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Lead Kindly Light

April 1, 2012 by  
Filed under Dan Burke, Meditations, Prayer, Prayers, Saints and Blesseds

Lead Kindly Light

Lead, Kindly Light, amidst th'encircling gloom,
Lead Thou me on!
The night is dark, and I am far from home,
Lead Thou me on!
Keep Thou my feet; I do not ask to see
The distant scene; one step enough for me.

I was not ever thus, nor prayed that Thou
Shouldst lead me on;
I loved to choose and see my path; but now
Lead Thou me on!
I loved the garish day, and, spite of fears,
Pride ruled my will. Remember not past years!

Cardinal John Henry Newman

Cardinal John Henry Newman (1801-1890)

So long Thy power hath blest me, sure it still
Will lead me on.
O’er moor and fen, o’er crag and torrent, till
The night is gone,
And with the morn those angel faces smile,
Which I have loved long since, and lost awhile!

Meantime, along the narrow rugged path,
Thyself hast trod,
Lead, Saviour, lead me home in childlike faith,
Home to my God.
To rest forever after earthly strife
In the calm light of everlasting life.

Lead Kindly Light was written by Blessed Cardinal John Henry Newman.  The words to Lead Kindly Light were written in 1833 as a poem entitled: The Pillar of Cloud.

Art: Portrait of John Henry Newman, John Everett Millais, before 1897, PD-US, Wikimedia Commons.

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About Dan Burke

Dan is the President of the Avila Foundation, the parent organization of, the Avila Institute for Spiritual Formation, Divine Intimacy Radio and Divine Intimacy Radio - Resources Edition, Into the Deep Parish Programs, the Apostoli Viae (Apostles of the Way) Community, and the FireLight Student Leadership Formation Program, author of the award-winning book, Navigating the Interior Life - Spiritual Direction and the Journey to God, Finding God Through Meditation-St. Peter of Alcantara, 30 Days with Teresa of Avila, Into the Deep, Living the Mystery of Merciful Love: 30 Days with Thérèse of Lisieux, and his newest book The Contemplative Rosary with St. John Paul II and St. Teresa of Avila. Beyond his "contagious" love for Jesus and His Church, he is a grateful husband and father of four, the Executive Director of and writer for EWTN's National Catholic Register, a regular co-host on Register Radio, a writer and speaker who provides online spiritual formation and travels to share his conversion story and the great riches that the Church provides us through authentic Catholic spirituality. Dan has been featured on EWTN's Journey Home program and numerous radio programs.

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  • Becky Ward

    One of my favorite poems!

    Keep Thou my feet;
    I do not ask to see The distant scene;
    one step enough for me.

    God, please grant me the grace to mean this!!

  • judeen

    1 step at a time,, each step so important… each person we meet are set there by God… to help , to be tested , to show our weakness to us,, and our strenghts… no fruit is produced when we take our own steps, but only where God leads us , do we really become fruit and produce great things. at the time we do not see it.. but as life is finished ,we do see how God worked in our lives.. our goal is heaven.. yet not just for us.. for everyone we meet. our family , freinds , strangers and even our enemys… for if God is in us… this is what is in our hearts

    • Marian0000

      Judeen, thank you for this beautiful reminder.

  • franny bombaro

    thank you Holy Trinity and the Blessed Mother and all the Saints and
    Angels in heaven, along with the deceased who have heard my prayers and have helped me so much. I love my Catholic Faith & i do
    want to stay in a state of grace, and sometimes, i fail, but i have faith
    that Jesus is Mercy and is with me and all of us. Most Sincerely,f.bombaro 4/1/2012

  • Marg

    A great poem to reflect on. God has been leading me in my catholic faith this past year. I was away from my catholic faith and attending another church for 10 years. This past year God has helped me return. The steps have been baby steps and in that I’m experiencing what it means to have patience. I like things to happen fast, by that I mean my spiritual growth. I’m very blessed I came to find this web site. Very good and gives me alot to think about!

    • Cludwick

      God bless you and welcome home to the Catholic church!

    • Rjj121858

      Welcome Home!

  • mary

    why do i find it so hard to go to confession even though i go each month i do not feel any differentplease help

    • Steve From Long Island

      Dear Mary, when I was young I didn’t feel any differently after confession, but now I do as a middle aged man. However, I went last night after 3 months, and I didn’t feel any differently, but I ended up having a very deep spiritual night of study and meditation on the Lord’s Prayer (my penance was to say the Lord’s prayer slowly and thoughtfully) which continued today. Even though I didn’t feel differently last night, today I feel more alive than I have in quite a while. Upon reflection, it can only be because of the grace I received after making my confession and hearing those beautiful words of Jesus: I absolve you of all your sins.

      • fairlady68

         Thanks, Steve, for your note. I missed the opportunity to go to our parish penance service last night, at which we could also have one on one confession with the priest. So I won’t get a confession in before Easter. However, I appreciate the reminder of the effect it can have, even if it does not feel like it.

    • Becky Ward

      Dear Mary, What is it that you find hard about going to confession?

    • Apjrotterdam

       Dear Mary,I too experienced the “”comfort”” of a regular confession because it was “”convenient”” for me ,the fact that I have my regular Spiritual Director..Next time around treat this Sacrament seriously for what it is and go (to confess) if you must, with a need and a desire rather than a ritual of a kind which you seem to be doing. I have 75 yrs. of experience
      “”in the world”” and now “”outside of it”” but back in the comforting hands of the Lord and from being a cradle Catholic
      I believe I am now in silence and in truth- A Catholic””God Bless..Should you desire more guidance from us elders
      just email me God Bless.


  • Apjrotterdam

    I pray here that Blessed Cardinal J. Henry Newman when finally canonized shall become of the Doctors of the Church for his many spiritual writings that may have guided the Church. God Bless.

  • Lord, graciously hear me

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