My song today is the Christmas carol, ‘Oh Come All Ye Faithful’. This carol was originally written in Latin as ’Adeste Fideles’ and has been attributed to various authors, including John Francis Wade (1711–1786), John Reading (1645–1692), King John 1V of Portugal (1604–1656), and anonymous monks. The earliest printed version is in a book published by Wade, but the earliest manuscript bears the name of King John IV and is to be found in the library of the ’Ducal Palace of Vila Vicosa’. A manuscript by Wade, dating to 1751, is held by ‘Stonyhurst College‘ in Lancashire. The original four verses of the hymn were extended to a total of eight, and these have been translated into many languages. The English translation of "O Come, All Ye Faithful" by the English Catholic priest Frederick Oakeley (written in 1841) is widespread in most English-speaking countries.
Faith is such a wonderful thing, and it is most certainly health-enhancing as well as providing all humans with a wholesome and worthwhile purpose in their lives. I was always led to believe by my late mother that when we feed our faith with good works, we not only strengthen our resolve to succeed, but we also starve our fears in the height of our adversities and any struggles we face in life. I once recall reading that ‘faith is that mystical human force which enables one to believe in that which cannot be seen, and in so doing, see that in which one believes!’ This is something all Christians can subscribe to. The wisest among us allow our faith to be greater than our fear, for they believe that the force for good is greater than the force for bad. Should the time ever come when we lose faith, we essentially lose all. Never stop believing in humanity and the basic goodness which lies in all of God’s creatures, for faith is a knowledge that lies deep within the heart and is beyond the realm of proof to know its existence. As Thomas Aquinas said, “To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible”.
Sheila and I wish you all a merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Love and peace Bill xxx