Poems of St. Therese of Lisieux

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Poems of St. Teresa, Carmelite of Lisieux, known as the 'Little St. Therese of Lisieux Flower of Jesus

Flower of Jesus

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.”

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

Poems of St. Teresa, Carmelite of Lisieux, known as the 'Little St. Therese of Lisieux
Flower of Jesus'
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!]

June, 1894

“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.”
(St. John 14, 23, 27, — 15:9)
The eve His life of love drew near its end,
Thus Jesus spoke: “Whoever loveth Me,
And keeps My word as Mine own faithful friend,
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.
Incarnate Word! Thou Word of God alone!
To live of love, ‘tis to abide with Thee.
Thou knowest I love Thee, Jesus Christ, my Own!
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,
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;
For loving souls desire to be alone,
With love, and Thee!
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, —

February 25, 1895
Canticle to the Holy Face.

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,
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,
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,
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!

August 12, 1895.
‘Thou Hast Broken My Bonds, O Lord’
(Psalm CXV.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!
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
mansions fair
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

Our Divine Lord to St.

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 Thou!
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
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!
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 Thou!
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!
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 now.
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 Thou!
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!
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, 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,
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!
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 Thou!
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 Thou!
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.
Remember Thou!
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 Thou!
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! — O glorious mystery! —
A fire immense can light, if fanned to flame by Thee.
I long, Divinest Star!
To bear Thy flames afar.
Remember Thou!
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 Thou!
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 Thou!
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.
Remember Thou!
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!
Remember now!
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!
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 now!
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 my heart.
Remember Thou!
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
The more I thirst for souls, to quench Thy Heart’s desires.
That with such love always
I burn, by night, by day,
Remember Thou!
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.
Remember Thou!
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 Thou!
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 ThyHeart to set my longing heart on fire.
My ardent love for Thee,
While swift the moments flee,
Remember Thou!
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,
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,
Remember Thou!

October 21, 1895.

Beside the tomb wept Magdalen at dawn, —
She sought to find the dead and buried Christ;
Nothing could fill the void now He was gone,
No one to soothe her burning grief sufficed.
Not even you, Archangels heaven-assigned!
To her could bring content that dreary day.
Your buried King, alone, she longed to find,
And bear His lifeless body far away.
Beside His tomb she there the last remained,
And there again was she before the sun;
There, too, to come to her the Saviour deigned, —
He would not be, by her, in love outdone.
Gently He showed her then His blessed Face,
And one word sprang from His deep Heart’s recess:
Mary! Hisvoice she knew, she knew its grace;
It came with perfect peace her heart to bless.
One day, my God! I, too, like Magdalen,
Desired to find Thee, to draw near to Thee;
So, over earth’s immense, wide-stretching plain,
I sought its Master and its King to see.
Then cried I, though I saw the flowers bloom
In beauty ‘neath green trees and azure skies:
O brilliant Nature! thou art one vast tomb,
Unless God’s Face shall greet my longing eyes.”
A heart I need, to soothe me and to bless, —
A strong support that can not pass away, —
To love me wholly, e’en my feebleness,
And never leave me through the night or day.
There is not one created thing below,
Can love me truly, and can never die.
God become man — none else my needs can know;
He, He alone, can understand my cry.
Thou comprehendest all I need, dear Lord!
To win my heart, from heaven Thou didst come;
For me Thy blood didst shed, O King adored!
And on our altars makest Thy home.
So, if I may not here behold Thy Face,
Or catch the heav’nly music of Thy Voice,
I still can live, each moment, by Thy grace,
And in Thy Sacred Heart I can rejoice.
O Heart of Jesus, wealth of tenderness!
My joy Thou art, in Thee I safely hide.
Thou, Who my earliest youth didst charm and bless,
Till my last evening, oh! with me abide,
All that I had, to Thee I wholly gave,
To Thee each deep desire of mine is known.
Whoso his life shall lose, that life shall save; —
Let mine be ever lost in Thine alone!
I know it well, — no righteousness of mine
Hath any value in Thy searching eyes;
Its every breath my heart must draw from Thine,
To make of worth my life’s long sacrifice.
Thou hast not found Thine angels without taint;
Thy Law amid the thunderbolts was given;
And yet, my Jesus! I nor fear nor faint.
For me, on Calvary, Thy Heart was riven.
To see Thee in Thy glory face to face, —
I know it well, — the soul must pass through fires.
Choose I on earth mypurgatorial place, —
The flaming love of Thy great Heart’s desires!
So shall my exiled soul, to death’s command,
Make answer with one cry of perfect love;
Then flying straight to heaven its Fatherland,
Shall reach with no delay that home above.

