The Stigmata


When Francis our father received the stigmata,
he climbed up Averna and prayed from the heart.
With all his believing, he now is receiving
the marks on his body of being in Christ.

So first there is Moses, who on our God closes
by opening his life to the power of the law.
He follows obeying, and does what God’s saying:
the marks on his body of being in Christ.

And next there is Jesus who brightness releases.
On Carmel he’s climbing and shines in the light.
The truth that he’s revealing, with serving we’re sealing
the marks on our body of being in Christ.

So when our Saint Francis on Averna dances,
He turns to the Lord and is won by the Cross.
Obeying and seeing, and turning and freeing
the marks on his body of being in Christ.

Now we who are living find joy in thanksgiving.
We seek out a place to pause and to pray.
The love that we’re gaining is expressed with pain in
the marks on our body of being in Christ.

This hymn was inspired by Moses’ experience of the glory of God when he climbed Mount Sinai. This is described in Exodus 24:12-18 set for the Old Testament reading for the Stigmata (in the Australian Third Order Manual).

The metre of the hymn is 12.11.12.11 and the words were written to fit the tune “Kremser” (Together in Song 107).  It can also be sung to the “Ash Grove” (Together in Song 531) (either repeat verse 1 at the end, or start verse 5 from line 5 of the music to fit “The Ash Grove”).

© Ted Witham tssf, Stigmata 2007

The Stigmatizing of St Francis - Caravaggio

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The Day of Penitence AD 2010


THE DAY OF PENITENCE

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

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