Poems of St. Teresa, Carmelite of Lisieux, known as the 'Little Flower of Jesus'
by St. Therese of Lisieux
About Poems of St. Teresa, Carmelite of Lisieux, known as the 'Little Flower
of Jesus' by St. Therese of Lisieux
Table of Contents
About This Book ...................................... p. ii
Title Page .......................................... p. 1
Dedication .......................................... p. 3
Contents ........................................... p. 4
Index According to Dates.. ............................... p. 7
Introduction ......................................... p. 9
First Part.. ......................................... p. 13
My Song of To-Day.. .................................. p. 13
To Live of Love.. .................................... p. 14
Canticle to the Holy Face.. .............................. p. 18
‘Thou Hast Broken My Bonds O Lord.’ ....................... p. 19
Jesus, My Well Beloved, Remember Thou! .................... p. 20
To the Sacred Heart.. ................................. p. 28
The Eternal Canticle.. ................................. p. 30
I Thirst for Love.. .................................... p. 31
My Heaven on Earth.. ................................. p. 33
My Hope.. ......................................... p. 34
My Wishes Before the Tabernacle.. ........................ p. 35
Jesus Only.. ....................................... p. 37
To Scatter Flowers.. .................................. p. 38
A Work of Love.. .................................... p. 39
My Armor.. ........................................ p. 40
My Peace and My Joy.. ................................ p. 42
A Lily Amidst Thorns.. ................................. p. 44
A Withered Rose.. ................................... p. 45
Abandonment.. ..................................... p. 46
Second Part.. ....................................... p. 49
The Dew Divine.. .................................... p. 49
To Our Lady of Victories.. .............................. p. 50
The Queen of Heaven to Her Little Mary.. .................... p. 52
Why I Love Thee Mary.. ............................... p. 54
Third Part.. ......................................... p. 62
To My Angel Guardian.. ................................ p. 62
To My Little Brothers in Heaven, the Holy Innocents.. ............ p. 63
The Melody of St. Cecilia.. .............................. p. 66
Canticle of St. Agnes.. ................................. p. 69
To the Venerable Teophane Venard, Martyred.. ................ p. 70
Fourth Part.. ........................................ p. 73
The Story of a Shepherdess Who Became a Queen.. ............ p. 73
Prayer of a Child of a Saint.. ............................. p. 75
What I Used to Love.. ................................. p. 77
Fifth Part.. ......................................... p. 85
Jesus at Bethany.. ................................... p. 85
Bird Cage of the Infant Jesus.. ........................... p. 93
The Flight of the Holy Family into Egypt.. .................... p. 94
The Little Divine Beggar of Christmas.. ...................... p. 97
The Angels of the Crib.. ................................ p. 109
Poems in Honor of Jeanne D’Arc.. ......................... p. 118
I. The Shepherdess of Domremy Hearkening to Her Voices.. ...... p. 118
II. Hymn of Jeanne D’Arc After Her Victories.. ................ p. 123
III. Prayer of Jeanne D’Arc in Prison.. ...................... p. 124
IV. The Voices of Jeanne D’Arc During Her Martyrdom.. ......... p. 125
V. The Divine Judgment.. ............................. p. 126
VI. The Canticle of Triumph.. ........................... p. 127
VII. Prayer of France to the Venerable Jeanne D’Arc.. ........... p. 129
VIII. Canticle to Obtain the Canonization of the Venerable Jeanne D’Arc.. .......................................... p. 129
Indexes ............................................ p. 132
Index of Scripture References ............................ p. 132
SR. TERESA, Carmelite of Lisieux,
known as The “Little Flower of Jesus,”
“Thou, O Lord, hast been the only object of my
songs in the place of my pilgrimage.”
Ps. CXVIII, 54.
Translated by S.L. EMERY,
Author of the “Inner Life of the Soul.” 12139
ANGEL GUARDIAN CARMELITE CONVENT
RUGGLES STREET MT. PLEASANT AVENUE
TO THE LITTLE FLOWER OF JESUS BLOOMING IN PARADISE, WHOSE HEAVENLY FRAGRANCE HAS REFRESHED MY SOUL DURING MANY HOURS OF EXILE HERE BELOW, THE FOLLOWING PAGES ARE LOVINGLY DEDICATED BY THE TRANSLATOR.
MY SONG OF TO-DAY
TO LIVE OF LOVE
CANTICLE TO THE HOLY FACE
THOU HAST BROKEN MY BONDS, O LORD
TO THE SACRED HEART
THE ETERNAL CANTICLE SUNG IN BANISHMENT
“I THIRST FOR LOVE”
MY HEAVEN ON EARTH
MY WISHES BEFORE THE TABERNACLE.
