God Does Not Dwell in Narrow Hearts

Plants lift flowers to the sun
Empowered to breathe and bloom,
Our hearts are opened wide to God
And for God’s love make room. 

God does not dwell in narrow hearts,
though narrow is the road,
God lifts our hearts to be with Christ 
As first on cross Christ showed.

Seek poverty, and peace will come.
Depend on God alone,
As we desire to feed on love,

Love’s riches we will own.

God does not dwell in narrow hearts,
though narrow roads can be,
God’s love will come as we seek God,
Love’s generosity. 

For poverty will make love’s way,
And all things we possess,
We lean on God for treasure real,
And know that God will bless.

God does not dwell in narrow hearts 
though narrow is the path,
as God will guide through dark and light,
with God we’ll find our heart.

  • Jacapone da Todi, Lauda XV
  • Adapted by Ted Witham, Lent 2023
  • Metre 8686 – Nativity TiS 204
  •                           Bangor    TiS 515 (ii)

See Her Weeping Hard Hot Tears

See her weeping hard hot tears,
Grieving for her only Son,
Shrinking as they plunge their spears
Killing human Three in One.

As they hammer hands to hardwood,
Nail the body, crush the bone,
Mary feels in her the sorrow,
A sword of her very own.

All of us have loved a mother,
and been loved by her in turn,
As we watch the Saviour suffer,
Mary’s suffering we can learn.

So how sad and quietly moaning
Was the Mother at the Cross,
Dignity her anguish owning
In her catastrophic loss.

Who among us watching Christians
Does not weep as Mary mourns?
Who is so cold and hard-hearted
Not to feel the Paschal thorns?

Standing by your side, dear Mother,
May we share your love of Christ,
Count the death of our dear Brother
As God’s generous sacrifice.  

Stabat Mater Dolorosa, attributed to Friar Jacapone (Crazy Jim) da Todi (ca. 1230 – 1306)
Paraphrase by Ted Witham tssf © 2021

Metre: 8787
Cross of Jesus TiS 136
or 8787D
Abbot’s Leigh TiS 153

The Day of Penitence AD 2010


Lord, we present ourselves to you in penitence,
Following Francis in following you –
Finding the pathway that leads to obedience,
rev’rencing all things so hallowing You.

First, we would learn how to walk in humility;
Counting ourselves as no more than we are,
Living unselfishly brings its tranquillity,
To God’s dear humble ones, God’s love bends far.

Having less, using less, live in simplicity,
Living more lightly so others may live;
Exploring meanings of Franciscan poverty,
Stretching ourselves in the love that we give.

Trav’lling the path of a willing forgiveness,
Pard’ning ourselves and our neighbours and friends:
This is the penance that leads to deep blessedness,
Joy and the pleasures of life without end.

Metre: dactylic
“Was Lebet” Together in Song 160
Ted Witham 2010

Francis at the Cross - sculpture at the Brothers' house in Brisbane, Australia