October, 1895.

Exiled afar from heaven, I still, dear Lord, can sing, —
I, Thy betrothed, can sing the eternal hymn of love;
For, spite of exile comes to me, on dove-like wing,
Thy Holy Spirit’s fire of rapture from above.
Beauty supreme! my Love Thou art;
Thyself Thou givest all to me.
Oh, take my heart, my yearning heart, —
Make of my life one act of love to Thee!
Canst Thou my worthlessness efface?
In heart like mine canst make Thy home?
Yes, love wins love, — O wondrous grace!
I love Thee, love Thee! Jesu, come I
Love that enkindleth me,
Pierce and inflame me;
Come, for I cry to Thee!
Come and be mine!
Thy love it urgeth me;
Fain would I ever be
Sunken and lost in Thee,
Furnace divine!
All pain borne for Thee
Changes to joy for me,
When my love flies to Thee,
Winged like the dove.
Heavenly Completeness,
Infinite Sweetness,
My soul possesseth Thee
Here, as above.
Heavenly Completeness,
Infinite sweetness,
Naught else art Thou but Love!
Note. — The swiftly varying metres of this rapturous “Canticle”
evidently are meant to indicate the ever increasing ecstasy of the
singer; unless, indeed, Soeur Theresa had no explicit intention, but
was simply carried on by the force of a quasi-inspiration.

March 19, 1896.

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, O 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!

April 30, 1806.

To bear my exile now, within this world of tears,
The holy tender glance of Christ, my Lord, I need.
That glance, surcharged with love, consoles me through the
His loveliness displays foretaste of heaven indeed.
On me my Jesus smiles, when toward Him I aspire — ,
The trial of my faith then weighs no more on me.
That love-glance of my God, that smile of holy fire,
Oh, this is heaven for me!
‘Tis heaven to have the power, great grace from Christ to win
For Holy Mother Church, for all my Sisters dear, —
For every soul on earth that He may enter in,
Enflame our sinful hearts, and grant us joy and cheer.
All things my love can gain when, heart to heart, I pray,
Alone with Jesus Christ in speechless ecstasy.
Beside His altar blest with Him I gladly stay, —
Oh, this is heaven for me!
My heaven within the Host safe hid and peaceful, lies,
Where Jesus Christ abides, divinest, fairest Fair.
From that great fount of love doth endless life arise;
There, day and night, my Lord doth hearken to my prayer.
When, in Thy perfect love (O moment blest and bright!)
Thou comest, Spouse most pure, me to transform in Thee,
That union of our hearts, that rapture of delight, —
Oh, this is heaven for me!
My heaven it is to feel in me some likeness blest
To Him Who made me and my soul hath reconciled;
My heaven it is always beneath His eye to rest.
To call Him Father dear, and be His loving child.
Safe shielded in His arms, no storm my soul can fear;
Complete abandonment my only law shall be.
To sleep upon His Heart, with His blest Face so near, —
Oh, this is heaven for me!
My heaven is God alone, the Trinity Divine,
Who dwells within my heart, the Prisoner of my love.
There, contemplating Thee, I tell Thee Thou art mine;
Thee will I love and serve until we meet above.
My heaven it is to smile on Thee whom I adore,
E’en when, to try my faith, from me Thou hidest Thee;
Calmly on Thee to smile, until Thou smil’st once more, —
Oh, this is heaven to me!

June 7, 1896.

Though in a foreign land I dwell afar,
I taste in dreams the endless joys of heaven.
Fain would I fly beyond the farthest star,
And see the wonders to the ransomed given!
No more the sense of exile weighs on me,
When once I dream of that immortal day.
To my true fatherland, dear God! I see,
For the first time Isoon shall fly away.
Ah! give me, Jesus! wings as white as snow,
That unto Thee I soon may take my flight.
I long to be where flowers unfading blow;
I long to see Thee, O my heart’s Delight!
I long to fly to Mary’s mother-arms, —
To rest upon that spotless throne of bliss;
And, sheltered there from troubles and alarms,
For the first time to feel her gentle kiss.
Thy first sweet smile of welcoming delight
Soon show, O Jesus! to Thy lowly bride;
O’ercome with rapture at that wondrous sight,
Within Thy Sacred Heart, ah! let me hide.
O happy moment! and O heavenly grace!
When I shall hear Thee, Jesus, speak to me;
And the full vision of Thy glorious Face
For the first time my longing eyes shall see.
Thou knowest well, my only martyrdom
Is love, O Heart of Jesus Christ! for Thee;
And if my soul craves for its heavenly home,
‘Tis but to love Thee more, eternally.
Above, when Thy sweet Face unveiled I view,
Measure nor bounds shall to my love be given;
Forever my delight shall seem as new
As the first timemy spirit entered heaven.

