“My daughter, seek for those of My Words, that breathe forth the most love; write hem, and then, guarding them with great care, as you would holy relics, be sure that you read them often. When a friend desires to reawaken 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 today are the words of My love, the words that came from the depths of My loving Heart.”
Recall, O Christ! the Father’s glories bright,
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!”
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!
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,
Who offered Thee their hearts, as I mine own again;
The Babes of Bethlehem see,
Who gave their blood for Thee.
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,
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;
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.
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;
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.
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.”
This promise Thou hast given,
Remember Thou that on the fountain’s brink,
A traveller, weary with the journey’s length,
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!
“Come unto Me, poor souls with sorrow tost!
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.”
I thirst, I thirst, 0 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,
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.
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.
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!
Thy Heart o’er them Its mystic influence wields;
Within that Heart is room for all, and rest.
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,
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.
To me it came from Thy fair heaven above;
Would I could spread its fires by night and day!
One feeble spark, dear Lord! – 0 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!
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.
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?
The great works that I do, (so Thou hast said, dear Lord!)
My friends shall yet surpass, according to My word.”
How humble Thou wast then,
Among the sons of men.
Remember in what rapture of delight
The loved apostle rested on Thy Heart.
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.
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! ”
Yet who believed Thee, then, the Son of God to be,
Thy glory veiled and hid in our humanity?
Fairest of sons of men!
My God! I knew Thee then!
Remember that Thy dear, divinest Face,
Even among Thy friends, was oft unknown.
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 mv heart.
Remember Thou that amorous complaint,
Escaping from Thy lips on Calvary’s tree:
“I thirst!” Oh, how my heart like Thine doth faint.
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!
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.”
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,
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.
O mystery of love!
My Bread from heaven above,
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.
O Bread of exiled souls! holy and heavenly Host!
No more I live – not I! in Thee my life is lost.
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!
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 Thy Heart 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 mvself 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,
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.”
Then swiftly shall I fly, past bounds of earth in space,
To live at last within the Vision of Thy Face.
That it alone can be
My joy eternally,
– Saint Teresa of Lisieux, 21 October 1895, translated by S L Emery