“My Easter Prayer” by Darius M. Ratcliff, 1943


Easter Blessings Be Thine”, ca. 1912


Jesus help me know thy love,

Love that brought thee  to our earth.

Leaving realms of brightest glory,

For a lowly manger birth.

Love that chose the hasty Peter,

Cleansed the striken Magdalen.

Patiently endured the traitor,

Made the vilest sinner clean.

Love that led thee to the cross,

Round thee there with fetters strong.

Though a word from thee had scattered,

Those who thought they did thee wrong.

Love that suffered for my sins,

Took their sorrow in my stead.

That I might rejoice in heaven,

Ransomed ever from the dead.

Love that’s mine in this today,

Guiding me while earth I roam.

Shaping me into thy image,

Bringing me to thy own home.

Jesus help me feel thy love,

At this joyous Easter season.

When I view again thy passion,

And thy sacrifice envision.

When I try to comprehend,

Its significance to thee.

Wonder what thou didst endure,

That I might from death be free.

When I seek to understand,

Its significance to us.

How for all who will believe,

This is made our righteousness.

When I would appreciate,

Thy unfathomed love divine.

That I might express my thanks,

That this love is truly mine.

Jesus may I have thy love,

Poured into this sluggish heart.

Filling me with love for others,

Making me of love a part.

That I may this love imbibe,

May I yield my will to thee.

Holding not a purpose back,

Living only thine to be.

That I may with love be filled,

May I linger long in prayer.

That thou mayest possess me wholly,

And have me thy image wear.

Jesus, may I show thy love,

First to thee my loving Lord.

Thou has always so loved me,

I deserved to be abhorred.

Then to those within thy church,

Those whom thou has rendered clean.

These are they beloved of thee,

In their lives thou now art seen.

Next to my own kind and kin,

These my first and dearest charge.

May they have of love my best,

May my heart to them enlarge.

And to others far and wide,

Neighbors, fellow workers, friends.

Enemies who injured me,

Those far off where my light ends.


Image above retrieved from:

digitalgallery.nypl.org/nypldigital/dgkeysearchdetail.cfm?trg=1&strucID=1065612&imageID=1587604&word= easter blessing&s=1¬word=&d=&c=&f=&k=1&lWord=&lField=&sScope=&sLevel=&sLabel=&sort=&total=12&num=0&imgs=20&pNum=&pos=9

Image Details

Image Title:  Easter blessings be thine. Published Date: ca. 1912.Source: Holiday postcards / Easter — Religious. Source Description: 96 postcards : col. ; 9 x 14 cm. Location: Mid-Manhattan Library / Picture Collection. Catalog Call Number: PC POC Easter – ReligiousDigital. ID: 1587604. Record ID: 1065612.  Digital Item Published: 9-10-2007; updated 5-15-2012


“A Prayer for Betty” and “A Prayer for Harry” by Darius M. Ratcliff, February 1943

Elizabeth “Betty” Louise Ratcliff and  Harry Joseph Downs

Marriage: September 5, 1941


February 1943

My God is on my side, I shall not fear,

Let wars arise and rage, my help is near:

He knew this time before He made the world,

Before His eyes the present lay unfurled.

A perfect plan for me, before my birth.

The God who gave His Son to die for me

Will surely never fail my wants to see.

Since God has chosen me to be His child,

Will He less careful be than parents mild?

If God is for me, acting on my side

Should I draw back in fear, in terror hide:

He holds the world enfolded in His hand,

The powers of earth are all at His command:

Forgive all foolish doubts, all foolish fears,

May songs of triumph e’er be mine, not tears.

Impress upon my mind the words of Christ:

“Fear not, more valuable you are, and blessed

Than sparrows, yet not one shall fall to earth

Without His will, whose child you are by birth.

Your very hairs all numbered are to cherish,

And not a hair of yours shall ever perish.”

In nothing then I am to anxious be,

I am to wait and His salvation  see.

I must then lift in strength those palsied knees

Till hands left hanging down my courage frees.

Made strong with strength from Thee, I’ll face my life.

And I’ll be led in triumph through all strife,

For only those whose strength by Christ supplied,

Should those who have the strength of God e’ver fail?

I will be strong in strength by Christ supplied,

I will rejoice in Christ, in joy abide.

Enough for now if Christ is glorified in me:

If life or death or loss or gain I see,

It matters little now, since I’ve been crucified

To earth: My life is hid with Christ who died.

When Christ who is my life shall be revealed my glories come, though now concealed.



February 1943

My eyes have seen the only goal

The goals for which Christ lived and died:

I now surrender all beside,

To this I’ll give my life, the whole.

I lay before thy pierced feet,

All that I cherish anywhere,

I ask there not one part to spare,

But use them as to thee seems meet.

Thou knowest where I’m needed, Lord;

Thou knowest what is best for me:

I will not doubt thy wise decree,

I will not doubt thy spoken word.

With thee, O Christ, to earth I’m dead;

My life with Thee in God is love,

Oh keep my mind on things above,

And may my feet by thee be led.

I trust myself to thee alone

I trust my loved ones also there,

I trust my future to thy care,

I’m glad all are they very own.

I glory in thy perfect love:

Enlarge my heart to love Thee more,

Incline my mind to Thee adore,

May I be one with Thee above.

Photo above – Source: Personal photo collection of B.J. Johanningmeier