On the Catholic Priesthood
The Young Priest to His Hands
By Edward F. Garesché, S.J.
Time was when ye were powerless,
To shrive and sign, anoint and bless.
Clasped, ye worshipped from afar,
That Host, as distant as a star.
Your palms were barren still, and cold,
Ye might not touch, ye might not hold,
God, Whom the signs of bread enfold.
But now ah now, most happy hands,
Ye fold the Saviour’s swaddling bands,
Ye lift His tender limbs and keep,
The snowy bed where He doth sleep.
His heart, His blood, His being fair.
All God and Man is in your care!
Ye are His guardians everywhere.
Ye pour the wine, ye break the bread,
for the great Supper sweet and dread!
Ye dress the rood of sacrifice,
Whereon the morning Victim lies,
And when my trembling accent calls,
Swift leaping from His Heaven’s walls,
On you the Light of Glory falls!
You are the altar, where I see
The Lamb that bled on Calvary,
As sacred as the chalice shrine,
wherein doth glow the Blood divine.
As sacred as the pyx are ye,
Oh happy hands – an angel’s fee!
That clasp the Lord of Majesty!
Source: New Catholic World, Vol 107