thee, And burn it in the flame that burns
O make my breast a precious home for thee, A furnace of sweet love
and purity, A well of holy grief and piety; Deny my will, conform
it unto Thee, That grace abundant may be mine in Thee.
Sweet Jesus, loving Shepherd, come to me; Dear Son of God and
Mary, come to me; Kind Father come, let Thy Heart pity me, And
cleanse the fountain of my misery In that great fountain of Thy
Hail, fruitful splendor of the Deity! Hail, fruitful figure of
Divinity! From the full treasure of Thy charity, O pour some gift
in Thy benignity Upon the desolate who cry to Thee!
Dear Breast of most sweet Jesus, mine would be All Thine in its
entire conformity; Absolve it from all sin, and set it free, That
it may burn with ardent charity, And never, never cease to think
Abyss of wisdom from eternity, The harmonies of angels worship
Thee; Entrancing sweetness flows, O Breast, from thee; John tasted
it as he lay rapt on Thee; O grant me thus that I may dwell in
Hail, fountain deep of God's benignity! The fullness of the
immense Divinity Hath found at last a creature home in Thee. Ah,
may the counsel that I learn from Thee All imperfection purify in
True temple of the Godhead, hail to Thee! O draw me in Thy
gracious charity, Thou ark of goodness, full of grace for me.
Great God of all, have mercy upon me, And on Thy right hand keep a
place for me.
PART VI TO THE FACE
Hail, bleeding Head of Jesus, hail to Thee! Thou thorn-crowned
Head, I humbly worship Thee! O wounded Head, I lift my hands to
Thee; O lovely Face besmeared, I gaze on Thee; O bruised and livid
Face, look down on me!
Hail, beauteous Face of Jesus, bent on me, Whom angel choirs adore
exultantly! Hail, sweetest Face of Jesus, bruised for me-- Hail,
Holy One, whose glorious Face for me Is shorn of beauty on that
All strength, all freshness, is gone forth from Thee: What wonder!
Hath not God afflicted Thee, And is not death himself approaching
Thee? O Love! But death hath laid his touch on Thee, And faint and
broken features turn to me.
O have they thus maltreated Thee, my own? O have they Thy sweet
Face despised, my own? And all for my unworthy sake, my own! O in
Thy beauty turn to me, my own; O turn one look of love on me, my
In this Thy Passion, Lord, remember me; In this Thy pain, O Love,
acknowledge me; The honey of whose lips was shed on me, The milk
of whose delights hath strengthened me Whose sweetness is beyond
delight for me!
Despise me not, O Love; I long for Thee; Contemn me not, unworthy
though I be; But now that death is fast approaching Thee, Incline
Thy Head, my Love, my Love, to me, To these poor arms, and let it
rest on me!
The holy Passion I would share with Thee, And in Thy dying love
rejoice with Thee; Content if by this Cross I die with Thee;
Content, Thou knowest, Lord, how willingly Where I have lived to
die for love of Thee.
For this Thy bitter death all thanks to Thee, Dear Jesus, and Thy
wondrous love for me! O gracious God, so merciful to me, Do as Thy
guilty one entreateth Thee, And at the end let me be found with
When from this life, O Love, Thou callest me, Then, Jesus, be not
wanting unto me, But in the dreadful hour of agony, O hasten,
Lord, and be Thou nigh to me, Defend, protect, and O deliver me.
When Thou, O God, shalt bid my soul be free, Then, dearest Jesus,
show Thyself to me! O condescend to show Thyself to me,-- Upon Thy
saving Cross, dear Lord, to me,-- And let me die, my Lord,
PART VII TO THE SACRED HEART
Hail, sacred Heart of God's great Majesty! Hail, sweetest Heart,
my heart saluteth Thee! With great desire, O Heart, I seek for
Thee, And faint for joy, O Heart, embracing Thee; Then give me
leave, O Love, to speak to Thee.
With what sweet love Thou languishedst for me! What pain and
torment was that love to Thee! How didst Thou all Thyself exhaust
for me! How hast Thou wholly given Thyself to me, That death no
longer might have hold of me!
O bitter death and cruel! Can it be Thou darest so to enter
greedily Into that cell divine? O can it be The Life of life, that
lives there gloriously, Should feel thy bite, O death, and yield
For Thy death's sake which Thou didst bear for me, When Thou, O
sweetest Heart, didst faint for me, O Heart most precious in its
agony, See how I yearn, and longing turn to Thee! Yield to my
love, and draw me unto Thee!
O sacred Heart, beloved most tenderly, Cleanse Thou my own; more
worthy let it be, All hardened as it is with vanity; O make it
tender, loving, fearing Thee, And all its icy coldness drive from
O sinner as I am, I come to Thee; My very vitals throb and call
for Thee; O Love, sweet love, draw hither unto me! O Heart of
Love, my heart would ravished be, And sicken with the wound of
love for Thee!
Dilate and open, Heart of love, for me, And like a rose of
wondrous fragrance be, Sweet Heart of love, united unto me; Anoint
and pierce my heart, O Love, with Thee, How can he suffer, Lord,
who loveth Thee?
O Heart of Love, who vanquished is by Thee Knows nothing, but
beside himself must be; No bounds are set to that sweet liberty,
No moderation,--he must fly to Thee, Or die he must of many deaths
My living heart, O Love, cries out for Thee; With all its
strength, O Love, my soul loves Thee; O Heart of Love, incline
Thou unto me, That I with burning love may turn to Thee, And with
devoted breast recline on Thee!
In that sweet furnace let me live for Thee, Nor let the sleep of
sloth encumber me; O let me sing to Thee and weep to Thee, Adore,
and magnify, and honor Thee, And always take my full delight in
Thou Rose of wondrous fragrance, open wide, And bring my heart
into Thy wounded Side, O sweet heart, open! Draw Thy loving bride,
All panting with desires intensified, And satisfy her love
Unite my heart, O Jesus, unto Thine, And let Thy wounded love be
found in mine. Ah, if my heart, dear love, be made like Thine O
will it not be pierced with darts divine, the sweet reproach of
love that thrills through Thine?
O Jesus, draw my heart within Thy Breast, That it may be by Thee
alone possessed. O Love, in that sweet pain it would find rest, In
that entrancing sorrow would be blest, And love itself in joy upon
Behold, O Jesus, how it draws to Thee! O call it, that it may
remain in Thee! See with what large desire it thirsts for Thee!
Reprove it not, O Love; it loves but Thee: Then bid it live--by
one sweet taste of Thee!
Reproduced from "Rhythmical Prayer to the Sacred Members of Jesus
Hanging Upon the Cross," ascribed to St. Bernard, translated by
Emily Mary Shapcote, found in "The Life of our Lord and Saviour
Jesus Christ" by St. Bonaventure, P.J. Kenedy and Sons (New York:
(c) Catholic Information Network (CIN) - http://www.cin.org