"Godhead Here in Hiding"

On this feast of St. Thomas Aquinas, having just finished Paul Mariani's dense, devoted biography of Gerard Manley Hopkins, I thought I would post Hopkins' translation of the "Adoro Te Devote:"

Godhead here in hiding, whom I do adore,Masked by these bare shadows, shape and nothing more,See, Lord, at Thy service low lies here a heartLost, all lost in wonder at the God thou art.Seeing, touching, tasting are in thee deceived:How says trusty hearing? that shall be believed;What God's Son has told me, take for truth I do;Truth Himself speaks truly or there's nothing true.On the cross Thy godhead made no sign to men,Here Thy very manhood steals from human ken:Both are my confession, both are my belief,And I pray the prayer of the dying thief.I am not like Thomas, wounds I cannot see,But can plainly call thee Lord and God as he;Let me to a deeper faith daily nearer move,Daily make me harder hope and dearer love.O thou our reminder of Christ crucified,Living Bread, the life of us for whom he died,Lend this life to me then: feed and feast my mind,There be thou the sweetness man was meant to find.Bring the tender tale true of the Pelican;Bathe me, Jesu Lord, in what Thy bosom ranBlood whereof a single drop has power to winAll the world forgiveness of its world of sin.Jesu, whom I look at shrouded here below,I beseech thee send me what I thirst for so,Some day to gaze on thee face to face in lightAnd be blest for ever with Thy glory's sight. Amen.

Robert P. Imbelli, a long-time Commonweal contributor, is a priest of the Archdiocese of New York. A book of essays in his honor, The Center Is Jesus Christ Himself, edited by Andrew Meszaros, was published this year by The Catholic University of America Press.

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