O the bitter shame and sorrow
Source: Singing the Faith: 432
Words: Theodore Monod
Music: “All of thee” by James Mountain
Ideas for use
The four verses of this hymn echo the process of maturing in faith described by St Bernard of Clairvaux in On Loving God. He spoke of “Four degrees of love” – the four stages of Christian love:
Love of Self for Self’s Sake
Love of God for Self’s Sake
Love of God for God’s Sake
Love of Self for God’s Sake
Theodore Monod’s text lends itself to being sung or read verse by verse, interspersed with St Bernard’s reflections, helpfully summarised here.
Also see Hymns to build worship around.
Theodore Monod (1836 – 1921) was a French Protestant Pastor who initially studied law but then trained for the ministry at Western Theological Seminary in Alleghany, Pennsylvania. Between 1860 and 1863 he worked with French Canadians in Illinois. He returned to Paris and his father’s pastorate there in 1875. He was a popular speaker at the Keswick Camp meetings.
Monod’s evangelical insistence that we focus on the life of Jesus in order to lose ourselves and become ever more Christ-like is illustrated by this extract from his book Looking to Jesus (published in 1862 in French as Regardant Jesus).
“Looking unto Jesus — that the brightness of His face may enlighten our darkness; that our joy may be holy and our grief subdued; that He may humble us in order to exalt us in due time, that He may afflict us in order to comfort us, that He may strip us of our self-righteousness in order to enrich us with His own; that He may teach us how to pray and then answer our prayers — so that while we are in the world we will not be of the world, so that our life may be hid with Him in God, so that our words may bear witness of Him before men….”
(Adapted for contemporary readers and copyrighted by Dan Augsburger, June 2002)
Information source: www.path2prayer.com