June 12, 1896.

O little key! I envy thee,
For thou canst ope, at any hour,
The Eucharistic prison-house,
Where dwells the God of Love and Power.
And yet — Oh, tender mystery! —
One effort of my faith alone
Unlocks the tabernacle door,
And hides me there with Christ my Own.
O lampwithin the holy place,
Whose mystic lights forever shine!
I fain would burn with fires of love
As bright, before my God and thine.
Yet, miracle of wondrous bliss!
Such flames are mine; and, day by day,
I can win souls to Jesus Christ,
To burn with His pure love for aye.
O consecrated altar-stone!
I envy thee with every morn.
As once in Bethlehem’s blessed shed,
The Eternal Word on thee is born.
Yet, gentle Saviour! hear my plea;
Enter my heart, O Lord divine!
‘Tis no cold stone I offer Thee,
Who dost desire this heart of mine!
O corporalthat angels guard!
What envy of thee fills my breast!
On thee, as in His swaddling bands,
I see my only Treasure rest.
Ah Virgin Mother! change my heart
Into a corporal pure and fair,
Whereon the snow-white Host may rest,
And thy meek Lamb find shelter there.
O holy paten!Jesus makes
Of Thee His sacramental throne.
Ah! if He would abase Himself,
To dwell awhile with me alone!
Jesus fulfils my longing hope,
Nor must I wait until I die; —
He comes to me! He lives in me!
His ostensoriumam I!
The chalice, too, I fain would be,
Where I adore the Blood divine!
Yet, at the holy sacrifice,
That Precious Blood each day is mine.
More dear to Jesus is my soul,
Than chalices of gold could be;
His altar is a Calvary new,
Whereon His Blood still flows for me.
Only one little bunch of grapes
That gladly disappears for Thee,
O Jesus, holy, heavenly Vine!
Thou knowest I rejoice to be.
Beneath the pressure of the cross,
I prove my love for Thee alway;
And ask no other joy than this, —
To immolate myself each day!
Among the grains of purest wheat,
O happy lot! he chooses me.
We lose our life for Him, the Christ, —
What rapturous height of ecstasy!
Thy spouse am I, Thy chosen one.
My Well-Beloved! come, dwell in me.
Thy beauty wins my heart. Oh, come!
Deign to transform me into Thee!


Oh, how my heart would spend itself, to bless;
It hath such need to prove its tenderness!
And yet what heart can my heart comprehend?
What heart shall always love me without end?
All — all in vain for such return seek I;
Jesus alone my soul can satisfy.
Naught else contents or charms me here below;
Created things no lasting joy bestow.
My peace, my joy, my love, O Christ!
’Tis Thou alone! Thou hast sufficed.
Thou didst know how to make a mother’s heart;
Tenderest of fathers, Lord! to me Thou art.
My only Love, Jesus, Divinest Word!
More than maternal is Thy heart, dear Lord!
Each moment Thou my way dost guard and guide;
I call — at once I find Thee at my side —
And if, sometimes Thou hid’st Thy face from me,
Thou com’st Thyself to help me seek for Thee.
Thee, Thee, alone I choose: I am Thy bride.
Unto Thy arms I hasten, there to hide.
Thee would I love, as little children love;
For Thee, like warrior bold, my love I’d prove.
Now, like to children, full of joy and glee,
So come I, Lord! to show my love to Thee;
Yet, like a warrior bold with high elation,
Rush I to combats in my blest vocation.
Thy Heart is Guardian of our innocence;
Not once shall it deceive my confidence.
Wholly my hopes are placed in Thee, dear Lord!
After long exile, I Thy Face adored
In heaven shall see. When clouds the skies o’erspread.
To Thee, my Jesus! I lift up my head;
For, in Thy tender glance, these words I see:
“O child! I made My radiant heaven for thee.”
I know it well — my burning tears and sighs
Are full of charm for Thy benignant eyes.
Strong seraphs form in heaven Thy court divine,
Yet Thou dost seek this poor weak heart of mine.
Ah! take my heart! Jesus, ‘tis Thine alone;
All my desires I yield to Thee, my Own!
And all my friends, that are so loved by me,
No longer will I love them, save in Thee!

