Jesus, Thou Joy of loving hearts

Jesus, Thou Joy of loving hearts,
Thou Fount of life, Thou Light of men,
From the best bliss that earth imparts,
We turn unfilled to Thee again.
Thy truth unchanged hath ever stood;
Thou savest those that on Thee call;
To them that seek Thee, Thou art good,
To them that find Thee, all in all!
We taste Thee, O Thou living Bread,
And long to feast upon Thee still;
We drink of Thee, the Fountain-head,
And thirst our souls from Thee to fill!
Our restless spirits yearn for Thee,
Where'er our changeful lot is cast;
Glad when Thy gracious smile we see,
Blest, when our faith can hold Thee fast.
O Lord, be Thou our strength and stay!
Make all our moments calm and bright,
Chase all dark thoughts of sin away,
Shed o'er us here Thy holy light.
Steve Miller

Detroit, MI, United States

A nobleman by birth, Bernard of Clairvaux gave up a life of luxury to follow Christ. So when he writes about being "unfilled" by "the best bliss that earth imparts," he knows.

The monastic life was often one of withdrawal. Monks had their own communities, which were largely self-sufficient. Thus they could work and pray in relative solitude. But Bernard broke out of that system and became an unusually public figure for a monk. He challenged popes and political leaders to live righteously. He urged professors to teach truth. He launched evangelistic campaigns.

We can learn much from Bernard's example. We do need time for "calm and bright" moments alone with Christ. But we also need to let Him send us forth in service. - Great Songs of Faith by Brown & Norton


The 1st line of the last stanza originally said:

O Jesus, ever with us stay,

Ray Jones

Guelph, Ontario, Canada

So much appreciate previous comments. The Lord of this hymn thrilled their hearts as has so many in the nine hundred years since Bernard of Clairvaux wrote it. One Day we will see the Lord face to face; oh what a day that will be, won't it?

Rodger Campbell

Wellington, New Zealand

A wonderful song to start morning revival with. Speaks so much of who our Lord is experientially (Joy of loving hearts, Fount of life, Light of men, truth unchanged, living bread, the Fountain-head, our strength & stay). I especially love lines 3 & 4 in stanza 1: "From the best bliss that earth imparts, We turn unfilled to Thee again."

Whom have we upon the earth but thee O Lord! Nothing is sweeter than You Lord Jesus!


White Rock, BC, Canada

It is only when we love our Lord Jesus that He becomes our joy. How we need to eat Him as the Living Bread (Jn. 6:51), and drink of Him at the Fountain-head (Jn. 4:14; Rev. 22:1) day by day, moment by moment. Then only, can we say, "O Jesus, ever stay with us." Even though this hymn was written almost 900 years ago and translated about 150 years ago, in our spirit we can appreciate the writer's and translator's yearning and appreciation of the Lord.

Piano Hymns