TO SCATTER FLOWERS
A WORK OF LOVE
MY PEACE AND MY JOY
A LILY AMIDST THORNS
A WITHERED ROSE
THE DEW DIVINE
TO OUR LADY OF VICTORIES
THE QUEEN OF HEAVEN TO HER LITTLE MARY
WHY I LOVE THEE, MARY
TO MY ANGEL GUARDIAN
TO MY LITTLE BROTHERS IN HEAVEN, THE HOLY INNOCENTS
MELODY OF SAINT CECILIA
CANTICLE OF SAINT AGNES
TO THE VENERABLE THEOPHANE VENARD, MARTYRED
STORY OF A SHEPHERDESS WHO BECAME A QUEEN PRAYER OF THE CHILD OF A SAINT WHAT I USED TO LOVE
JESUS AT BETHANY
THE BIRD CAGE OF THE INFANT JESUS
FLIGHT INTO EGYPT
THE LITTLE DIVINE BEGGAR OF CHRISTMAS
ANGELS OF THE CRIB
POEMS IN HONOR OF JEANNE D’ARC
SHEPHERDESS OF DOMREMY HEARKENING TO HER VOICES HYMN OF JEANNE D’ARC AFTER HER VICTORIES PRAYER OF JEANNE D’ARC IN PRISON VOICES OF JEANNE D’ARC DURING HER MARTYRDOM
THE DIVINE JUDGMENT CANTICLE OF TRIUMPH
PRAYER OF FRANCE TO THE VENERABLE JEANNE D’ARC CANTICLE TO OBTAIN CANONIZATION OF JEANNE D’ARC
INDEX ACCORDING TO DATES.
THE DEW DIVINE Feb. 2, 1893
MELODY OF ST. CECILIA April 28, 1893
TO-DAY, MY SONG OF June, 1894
PRAYER OF THE CHILD OF A Aug. 24, 1894 SAINT
STORY OF THE SHEPHERDESS Nov. 20, 1894 WHO BECAME A QUEEN
THE SHEPHERDESS OF 1894
DOMREMY HEARKENING TO HER VOICES
HYMN OF JEANNE D’ARC AFTER 1894 VICTORY
PRAYER OF JEANNE D’ARC IN 1894 PRISON
VOICES OF JEANNE D’ARC 1894 DURING MARTYRDOM
THE DIVINE JUDGMENT 1894
CANTICLE OF TRIUMPH 1894
PRAYER OF FRANCE TO THE 1894 VENERABLE JEANNE D’ARC
CANTICLE TO OBTAIN THE 1894 CANONIZATION OF THE VENERABLE JEANNE D’ARC
THE QUEEN OF HEAVEN TO HER Noel, 1894 LITTLE MARY
ANGELS OF THE CRIB Noel, 1894
TO LIVE OF LOVE Feb., 1895
WHAT I USED TO LOVE April 28, 1895
JESUS AT BETHANY JUIV 29, 1895
THOU HAST BROKEN MY BONDS, Aug. 1895 O LORD
CANTICLE TO THE HOLY FACE Aug. 1895
REMEMBER THOU Oct. 21, 1895
TO THE SACRED HEART October 1895
CANTICLE OF ST. AGNES Jan. 21, 1896
THE FLIGHT INTO EGYPT January 1896
THE ETERNAL CANTICLE FROM Mar.1896 BANISHMENT
“I THIRST FOR LOVE” April 30, 1896
MY HEAVEN ON EARTH June 7, 1896
MY HOPE June 12, 1896
TO SCATTER FLOWERS June 28, 1896
MY WISHES BEFORE THE 1896 TABERNACLE
JESUS ONLY Aug. 15, 1896
A WORK OF LOVE Nov. 1896
THE BIRD-CAGE OF THE INFANT Dec. 25, 1896 JESUS
THE LITTLE DIVINE BEGGAR
MY PEACE AND MY JOY Jan. 21, 1897
A LILY AMIDST THORNS
TO THE VENERABLE THEOPHANE Feb. 2, 1897 VENARD
TO MY LITTLE BROTHERS, THE Feb. 2., 1897 INNOCENTS
TO MY ANGEL GUARDIAN Feb. 2, 1897
MY ARMOR Mar. 25, 1897
TO OUR LADY OF VICTORIES 1897
A WITHERED ROSE May 1897
ABANDONMENT May 1897
WHY I LOVE THEE, MARY May 1897
MARIE FRANCOISE-THERESE MARTIN, daughter of Louis-Joseph-Stanislaus and Zelie (Guerin) Martin, was born in Alencon, France, January 2, 1873. She was the youngest of nine children, four of whom died in infancy, and of the five others, four became Carmelite nuns. Therese, a singularly precocious, charming and beautiful child set her heart upon entering the convent at the age of fifteen. Her wish was granted nearly to the letter, for on April 9, 1888, when only a little more than three months past her fifteenth birthday, she was received into the Carmelite monastery of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and of the Immaculate Conception, at Lisieux, France. There she lived for nine years a life of remarkably joyous and childlike — or angelic — holiness; and there September 30, 1897, she died. Her name in religion was Sister Teresa of the Child Jesus and of the Holy Face. In her character she so exemplified the loveliness and the sanctity of the Child Jesus Himself, and to such a singular degree throughout her whole short life did she love and serve her Lord, that the Mother-Prioress bade her write her memories, which, with entire openness and simple obedience, she did. After her death this exquisite memoir, at first intended only for the edification of her sister nuns, was published in French, together with a valuable appendix of her letters, notes of retreat, counsels, and certain loving remembrances of her life by those who had watched her daily. Following upon these, come one hundred and fifty pages that contain her poems, which she wrote in many instances to certain French airs. It has been said of these simple verses that: “The rules of prosody are not always exactly observed in their construction; and that on the other hand, they suggest an extraordinary degree of inspiration.” Lifted up by an angelic presence, the soul shakes off the dust of earth, and rises gently towards the true ideal — God, the eternal Love. In reading this charming history, containing verses that breathe exquisite purity, we fancy ourselves before a fresco of Fra Angelico; or, to use a graceful expression of Soeur Therese herself, we imagine that we hear a “melody from heaven.”