August 15, 1896.

O Jesu! O my Love! Each eve I come to fling
Before Thy sacred Cross sweet flowers of all the year.
By these plucked petals bright, my hands how gladly bring,
I long to dry Thine every tear!
To scatter flowers! — that means each sacrifice,
My lightest sighs and pains, my heaviest, saddest hours,
My hopes, my joys, my prayers, — I will not count the price.
Behold my flowers!
With deep, untold delight Thy beauty fills my soul.
Would I might light this love in hearts of all who live!
For this, my fairest flowers, all things in my control,
How fondly, gladly I would give!
To scatter flowers! — behold my chosen sword
For saving sinners’ souls and filling heaven’s bowers.
The victory is mine: yes, I disarm Thee, Lord,
With these my flowers!
The petals in their flight caress Thy Holy Face;
They tell Thee that my heart is Thine, and Thine alone.
Thou knowest what these leaves are saying in my place;
On me Thou smilest from Thy throne.
To scatter flowers! — that means, to speak of Thee, —
My only pleasure here, where tears fill all the hours;
But soon, with angel hosts, my spirit shall be free,
To scatter flowers!

June 28, 1896

What from our lot could us entice!
’Tis ours the altar-breads to make
For that tremendous sacrifice
Where Christ is offered for our sake.
Heaven will be here, on sinful earth,
When hid beneath these veils of snow:
And God be here, in a new birth,
Come down todwell with us below!
No queens are reigning anywhere
In joy as great as ours to-day
Our very work is love and prayer,
And binds our Spouse to us alway.
Earth’s highest honors seem as naught,
Beside this service of Heaven’s King;
Beside this peace, with blessings fraught
That Jesus sends on dove-like wing.
A holy envy fills our hearts
For this fair work of our delight:
For these small snow-white hosts, whose arts
Shall hide the Lamb of God from sight.
Yet we His brides, His chosen, are;
Our Friend is He, our Spouse is He!
And hosts are we, that He, our Star,
Transforms to light and ecstasy.
The priest’s high lot is like our own,
In this our daily work for God.
Transformed by Him, we tread alone
The very path that He once trod.
By prayers, by acts of love divine,
His brave apostles we must aid;
With them our grace we must combine,
And fight their battles unafraid.
God, hid beneath these snowy veils,
Will hide Him, too, our hearts within.
O miracle! our prayer prevails,
With Him, for mercy upon sin.
Our joy, our glory, our delight,
O Jesus! is this work for Thee.
Thy Heaven is these ciboriums bright
Our prayers shall fill with souls for Thee.

November, 1896.

“The spouse of the King is terrible
as an army set in array; She is like
to a choir of music on a field of
battle.” Canticles vi. 3; vii.
“Put you on the armor of God that
you may be able to stand against the
deceits of the devil.” Ephesians vi.
With heavenly armor am I clad to-day;
The hand of God has thus invested me.
What now from Him could tear my heart away;
What henceforth come between my God and me?
With Him for Guide, the fight I face serene;
Nor furious fire, nor foe, nor death, I fear.
My enemies shall know I am a queen,
The spouse of God, most high, most dear.
This armor I shall keep while life shall last;
Thou, Thou, hast given it Me, my King, my Spouse!
My fairest, brightest gems, by naught on earth surpast,
Shall be my sacred vows.
My first dear sacrifice, O Poverty,
Thou shalt go with me till my dying hour.
Detached from all things must the athlete be,
If he the race would run, and prove his power
Taste, worldly men! regret, remorse and pain,
The bitter fruits of earthly, vain desire;
The glorious palms of Poverty I gain,
I who to God alone aspire.
“Who would My heavenly Kingdom have from Me,
He must use violence,” so Jesus said.
Ah well then! Poverty my mighty lance shall be,
The helmet for my head.
The pure white Angels’ sister now am I;
My vow of Chastity has made me so.
Ah, how I hope one day with them to fly!
Meanwhile to daily combat must I go.
For my great Spouse, of every lord the Lord,
Struggle must I, with neither truce nor rest;
And Chastity shall be my heavenly sword.
To win men’s souls to Jesus’ breast.
O Chastity,my sword invincible!
To overcome my foes thou hast sufficed;
By thee am I — O joy ineffable! —
The Spouse of Jesus Christ.
The proud, proud angel, in the realms of light,
Cried out, rebellious: “I will not obey!”
But I shall cry, throughout earth’s dreary night,
“With all my heart, I will obey alway!”
With holy boldness all my soul is steeled,
Against hell’s wild attacks I bravely dart;
Obedience is my firm and mighty shield,
The buckler on my valiant heart.
O conquering God! no other prize I seek,
Than to submit with all my heart to Thee;
Of victories th’ obedient man shall speak
Through all eternity.
If now a soldier’s weapon I can wield,
If valiantly like him the foe I face,
I also long to sing upon the field,
As sang the glorious Virgin of all grace.
Thou mak’st the chords to vibrate of Thy lyre.
That lyre, O Jesus! is my loving heart;
To sing Thy mercies is that heart’s desire.
How sweet, how strong, how dear, Thou art.
With radiant smile, Thou Spouse, my heart’s Delight,
I go to meet all foes from hell’s dark land;
And singing I shall die, upon the field of fight,
My weapons in my hand.

