Breviary Hymns and Missal Sequences, Sacred Heart, Matins

Sacred Heart of Jesus stained glass window, Saint Joseph's Cathedral, Macon, Georgia, USA; artist unknown; photographed by the author, summer 2003See how the army of our sins,
A cruel army, proud and fierce,
The Heart of God most innocent
Ungratefully and basely pierce.

Our sins direct the cruel stroke,
Made by the thrusting soldier’s lance,
And the dread sharpness of its point,
Our crimes with mortal guilt enhance.

From out that opened Heart is born
The Holy Church, of Christ the Bride,
Behold the door, which, for our race,
In that new Ark, stands open wide.

Hence issues a perennial stream
Of grace in wondrous sevenfold flood,
That we may cleanse our robes defiled,
In the sweet Lamb’s most Precious Blood.

Shame were it to return to sins,
That Blessed Heart to lacerate,
Rather the flames, which tell His love,
Let us in spirit emulate.

O hear us, Father, hear, O Christ,
And Holy Spirit, hear us too,
To whom be power and glory given,
And Kingdom all the ages through. Amen.

– translated by Archbishop Edward Gilpin Bagshawe, C.O., Bishop of Nottingham, England