It is a curious fact that Sister Teresa seems never to have written verses outside the cloister; though within its walls she succeeded, and to an extent by no means slight. She narrates her experience as follows to the prioress:
“O my Mother! how many reasons I have for thanking God! I am going to tell you in all simplicity, that the Lord showed to me the same mercy as to King Solomon. All my wishes have been fulfilled— not only my wishes for perfection, but even those, the vanity of which I understood without having experienced it. Seeing one of my sisters paint charming pictures and compose verses, I thought how happy I should be if I could paint also, could express my thoughts in verse, and could do much good to others. Yet I would not have liked to ask for these natural gifts, and my wishes remained hidden in the depths of my heart. But Jesus, hidden likewise in that poor little heart, deigned to show it once more the nothingness of what passes away. To the great surprise of the community I composed poetry, I painted; it was permitted me to do good to some souls. And even as Solomon (Ecclesiastes 2:11), turning himself to all the works which his hands had wrought, and to the labors wherein he had labored in vain, saw in all things vanity and vexation of mind, and that nothing waslasting under the sun, so I saw by experience, that the only joy on earth consists in hiding one’s self, in remaining in complete ignorance of all created things. I understood that without love all works are but nothingness, even the most brilliant. Instead of doing me harm, and wounding my soul, the gifts the Lord lavished on me led me to Him. I perceive that He is the only thing that cannot change, the only thing capable of satisfying my immense desires.”
One turns from these simple and holy songs with a conviction which is well expressed by P. N., “To the reader” in the beginning of the French edition of the Memoirs and which I have translated thus:
Would you live, one happy moment,
lifted between earth and heaven; Feel an atmosphere supernal
all about you gently rise; See the world beneath your feet and
walk ‘mid radiant Pleiads seven; And believe an angel walks beside you,
from more radiant skies? Read these songs of love with reverence;
let no idle glance profane These sublimely simple pages,
seek their mystic sense to know; But learn humbly that in convents
Love Divine as King doth reign, And, within their deep seclusion,
hearts with joy are all aglow. Lovely flower, soul celestial!
fifteen years at home you grew; Then you gave your heart to Jesus,
fresh with its baptismal dew; And the Sovereign Pontiff blessed this
lovely lily, that we know As a nun whose wondrous sweetness,
heavenly, angelic ways, Lyric songs of rapturous music, —
everything about her — says That an angel passed through Carmel,
just a few short years ago.
One remarkable thing about Sister Teresa’s simple and sweet verses is the mortification she practiced in regard to them, a severe self-discipline which those will appreciate, who have tried to keep in mind thoughts which they could not at once write down. To quote her own words: “The good God never let our Mother tell me how to write my verses as fast as I composed them, and I would not have been willing to ask this permission for fear of committing a fault against holy poverty. So I waited for the hour of free time, and it was not without extreme difficulty, that I recalled at eight o’clock in the evening what I had composed in the morning. These little nothings are a martyrdom, it is true; but we must take great care not to make our martyrdom less meritorious, by allowing ourselves a thousand things that would make our religious life an easy one.” Her verses have for their motto: “Vous avez été seul l’objet de mes chants dans le lieu de mon pélerinage,” (“You alone are the object of my song in the place of my pilgrimage”), and are divided into five sections. The first consists of hymns and canticles relating more exclusively to her Lord, the Divine Spouse of her soul; the second part contains hymns in relation to the Blessed Virgin; and the remaining sections contain other hymns and poems and pious recreations, in honor of St. Mary Magdelen, St. Agnes, and St. Cecelia.
The religious spirit of the French people is surely not wholly dead if we may judge them from the fact, that twenty-nine thousand copies of the life of a young Carmelite nun of Lisieux have been sold in that land, within a few years. A translation under the title of The Little Flower of Jesus, is known in English, but the entire French life appears in two forms: one, a large edition with the poems of the gifted young soul; the other without the poems except one under the title — which also forms the title of that edition — Une Rose Effeuillée.
