Thursday, May 1, 2008

O God Beyond All Praising

God is awesome! This morning as I left the church parking lot after Mass on my way to work, I was still praying intensely for guidance regarding a new opportunity. Ever since I discovered this possibility yesterday I have opened wide my mind and heart to God's will and knelt before Him in awe and love. Radical changes like this require radical reliance on God - and I find Him to be so trustworthy! As I passionately seek God's direction for my life I am also falling passionately in love with Him again. It is very good.

So imagine my surprise and delight when I turned on my car radio to listen to some calming classical music (I highly recommend WDAV 89.9 FM to my Charlotte readers) and Gustav Holst's "Jupiter" from The Planets was playing. And not just any old section of Jupiter, but THE VERY SECTION that Michael Perry set the lyrics of "O God Beyond All Praising" to. I fell in love with this hymn two years ago. My friend Ben gave copies to my fellow LOJ music ministers and I, hoping we would use it in a Mass or prayer meeting. Since then, I've heard Libera sing a different hymn ("I vow to thee my country") to the same music so beautifully on their Free CD. Then the Charlotte diocesan choir chose it for their concert at a Eucharistic Congress and our own parish choir (which, at the time, included me) sang it several times. I just discovered that "O God" was sung during Pope Benedict's Mass at St. Patrick's in New York on his recent US visit.

Check out these fabulous lyrics:

O God beyond all praising,
we worship you today
and sing the love amazing
that songs cannot repay;
for we can only wonder
at every gift you send,
at blessings without number
and mercies without end:
we lift our hearts before you
and wait upon your word,
we honor and adore you,
our great and mighty Lord.

Then hear, O gracious Savior,
accept the love we bring,
that we who know your favor
may serve you as our king;
and whether our tomorrows
be filled with good or ill,
we'll triumph through our sorrows
and rise to bless you still:
to marvel at your beauty
and glory in your ways,
and make a joyful duty
our sacrifice of praise.
I love this song so much that I practically begged David to let me include it in our wedding Mass. He gave in lovingly agreed, and the St. Ann's choir did a beautiful job of singing it during our procession into the church (none of that "Here Comes the Bride" froo fra - our wedding was all about giving glory to God).

O God, You ARE beyond praising, but I praise You still, even in the midst of my uncertainty. If this opportunity is a gift you are sending, I will receive it with wonder and gratitude. In the meantime, I lift my heart before you and wait upon your word.

1 comment:

Bill Donaghy said...

That is a BEAUTIFUL song. It just swells and swells! God is awesome indeed. Thanks for sharing, and happy Ascension Day!

Bill