Not much is known about Katharina apart from the fact that she was part of the Pietistic revival in Germany. She was a Lutheran, and was probably the head of a woman’s House of Evangelical Lutheran Church at Cothen in Germany(Similar to the Puritan and Wesleyan revival in England). This hymn was rediscovered by Jane Borthwick (1813 – 1897) and translated by her into English. It has become popular by its being set to Sibelius’ famous tune ‘Finlandia’. The hymn is said to have been the favourite of Eric Liddell, the athlete who became famous in the 1924 Olympics for refusing to run on a Sunday.
Be still, my soul: the Lord is on thy side.
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain.
Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In every change, He faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul: thy best, thy heavenly Friend
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.
Be still, my soul: thy God doth undertake
To guide the future, as He has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul: the waves and winds still know
His voice Who ruled them while He dwelt below
Be still, my soul: when dearest friends depart,
And all is darkened in the vale of tears,
Then shalt thou better know His love, His heart,
Who comes to soothe thy sorrow and thy fears.
Be still, my soul: thy Jesus can repay
From His own fullness all He takes away.
Be still, my soul: the hour is hastening on
When we shall be forever with the Lord.
When disappointment, grief and fear are gone,
Sorrow forgot, love’s purest joys restored.
Be still, my soul: when change and tears are past
All safe and blessed we shall meet at last.
Be still, my soul: begin the song of praise
On earth, believing, to Thy Lord on high;
Acknowledge Him in all thy words and ways,
So shall He view thee with a well pleased eye.
Be still, my soul: the Sun of life divine
Through passing clouds shall but more brightly shine.