Moreover, the life has been translated into Polish, German, Dutch, Italian and Portuguese. The Spanish and Flemish editions are nearing completion. The Cardinal Patriarch of Lisbon has granted an indulgence to those who read “this admirable Life,” and all the Prelates of Portugal have followed his example. Truly the last desires of Sister Teresa have been realized in a touching and most wonderful manner: “I wish to pass my Heaven in doing good on earth,” and again, “After my death I will let fall a shower of roses.”
The Carmelites of Lisieux receive from all parts of the world, most precious testimonies of the truth of these words. At one time it is the account of the remarkable cure of some pitiful malady; more frequently it is to tell of the relief and consolation of a soul in distress. Persons come from long distances and foreign lands to kneel at the tomb of this elect of God. Priests and young missionaries departing for the Foreign Missions respectfully kiss the blessed earth and carry away flowers as veritable relics. The Nuns are constantly pressed to give some souvenir of the “little queen,” “the little St. Teresa,” the “little great Saint” or “the Little Flower”, for so are her titles varied by the devotion of those who love her, the world over.
The Seminaries have addressed touching petitions covered with signatures earnestly pleading for the introduction of her Cause. Venerable Priests and eminent Religious have said: —
“Sister Teresa of the Infant Jesus is a providential soul. Her divine mission is evident.”
“This dear ‘little saint’ is a remarkable Missionary whose word is powerful and irresistible.”
“The Life of this soul written by herself has a lasting charm, and souls who yield to its powerful influence will be drawn from tepidity and sin.”
“I assure you that the Lord works beautiful and great things by means of your ‘little Saint.’ In our Seminary she transforms souls.”
“The heart of Sister Teresa is a pure flame of Paradise which has enkindled and will enkindle many hearts.”
“Happy Victim, not only consumed by the flame of Divine Love but who has received the gift of communicating it powerfully to others.”
“Many lives tell of the fire of Love. The Life of Sister Teresa makes it felt. Many give us the desire to love God; she puts the fire in our souls.” O Thou who hast so loved Jesus and souls, who didst say when dying, “I have given my God only love, and he will return my love.” — thy word was a prophecy. Thousands of hearts to whom thou wast hitherto unknown, love and venerate thee now, and by their prayers and desires long to hasten the day when the Church will enshrine thy memory on Her Altars.
Meanwhile, dear Little Flower, console the heart of the Sovereign Pontiff in this moment of supreme trial, and from the gardens of Paradise let fall upon Him and each of His children thy shower of roses.
Oh! how I love Thee, Jesus! my soul aspires to Thee —
And yet for one day only my simple prayer I pray!
Come reign within my heart, smile tenderly on me,
To-day, dear Lord, to-day.
But if I dare take thought of what the morrow brings —
That fills my fickle heart with dreary, dull dismay;
I crave, indeed, my God, trials and sufferings,
But only for to-day!
O sweetest Star of heaven! O Virgin, spotless, blest,
Shining with Jesus’ light, guiding to Him my way!
O Mother! ‘neath thy veil let my tired spirit rest,
For this brief passing day!
Soon shall I fly afar among the holy choirs,
Then shall be mine the joy that never knows decay;
And then my lips shall sing, to heaven’s angelic lyres,
The eternal, glad To-day!
17 “If any man love Me, he will keep My word and My Father will love him and We will come to him and make Our abode with him. . . My peace I give unto you . . . Abide in My love.”
The eve His life of love drew near its end, (Jn 16,29)
Thus Jesus spoke: “Whoever loveth Me,
And keeps My word as Mine own faithful friend, (Jn 14,23-27)
My Father, then and I his guests will be;
Within his heart will make Our dwelling above.
Our palace home, true type of heaven above.
There, filled with peace, We will that he shall rest,
With us, in love. (Jn 15,9)
Incarnate Word! Thou Word of God alone! (Jn 1,1)
To live of love, ‘tis to abide with Thee.
Thou knowest I love Thee, Jesus Christ, my Own! (Jn 21,15)
Thy Spirit’s fire of love enkindleth me.
By loving Thee, I draw the Father here
Down to my heart, to stay with me always.
Blest Trinity! Thou art my prisoner dear,
Of love, to-day.
To live of love, ’tis by Thy life to live, (Gn 2,20)
O glorious King, my chosen, sole Delight!
Hid in the Host, how often Thou dost give
Thyself to those who seek Thy radiant light.
Then hid shall be my life, unmarked, unknown,
That I may have Thee heart to heart with me; (Ga 2,20)
For loving souls desire to be alone,
With love, and Thee! (2Co 5,14)
To live of love, ’tis not to fix one’s tent
On Tabor’s height and there with Thee remain.
‘Tis to climb Calvary with strength nigh spent,
And count Thy heavy cross our truest gain.