March 25, 1897.

How many souls on earth there are,
Who vainly seek for peace and rest!
With me, ‘tis otherwise by far;
Joy dwells forever in my breast.
No fading blossom is this flower,
Of its decay no fear have I;
Like fragrant rose in springtime’s bower
So fair it is, yet shall not die.
Well nigh too great my gladness is,
All things I wish are mine to-day.
How can I help but show my bliss,
Who am so light at heart, so gay?
My joy I find in pain and loss,
I love the thorns that guard the rose;
With joy I kiss each heavy cross,
And smile with every tear that flows.
When clouds the sunny skies o’ercast,
And weary grows my heart the while,
My joy it is that joy is past,
And gone my Lord’s consoling smile.
My peace is hid in Jesus’ breast, —
May His sweet will alone be done!
What fear can mar my perfect rest,
Who love the shadow as the sun?
My peace,’tis like a child to be,
That doth not plan, nor understand;
So, when I fall, Christ raiseth me,
And leads me gently by the hand.
My childish love I manifest,
And for His grace alone implore;
Then, if He hide, my love to test,
I only love Him all the more.
My peace, it is to hide my tears,
Nor ever show my bitter pain.
What joy to suffer through the years;
To veil with flowers each galling chain!
To suffer, yet make no complaint,
Since this, my Jesus, pleases Thee!
Could any trial make me faint?
’Tis Thy sweet cross is laid on me.
My peace,— it is with God to plead,
In prayers and tears, by day and night;
For many souls to intercede,
And say to Him, my heart’s Delight:
“O Little Brother, Heavenly King!
For Thee the cross I gladly bear.
My only joy is suffering,
Since thus Thy earthly lot I share.”
I long would live an exile here,
If that be Thy dear will for me;
Or soon would flee from exile drear,
If thou shouldst call me unto Thee.
Since Love’s divine, celestial breath
Is all I need, my heart to bless,
What matters life, what matters death?
Love is my peace, my happiness!

January 21, 1897.

O King majestic, strong! e’en from my earliest days,
I well may call myself Thy work of grace alone;
Thy love to pay with love, Thy care to tell with praise,
I come with joy to-day, before Thy altar-throne.
Jesu, my Best-Beloved! what privilege is this?
For nothingness am I. What have I done for Thee?
Yet, clad in virginal white, it is to-day my bliss
To follow Thee, the Lamb, in heavenly ecstasy.
I know, alas, too well, that I am less than naught,
Weakness itself, and poor; devoid of virtues great
And yet Thou knowest well that I have always sought
With longing heart, Thyself; on Thee alone I wait
When my young heart first felt the fire of love burn bright,
Thou cam’st, O Christ! that fire to Thee alone to take;
Naught could content my soul but Thee, my one Delight; —
The Infinite alone my burning thirst could slake.
Like some wee lamb afar from its safe sheltering fold,
Gayly I played, and nothing knew of dangers drear.
Shepherdess, Queen of Heaven! thy mother-love untold,
Thy mother-watchfulness, drew me thy heart anear.
So, playing on the brink of pitfalls dread and deep,
Afar I saw the hill of Carmel beckon me;
And I divined that they who climb its summits steep,
Shall learn of love, to fly to heaven’s eternity.
An angel’s purity, dear Lord, attracts Thy heart,
An angel white as snow, in heaven’s celestial mirth.
Dost thou not also love a lily kept apart
For Thee, from mire and taint; as white as snow, on earth?
If he, within Thy sight, exults all dazzling pure,
In brilliant stainless robes, whose lustre blinds our gaze,
Hast Thou not kept my robe as safe, as white, as sure?
My virgin heart has been the treasure of my days.


