Adoro Te Devote

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Yearning, I adore you, wondrous hidden God,
Bread of Life by bread concealed, speaking heart to heart.
Give me now the faith that sees darkly through the veil,
Let your presence draw me in where my senses fail.

Seeing, touching, tasting, fail to grasp you, Lord.
Hearing only stirs up faith; faith clings to your word.
This is truth enough for me: all that you have said.
Faith alone discerns your Face, radiant Living Bread.

Seeing you upon the Cross, flesh and blood I find;
Here your flesh and blood are hid, veiled in sacred signs.
Trusting in your mercy, like the dying thief,
I confess you, God and Man; this is my belief.

Unlike Thomas touching, probing hands and side,
I see not but name you still God and Prince of Life.
Hold me in your presence, stronger make my faith,
Bolder make my hope in you, fire me with Love’s flame.

Wonderful memorial of the Crucified!
Sacred Banquet, Bread from heav’n, Wellspring gushing light!
Let your life be life to me, feed and feast my mind,
Be to me the sweetness I was meant to find.

In the wounded Pelican, faith sees something more.
She with blood sustains her young; you your blood outpoured
All the world to cleanse of sin. Bathe me in that tide,
Though a single drop makes pure those drawn to your side.

Jesus, here your Face is hid, from my sight concealed,
How I thirst to meet your gaze gloriously revealed!
After life’s obscurity, let me wake to see
Beauty shining from your Face for eternity. Amen.

Original Latin text: Saint Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274)
English translation: Father Mark Daniel Kirby, O.Cist., 2004

4 Comments

Father Mark, that is a masterful and refreshingly beautiful translation. Thank you very much for posting it on your blog.

+Dear Father,
What a blessed coincidence! For part of my prayer today,I am reflecting and meditating on your masterful translation of the Adoro Te. It brings back many treasured memories and it points me toward the great and holy Pasch, the Sacred Triduum and the Victimae Paschali...I am thinking of you and praying for you on this Eucharistic feast. May our hearts be inflamed with a greater love for Him Who is our Life, Our Hope, our Salvation.

This is a beautiful translation. Granted, I don't know the difference as I don't know Latin.

I have to say, though, that my favorite translation has this as the first (English) verse:

Godhead here in hiding, whom I do adore
Lost in these bare shadows, shape and nothing more
Lord, here at Thy service, Low lies here a heart
Lost, all lost in wonder, at the God Thou art.


There is something about that verse that just draws me in, especially the phrase, "Lord, here at Thy service, low lies here a heart..."

And no matter what the translation, that phrase captures me like no other translation I've found.

I truly want to learn Latin so I can better understand the current translations out there to sort good from bad, poetry from loose associations versus actual truth even if it lacks beauty in English. (Because English is often an ugly language. I speak Spanish and too often, the translation to English loses the beauty of the true meaning and intention.)

I haven't been here in awhile due to my work/school schedule (working full time with non-regular hours, balancing with my MTS work, 6 credits per semester), but for a few days I've for some reason wanted to come here. I have not been able to, but now I see the purpose of the hidden prompt.

Thank you. Do you see this particular translation as the most true to the Latin itself, or to the Latin MEANING? (Hope that makes sense)

Thank you Father for this beautiful rendering of the Adoro Te. I have come back to read it again.
Fr. Michael Mary

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About Dom Mark

Dom Mark Daniel Kirby is Conventual Prior of Silverstream Priory in Stamullen, County Meath, Ireland. The ecclesial mandate of his Benedictine community is the adoration of the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar in a spirit of reparation, and in intercession for the sanctification of priests.

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