In heaven, my life a life of joy shall be,
The heavy cross shall then be gone for aye.
Here upon earth, in suffering with Thee,
Love! let me stay.
To live of love, ’tis without stint to give,
An never count the cost, nor ask reward;
So, counting not the cost, I long to live
And show my dauntless love for Thee, dear Lord!
O Heart Divine, o’erflowing with tenderness,
How swift I run, who all to Thee has given!
Naught but Thy love I need, my life to bless.
That love is heaven!
To live of love, it is to know no fear;
No memory of past faults can I recall;
No imprint of my sins remaineth here;
The fire of Love divine effaces all.
O sacred flames! O furnace of delight!
I sing my safe sweet happiness to prove.
In these mild fires I dwell by day, by night.
I live of love!
To live of love, ’tis in my heart to guard
A mighty treasure in a fragile vase.
Weak, weak, am I, O well-beloved Lord!
Nor have I yet an angel’s perfect grace.
But, if I fall each hour that hurries by,
Thou com’st to me from Thy bright home above,
And, raising me, dost give me strength to cry:
I live of love!
To live of love it is to sail afar
And bring both peace and joy where’er I be.
O Pilot blest! love is my guiding star;
In every soul I meet, Thyself I see.
Safe sail I on, through wind or rain or ice;
Love urges me, love conquers every gale.
High on my mast behold is my device:
“By love I sail!”
To live of love, it is when Jesus sleeps
To sleep near Him, though stormy waves beat nigh.
Deem not I shall awake Him! On these deeps
Peace reigns, like that the Blessed know on high.
To Hope, the voyage seems one little day;
Faith’s hand shall soon the veil between remove;
‘Tis Charity that swells my sail alway.
I live of love!
To live of love, O Master dearest, best!
It is to beg Thee light Thy holiest fires
Within the soul of each anointed priest,
Till he shall feel the Seraphim’s desires;
It is to beg Thee guard Thy Church, O Christ!
For this I plead with Thee by night, by day;
And give myself, in sacrifice unpriced,
With love alway!
To live of love, it is to dry Thy tears,
To seek for pardon for each sinful soul,
To strive to save all men from doubts and fears,
And bring them home to Thy benign control.
Comes to my ear sin’s wild and blasphemous roar;
So, to efface each day, that burning shame,
I cry: “ O Jesus Christ! I Thee adore.
I love Thy Name!”
To live of love, ’tis Mary’s part to share,
To bathe with tears and odorous perfume
Thy holy feet, to wipe them with my hair,
To kiss them; then still loftier lot assume, —
To rise, and by Thy side to take my place,
And pour my ointments on Thy holy head.
But with no balsams I embalm Thy Face!
’Tis love, instead!
“To live of love, — what foolishness she sings!”
So cries the world. “Renounce such idle joy!
Waste not thy perfumes on such trivial things.
In useful arts thy talents now employ!”
To love Thee, Jesus! Ah, this loss is gain;
For all my perfumes no reward seek I.
Quitting the world, I sing in death’s sweet pain:
Of love I die!
To die of love, O martyrdom most blest!
For this I long, this is my heart’s desire;
My exile ends; I soon will be at rest.
Ye Cherubim, lend, lend to me your lyre!
O dart of Seraphim, O flame of love,
Consume me wholly; hear my ardent cry!
Jesu, make real my dream! Come Holy Dove!
Of love I die!
To die of love, behold my life’s long hope!
God is my one exceeding great reward.
He of my wishes forms the end and scope;
Him only do I seek; my dearest Lord.
With passionate love for Him my heart is riven.
O may He quickly come! He draweth nigh!
Behold my destiny, behold my heaven, —
OF LOVE TO DIE.
February 25, 1895
Dear Jesus! ‘tis Thy Holy Face
Is here the start that guides my way;
They countenance, so full of grace,
Is heaven on earth, for me, to-day.
And love finds holy charms for me
In Thy sweet eyes with tear-drops wet;
Through mine own tears I smile at Thee,
And in Thy griefs my pains forget.
How gladly would I live unknown,
Thus to console Thy aching heart.
Thy veiled beauty, it is shown
To those who live from earth apart.
I long to fly to Thee alone!
Thy Face is now my fatherland, —
The radiant sunshine of my days, —
My realm of love, my sunlit land,
Where, all life long, I sing Thy praise;
It is the lily of the vale, (Ct 2,1)
Whose mystic perfume, freely given,
Brings comfort, when I faint and fail,
And makes me taste the peace of heaven.
Thy face, in its unearthly grace,
Is like the divinest myrrh to me, (Ct 1,12)
That on my heart I gladly place;
It is my lyre of melody;
My rest — my comfort — is Thy Face.
My only wealth, Lord! is thy Face;
I ask naught else than this from Thee;
Hid in the secret of that Face, (Ps 31,21)
The more I shall resemble Thee!
Oh, leave on me some impress faint
Of Thy sweet, humble, patient Face,
And soon I shall become a saint,
And draw men to Thy saving grace.
