One of Jesus followers pulled out a sword . He struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his ear . But Jesus told him. " Put your sword away
Matthew 26. 51 & 52
Jesus the very though of three , with sweetness fills my breast But sweeter still far thy face to see. And in thy presence rest.
This hymn ( which I do not think I have hear before) sung for almost a thousand years is attributed to a puzzling man in France named Barnard , a deeply spiritual Christian who advanced a militant Christianity.
Barnard seemed destined for a promising secular career until as a youth hr turned toward Christ and persuaded more than two dozen of his friends to give themselves to celibacy and to the monastery of Citeaux. He soon become the most famous figure there and was sent to found a similar institution of Clairvaux.
The monastery of Clairvaux become his headquarters and he seldom left it, but his influence radiated from its walls like spokes of a wheel. During his lifetime he found seventy more monasteries and oversaw ninety others. He loved the scriptures and become deeply acquainted with its teachings, but he loved the sword almost as much. He advanced monastic military orders --- communities of knights and men - at - arms living under monastic discipline committed to the defense of the church and faith. He wrote the rule book for the Knights Templar and inspired German military orders that forcibly Christianized parts of Europe . He envisioned the Second Crusade and persuaded Pope Eugene, his former pupil to authorize it. When it ended in disaster , Barnard commented " ts better that they blame me than God."
Many Christian today blame Barnard . He was a fighter who battled the devil in his own life time by rigid disciplines ; hersey ; by asserting orthodzy at every stop; paganism, by preaching with a Bible in one hand and a sword in the other, and Muslims by sending Europe's finest on an ill -fated Cursade. He did not give up his battles until August 20, 1153 , when at 63 he departed ---- "Thy face to see and in thy prsence rest.
We question his judgement but we still sing his song. We remember his life every August 20 , the feast day of St. Barnard of Clairaux.
Here is the rest of the hymn
With sweetness fills my breast;
But sweeter far Thy face to see,
And in Thy presence rest.
Nor can the memory find
A sweeter sound than Thy blest Name,
O Savior of mankind!
O Joy of all the meek,
To those who fall, how kind Thou art!
How good to those who seek!
Nor tongue nor pen can show;
The love of Jesus, what it is
None but His loved ones know.
Thou fount of life and fire!
Surpassing all the joys we know,
And all we can desire.
Soul-thirst to satisfy.
Exhaustless spring! the waters free!
All other streams are dry.
As Thou our Prize wilt be;
Jesus, be Thou our Glory now,
And through eternity.