I Thirst for Love, by Saint Thérèse of Lisieux

In wondrous love Thou didst come down from heaven
To immolate Thyself, O Christ, for me;
So, in my turn, my love to Thee is given,
I wish to suffer and to die for Thee.

Thou, Lord, hast spoken this truth benign:
“To die for one loved tenderly
Of greatest love on earth is sign;”
And now, such love is mine, –
Such love for Thee!

Abide, abide with me, 0 Pilgrim blest!
Behind the hill fast sinks the dying day.
Helped by Thy cross I mount the rocky crest;
Oh, come, to guide me on my heavenward way.

To be like Thee is my desire;
Thy voice finds echo in my soul.
Suffering I crave! Thy words of fire
Lift me above earth’s mire,
And sin’s control.

Chanting Thy victories, gloriously sublime,
The Seraphim – all heaven – cry to me,
That even Thou, to conquer sin and crime,
Upon this earth a sufferer needs must be.

For me, upon life’s dreary way,
What scorn, what anguish, Thou didst bear
Let me grow humble every day,
Be least of all, alway,
Thy lot to share!

Ah, Christ! Thy great example teaches me
Myself to humble, honors to despise.
Little and low like Thee I choose to be,
Forgetting self, so I may charm Thine eyes.

My peace I find in solitude,
Nor ask I more, dear Lord, than this:
Be Thou my sole beatitude,-
Ever, in Thee, renewed
My joy, my bliss!

Thou, the great God Whom earth and heaven adore,
Thou dwellest a prisoner for me night and day;
And every hour I hear Thy voice implore:
” I thirst – I thirst – I thirst – for love alway!

I, too, Thy prisoner am I;
I, too, cry ever unto Thee
Thine own divine and tender cry:
“I thirst! Oh, let me die
Of love for Thee!”

For love of Thee I thirst! Fulfil my hope;
Augment in me Thine own celestial flame!
For love of Thee I thirst! Too scant earth’s scope.
The glorious Vision of Thy Face I claim!

My long slow martyrdom of fire
Still more and more consumeth me.
Thou art my joy, my one desire.
Jesu! may I expire
Of love for Thee!

– Saint Teresa of Lisieux, 30 April 1896, translated by S L Emery