Best Ignatian Songs: The Wings of a Dove

There’s a real tear-jerker scene in the movie Tender Mercies when Mac Sledge’s estranged daughter asks him to sing the song “The Wings of a Dove.” He won’t (or can’t) sing it to her, but he sings it to himself after she leaves.

The song and the movie are about love and redemption. Mac (played by Robert Duvall) had destroyed his singing career because of his drinking. The movie is about how he painfully finds his way back on the wings of a dove:

When troubles surround us, when evils come.

The body grows weak, the spirit grows numb.

When these things beset us, he doesn’t forget us,

he sends down his love, on the wings of a dove.

Great song. Great movie. You can watch the scene here, but by all means listen to the whole lovely song on the video. (Click here to watch it on YouTube.)


  1. Personally the songs that I think best encapsulate Jesuits is the Hymn in honour of St Ignatius and the Hymn Be thou my vision

  2. I do appreciate these postings on “Best Ignatian Songs.” This is especially dear as it comes on the feast of the Transfiguration.
    Thank you, Jim.

  3. I forgot about this scene from the movie, thanks for the reminder. I could not find Duvall’s version on Spotify but substituted George Jones’ cover.


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