So, in the secret of Thy Face,
Oh! hide me, hide me, Jesus blest!
There let me find its hidden grace,
Its holy fires, and, in heaven’s rest,
Its rapturous kiss, in Thy embrace! (Ct 1,1)
August 12, 1895.
21 (Ps 116,7) For a Postulant, on her entrance-day into Carmel.
Thou, Jesu! on this day my earthly bonds hast broken.
In Mary’s Order old, my soul true goods shall find;
And if to-day: “farewell” my quivering lips have spoken
To those who loved me best, so dear, so true, so kind,
Thou, Lord, wilt be to them far more than I could be;
And Thou wilt deign to win some sinful souls through me.
Jesu! on Carmel I shall dwell —
Thy love has called Thy child to that oasis fair;
There I desire to serve Thee well,
To love Thee there, and then to die,
There! yes, my Jesu, there! (Ct 1,6
O Jesu! on this day, Thy love my prayer has granted;
Before Thy altar throne hereafter ‘tis my part
Calmly to wait for heaven, — all pain to bear undaunted, —
And, lifting to the rays of Thy white Host my heart,
Within that fire of love all self to burn away,
And, like a seraph blest, to serve Thee night and day.
Ah, Jesu! ‘twill be mine — to dwell,
One day, with Thee on high, in heaven’s bright
There evermore to love Thee well,
To love Thee, and no more to die,
There! yes, my Jesu, there!
August 15, 1895.
“My daughter, seek for those of My Words, that breathe forth the most love; write them, and then, guarding them with great care, as you would holy relics, be sure that you read them often. When a friend desires to re-awaken in the heart of his friend the first freshness and warmth of his affection, he says to him : ‘Do you remember your feelings when you said such a word to me one day?’ or again: ‘Do you remember what you felt on such an occasion? in such a place? at such a time?’ In like manner do you, too, believe that the most precious relics of Me to be found on earth to-day are the words of My love, the words that came from the depths of My loving Heart.”
Our Divine Lord to St. Gertrude.
Recall, O Christ! the Father’s glories bright, (He 1,3)
Recall the splendors of Thy heavenly home,
Which Thou didst leave, to come to earth’s dark night,
And save poor sinners who in exile roam!
Dear Jesus! bending down at Mary’s humble word,
In her Thou didst conceal Thy majesty adored.
Now that maternal breast,
Thy second heaven, Thy rest,
Remember, now, the day of Thy blest birth,
How angels, quitting heaven, sang joyously:
“To God be power, glory, lasting worth;
And peace to men of good-will ever be!” (Lc 2,13-14)
For nineteen hundred years Thy promise Thou hast kept;
Thy children in that peace have waked, and worked, and slept.
To taste forever here
Thy peace, divinely dear,
I seek Thee now.
Remember O Thou Babe in swaddling bands! (Lc 2,7)
Beside Thy crib I would forever stay.
There, with Thine angels, Lord of all the lands!
I would remind thee of that happy day.
O Jesus! call to mind the shepherds and wise men, (Lc 2,15-28)
Who offered Thee their hearts, as I mine own again; (Mt 2,11-12)
The Babes of Bethlehem see,
Who gave their blood for Thee. (Mt 2,16-18)
Remember Thou that Mary’s holy arms
Thou didst prefer to any royal throne.
Dear little One! she shielded Thee from harm,
She fed Thee with her virginal milk alone.
Oh, at that feast of love Thy mother gave to Thee,
My little Brother, grant that I a guest may be,
Thy little sister I.
Oh, hear my ardent cry:
Remember that Thy childish voice, dear Lord!
Called Joseph father, who, at heaven’s decree, (Mt 2,13-15)
Prevailed to snatch Thee from the tyrant’s sword,
And sought old Egypt’s far-off coast with Thee.
O Word of God! recall what mysteries round Thee woke; (Jn 1,1)
Thou didst keep silent, Lord! the while an angel spoke.
Thy distant, long exile
On banks of ancient Nile,
Remember Thou that on my native shore,
The stars of gold, the moon of silver bright,
Which I contemplate, wondering more and more,
Charmed in the East Thine infant eyes at night.
That tiny hand of Thine, that stroked Thy Mother’s face,
Sustained the world, held all things in their place; (Ps 94,4)
And Thou didst think of me!
Ah! how I think of Thee,
Remember Thou, in solitude most blest,
Thou laboredst with Thy hands for daily bread.
To live forgotten, — this Thy earnest quest,
All human wisdom trampled ‘neath Thy tread,
One single word of Thine could charm a listening world;
Yet Thou Thy wisdom kept in closest silence furled.
Thou, Who didst all things know,
No sign of power wouldst show.
Remember how, — Stranger and Pilgrim here, —
Thou hadst no home, O Thou Eternal Word!
Not e’en a pillow for Thy head most dear; (Mt 8,20)
Not e’en a shelter, like the flitting bird.
