Hymn in Honour of Saint Louis Bertrand OP
Come, Children of St Dominic to-day in joyful praise
While in the cradle still he lay, his heart to God was give’n,
The poisoned bowl, the risk of life, nothing could quench his fire.
Enthroned in endless bliss above, the victor’s crown he wears;
That we may learn to live and work for God, and God alone;
Sr Alacoque was born in Port Elizabeth and was the first South African to be received into the Congregation in 1895. She taught at the Convent Schools in Potchefstroom, in Klerksdorp and in Cradock. She received her B.A. Degree at Rhodes University and later taught at the Motherhouse and served as General Councillor and as Mistress of Schools. She died at the age of 76 after several years of illness at the Mater Infirmorum.
written by Sr Alacoque Brien for the Golden Jubilee of Mothers M. Reginald Fischer, M Eleonoras Petitpierre, M. Clara Huber
|In Memoriam of Gwenda Dowling,
aged 15, died September 20th 1905Rest while firstlings flow’rs of springtime bloom
In sweet profusion on thy early grave
And zephyrs, mourning thy untimely doom,
The tender leaves in dirge-like music wave.Oh rest, upon the bosom of thy God,
Our little one, in deep tranquillity,
Rest, though our tears fall hot upon the sod –
‘Tis for ourselves we weep and not tor thee.How could we grieve that thou art spared the fret,
The friction and the jar, which men call Life –
That mystery writ in pain – with keen regret –
chill fears and bitter disappointment rife.Dearly we loved thee but we could not shield
Thy tender, trusting heart from such-like woe.
God’s love was stronger, unto Him we yield
Thee, little one, despite the tears that flow.Thy soul was as a lily-dazzling white,Love’s Impotence
Of Love’s vast might I heard a poet speak.
He called it “strong as death to work its will”.
Alas! methought, where is love’s power to still
Sorrow’s wild cry? How often do we seek
In vain to soothe some loved one’s lightest woe!
We cannot bid one tear less hotly flow
Of all the show’rs that course adown the cheek
Of one more dear than life. Nay, love is weak
And ne’er so weak as when we fain would prove
It strongest. Yet ‘tis well! For prayer is born
Of love’s dire helplessness, and prayer can move
A mighty hand to draw the rankling thorn
Of suffering from hearts we love. Thus God
Maketh love’s impotence love’s chastening rod.
M.A.South African Catholic Magazine, 1910
“Lord if Thou Wilt, Thou Canst make me Clean.”
On my poor unsightly soul
At Thy feet woman knelt;
Much I’ve sinned and little loved,
–S.MA. South African Catholic Magazine, 1910
To Her Only Son
I gaze upon you and hot tears flow,
Would she have sullied her petals of snow,
– S.M.A. South African Catholic Magazine, 1911
Take Thou my talents every one,
Take Thou my heart, my worthless heart,
What e’er I have thou gavest me
Out of the depths I cry to Thee
Depths of sin and misery
God, my God oh, pity me!Weakling and craven, Lord am I,
Lend Thou Thine ear to my anguished cry,
Help! Or I perish where I lie.Dear God! I have fallen low, so low
If Thou no pitying look bestow
How to rise up I do not know.Lift me with Thine Almighty hand,
Let me once more in They Presence stand
Whence my own folly hath me banned.Wash Thou the filth from my sordid soul,
Touch Thou her wounds and make them whole.
Silence her bitter remorseful dole!Thy little creature wilt thou slight?
Cast out forever from Thy sight
Must I die here in the fearful night?No! for I see Thy tender face
Bending o’er me to Thy strengthening Grace
Giveth new courage to run the race.
Oh! Let me cling to Thy Father Hand
Where Thy Beauty unveiled shall my soul enthral
Oft in the silence comes a Voice.
He tells her of His boundless love –
He is her life, her King, her All,
Her spirit beats against its bars
To Calvary’s Mountain hand in hand
Sometimes the storm clouds threatening lower,
But lo! The Sun dispels the clouds
He lifts her up with tender care –
Haste, haste from Libanus, Beloved,
“Inhabitat in me Virtus Christi” (2 Cor 12:9)
Power is his
So wrote a poet once. But oh, how poor
The warrior of chieftain’s heart exulting bounds,
Low at yon sacred bar a sinner bends
The orator may sway a listening throng –
The monarch’s sway that rules a land content
And these dread powers, Father revered, beloved,
Sr M Alacoque Brien o.p.