Perhaps my favorite hymn is “O God Beyond All Praising.” Not only is the music absolutely magnificent, I find the words to be incredibly powerful.
The first line alone, which doubles as the title of the song, communicates so much about Our Lord. All the praises in the world would not be sufficient to glorify Him. He surpasses everything we know and understand about love, generosity, and mercy.
But it is the message of the last stanza that always brings me to tears: "We’ll triumph through our sorrows and rise to bless you still: to marvel at your beauty and glory in your ways, and make a joyful duty our sacrifice of praise."
I am humbled by the lyricist's faith that there will be triumph, no matter the suffering. I am inspired by the desire to always praise, thank, and bless God. Because, to be honest, that’s not my first inclination.
When we look at the ten lepers who are all healed by Jesus, I think we all hope to be like the one who returned to praise the Lord. (See Luke 17:15.) But when I consider how often God does something beautiful for me and how infrequently I bless and thank Him, it is easy for me to see that I am usually one of the nine.
I want to be full of gratitude. I want my life to be a joyful sacrifice of praise. I want to be the one who immediately turns back to the Giver of all good things. God is good. Praise the Lord. Let us pray for the graces to live this way, sister.
Hear this congregation's rendition of the hymn.
Bonnie Engstrom is a writer, baker, speaker, and homemaker. She lives with her husband and eight children in Illinois. Bonnie is the author of "61 Minutes to a Miracle" which tells the story of her son's miracle that was approved by Pope Francis for the beatification of Venerable Fulton Sheen. She likes to bake, putz about the yard, and tell her kids to tidy the house. She is the author of the Blessed Conversations Mystery: Believe study found here. You can find out more about her here.