O Jesu, come to me! Rest Thou upon my breast.
Come, Come! My spirit longs to have Thee for its Guest.
Thou well-beloved, adored!
Rest in my heart, dear Lord,
Ever as now!
Remember Thou, the loving tenderness
That Thou didst show to children seeking Thee. (Mc 10 Mc 13-16)
Like them I would receive Thy kind caress;
Like them, Thy blessings, Lord, be granted me.
That I in heaven may gain Thy welcome and Thy rest,
Here will I practise well all childhood’s virtues best.
“The childlike soul wins heaven.” (Mt 19,14)
This promise Thou hast given,
Remember Thou that on the fountain’s brink, —
A traveller, weary with the journey’s length, — (Jn 4,6-14)
Thou of the sinful tenderly didst think,
And for contrition gave her lasting strength.
I know Thee well Who asked, of her, the draught, that day.
Thou art “the Gift of God,” the Life, the Truth the Way.
Thou wilt not pass me by.
I hear Thy tender cry:
“Come to Me now!” (Jn 7,37-38)
“Come unto Me, poor souls with sorrow tost! (Mt 11,28-30
Your heavy load My hands shall take away;
Your griefs and pains shall be forever lost,
Within the depths of love I feel for aye.” (Jn 4,15)
I thirst, I thirst, O Christ! Nought else I seek, save Thee.
Borne down beneath my cross, I cry: “O comfort me!”
Be Thy dear love my home!
I come! Yes, Lord, I come!
Receive me now!
Remember Thou that, though a child of light, (Lc 16,8)
Too oft, alas! I have neglected Thee.
Take pity on me in life’s dreary night;
Oh, pardon all my sin and misery!
Make my sad heart rejoice Thy holy will to do;
My soul to those delights, hid in Thy gospels, woo!
That I that book of gold
Ever most dear did hold,
Remember Thou Thy holy Mother’s power
That she possesses o’er Thy Heart divine.
Remember, at her prayer, one joyful hour,
Thou didst change water to delicious wine. (Jn 2,1-10)
Deign also to transform my works, though poor they be;
Oh, make them glorious works, when Mary pleads with Thee.
That I am Mary’s child,
Dear Jesus, meek and mild,
Remember that the summits of the hills
Thou often didst ascend at set of sun. (Lc 6,12)
Ah! how Thy prayer the long, long night-hours fills,
Thy chants of praise when weary day is done.
Thy prayer I offer now, with ever new delight,
Joined to my own poor prayers, my office, day and night.
That I, too, near Thy heart,
Take in Thy prayer my part,
Remember that Thine eyes beheld the fields
White to the harvest, — harvest of the blest! (Jn 4,35)
Thy Heart o’er them Its mystic influence wields;
Within that Heart is room for all, and rest. (Ps 121,1)
That soon may come for Thee Thy glorious harvest day,
I immolate myself, I offer prayers alway.
I give my joys, my tears,
For thy good harvesters.
Recall that feast of angels in delight, (Lc 15,10-13)
That harmony of heaven’s kingly host,
The joy of all those choirs of spirits bright,
When one is saved, once counted ‘mongst the lost.
Oh, how I would augment that joy and glory there!
For sinners I will pray with ceaseless, ardent prayer.
To win dear souls to heaven,
My life and prayers are given.
Remember that most holy flame of love
Thou wouldst enkindle in all hearts alway. (Lc 12,49)
To me it came from Thy fair heaven above;
Would I could spread its fires by night and day!
One feeble spark, dear Lord! — O glorious mystery! —
A fire immense can light, if fanned to flame by Thee.
I long, Divinest Star!
To bear Thy flames afar.
Remember how the festal board was graced,
To feast the penitent returning son! (Lc 15,20-23)
Remember, too, the innocent soul is placed
Ever near Thee, O Thou Beloved One!
Unto the prodigal no welcome is denied;
But, ah! the elder son is always at Thy side.
Father, and Love Divine,
All that Thou hast is mine. (Lc 15,31)
Remember how Thou didst disdain earth’s pride,
When working miracles with God’s own ease.
“Ye who seek human praise! can ye decide
To give your faith to mysteries like these? (Jn 5,44)
The great works that I do, (so Thou hast said, dear Lord!) (Jn 14,12)
My friends shall yet surpass, according to My word.” (Jn 15,15)
How humble Thou wast then, (Mt 11,29)
Among the sons of men.
Remember in what rapture of delight
The loved apostle rested on Thy Heart. (Jn 13,23)
In that deep peace he knew Thy love and might;
Thy mysteries thence he drew, — how strong Thou art!
Of Thy beloved John I feel no jealousy.
I am Thy choice; I, too, behold the mystery.
I, too, upon Thy breast
May have ecstatic rest.
Recall Thine awful hour of agony
When blood and tears bore witness to Thy woe. (Lc 22,43-44)
O pearls of love! O rubies fair to see!
