Ephesians 3:19 says, “And to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” This passage gave inspiration to Bernard of Clairvaux to write down the famous hymn “Jesus, the Very Thought of Thee.” The original title in Latin is “Jesu, dulcis memoria” and it has fifty verses. Edward Caswall translated the hymn into English and selected five verses from the original hymn, 1-4, and 40.
Bernard of Clairvaux, a saint and doctor, was born in 1091. The son of a knight, Bernard grew up with wealth, power, and opportunities. Instead of pursuing these things in his adult life, however, Clairvaux abandoned his earthly luxuries and became a monk. He was educated at Chatillon, where he was distinguished for his studious and meditative habits.
In this hymn, we can see how devote Bernard was to Jesus. It is a poem of love to his Savior, an expression of joy for what the Lord Jesus has given to him and to us. You may use this hymn as a prayer.
Jesus, the very thought of thee
with sweetness fills the breast;
but sweeter far thy face to see,
and in thy presence rest.
O hope of every contrite heart,
O joy of all the meek,
to those who fall, how kind thou art!
How good to those who seek!
But what to those who find? Ah, this
nor tongue nor pen can show;
the love of Jesus, what it is,
none but his loved ones know.
Jesus, our only joy be thou,
as thou our prize wilt be;
Jesus, be thou our glory now,
and through eternity.
In His service,