Thence virginal blooms of beauty ever grow.
An angel, showing Thee what harvest Thou shouldst reap,
Gave gladness to Thee, then, even while Thou didst weep.
Then truly didst Thou see,
Amongst those lilies, me!
Thy blood, Thy tears, — a fruitful living source,
Those mystic flowers, makes virginal evermore;
And to them grants a wondrous, holy force,
For winning souls to serve Thee and adore.
A virginal heart is mine; yet, Christ, what mystery!
Mother of souls am I, through my chaste bond with Thee.
These virginal flowers that bloom
To bring poor sinners home,
Remember Thou, that, steeped in direst woe,
Condemned by men, to heaven Thine eyes were raised;
And Thou didst cry: ” Soon ye My power shall know.
Soon shall ye hear My name by angels praised! “ (Mc 14,62)
Yet who believed Thee, then, the Son of God to be,- (Lc 22,67)
Thy glory veiled and hid in our humanity?
Fairest of sons of men!
My God! I knew Thee then! (Is 9,5)
Remember that Thy dear, divinest Face,
Even among Thy friends, was oft unknown. (Is 53,3)
But Thou hast drawn me by its matchless grace;
Thou knowest well I claimed it for mine own.
I have divined its charms, tho’ wet with human tears.
Face of Eternal God! I love Thee all these years.
Part of my name Thou art!
Thou dost console my heart.
Remember Thou that amorous complaint,
Escaping from Thy lips on Calvary’s tree:
“I thirst!” Oh, how my heart like Thine doth faint. (Jn 19,23)
Yes, yes! I share Thy burning thirst with Thee.
The more my heart burns bright with Thy great Heart’s chaste fires,
The more I thirst for souls, to quench Thy Heart’s desires.
That with such love always
I burn, by night, by day,
Remember, O my Jesu! Word of life! (Jn 1,1)
That Thou hast loved me, dying e’en for me.
Oh, let me be with holy folly rife!
So would I, also, live and die for Thee!
Thou knowest, Lord! my wish, my loving heart’s desire, —
To make Thee loved, and then, in martyrdom expire.
I long of love to die.
O hear my ardent cry.
Recall that glorious, that victorious hour,
When Thou didst say: “Happy indeed is he,
Who has not seen My triumph and My power,
But, seeing not, has still believed in Me.” (Jn 20,29)
In faith’s dim, shadowy night, I love Thee, I adore.
Jesu, I wait in peace, till faith’s long night is o’er.
That not one wish had I
To see Thee ‘neath this sky,
Remember that ascending unto God,
Thou wouldst not leave us orphans sad and lone, (Jn 14,18)
But didst, a Prisoner still, where we abode,
Veil on our altars all Thy pomp, my Own!
The shadow of Thy veil is, oh! how pure and bright,
Thou Living Bread of faith, heaven’s Food, my heart’s Delight. (Jn 6,35)
O mystery of love!
My Bread from heaven above, (Mt 6,11)
Jesus, ‘tis Thou!
Remember Thou, in spite of insults hurled
Against this sacrament of love divine,
Thou dost remain in this dull, weary world,
And fix Thy dwelling in a heart like mine.
0 Bread of exiled souls! holy and heavenly Host!
No more I live — not I! in Thee my life is lost. (Ga 2,20)
Thy chosen ciborium Am I.
Come, Jesu, come!
My Love art Thou.
Thy sanctuary here, dear Lord, am I,
That evil men shall never dare molest.
Rest in my, heart! Oh, do not pass me by!
Thy garden I, each flower an offering blest.
But if from me Thou turn, white Lily of the vale! (Ct 2,1)
I know too well those flowers would wither and would fail.
Ever, Thou Lily rare!
Bloom in my garden fair.
My life art Thou!
Remember that I longed upon this earth,
To comfort Thee for sinners’ scorn of Thee.
Give me a thousand hearts to praise Thy worth.
My Well-Beloved! abide, abide with me!
A thousand hearts too few would be for my desire;
Give me ThyHeart to set my longing heart on fire.
My ardent love for Thee,
While swift the moments flee,
Remember, Lord! that Thy dear will alone Is my sole wish, my only happiness. I give myself to Thee, to rest, mine Own!
With Thee in peace, and know Thy power to bless.
And if Thou seems’t to sleep while raging waves beat high, (Mc 4,38)
In peace I still remain, without one anguished cry.
In peace, on Thee, I wait;
But, for th’ Awakening great,
Prepare me Thou!
Remember how I often long and sigh
For that last day when angels shall proclaim:
“Time is no morel The judgment draweth nigh.
Rise thou, to face thy judge! He calls thy name.” (Ap 10,6)
Then swiftly shall I fly, past bounds of earth in space, (1Th 4,16)
To live at last within the Vision of Thy Face. (Ps 31,21 Jn 14,2)
That it alone can be
My joy eternally,
October 21, 1895.