Jesus, when Thou didst leave Thy Mother’s fond embrace,
Let go her hand;
And first, on our hard earth, Thy little foot didst place,
And trembling stand;
Within Thy pathway, then fresh rose-leaves would I spread, —
Their Maker’s dower, —
That so Thy tiny feet might very softly tread
Upon a flower.
These scattered rose-leaves form true image of a soul,
O Child most dear!
That longs to immolate itself, complete and whole,
Each moment here.
On Thy blest altars, Lord, fresh roses fain would shine,
Radiant, near Thee;
They gladly give themselves. Another dream is mine, —
To fade for Thee!
How gaily decks Thy feasts, dear Child, a rose newblown,
Fragrant and fair!
But withered roses are forgot, — the wild winds’ own, —
Cast anywhere.
Their scattered leaves seek now no earthly joy or pelf;
For self, no gain.
Ah, little Jesus! so, I give Thee all! Of self,
Let naught remain.
These roses trampled lie beneath the passer’s tread,
Unmarked, unknown.
I comprehend their lot; — these leaves, though pale and dead,
Are still Thine own.
For Thee they die; as I my time, my life, my all
Have spent for Thee.
Men think a fading rose am I, whose leaves must fall
At death’s decree.
For Thee I die, for Thee, Jesus, Thou Fairest Fair! —
Joy beyond telling! —
Thus, fading, would I prove my love beyond compare,
All bliss excelling.
Beneath Thy feet, Thy way to smooth, through life’s long night,
My heart would lie;
And softening Thy hard path up Calvary’s awful height,
I thus would die.

May, 1897
“Abandonment is the delicious fruit
of love.”
— St. Augustine.

I saw upon this earth
A marvelous tree arise;
Its vigorous root had birth,
O wonder! in the skies.
Never, beneath its shade,
Can aught disturb or wound;
There tempests are allayed,
There perfect rest is found
And love men call this tree,
From heaven’s high portals sent;
Its fruit, how fair to see!
Is named abandonment.
What banquet here doth greet
Each reverent, hungry guest!
How, by its odors sweet,
The spirit is refreshed!
If we its fruit but touch,
Joy seems on us to pour.
Oh, taste, — for never such
A feast was yours before.
In this tumultuous world
It brings us perfect peace;
Though storms be round us hurled,
Its quiet shall not cease.
Abandonment gives rest
In Thee, O Jesus Christ!
Here is the food most blest
That has Thy saints sufficed.
Spouse of my soul, draw nigher!
I give my all to Thee.
What more can I desire
Than Thy sweet Face to see?
Naught can I do but smile,
Safe folded to Thy breast.
They who have known no guile
Find there most perfect rest.
As looks the floweret small
Up to the glorious sun,
So I, though least of all,
Seek my Beloved One.
King Whom I love the most!
The star I always see
Is Thy White Sacred Host,
Little and low like me;
And its celestial power,
Down from Thy altar sent,
Wakes in my heart that flower, —
Perfect abandonment.
All creatures here below,
At times, they weary me;
And willingly I go,
With God alone to be.
And if, sometimes, dear Lord,
Of me Thou weariest,
I wait upon Thy word;
Thy holy will is best.
Smiling, I wait in peace,
Till Thou return to me;
And never shall they cease, —
My songs of love for Thee.
All pain I now despise,
Naught can disquiet me;
Swifter than eagle flies,
My spirit flies to Thee.
Beyond the gloomy cloud,
Ever the skies are fair,
And angels sing aloud,
And God is reigning there.
And yet without a tear
I wait that bliss above,
Who in the Host have here
The perfect fruit of love.

May, 1897
First Poem of Sister Teresa.

My sweetest Jesus! on Thy Mother’s breast
Thy little Face is radiant with love;
Deign to reveal to me the mystery blest
That drew Thee down to exile from above.
Let me hide with Thee ‘neath her veil of snow,
That now conceals Thee from all human sight.
Alone with Thee, bright Morning Star, I’ll know
On earth a foretaste of heaven’s deep delight.
When dawn awakens in the far-off cast,
And first the sunbeams strike athwart the skies,
Looks for a precious balm — its daily feast —
The unfolding floweret with expectant eyes.
Those spotless pearls of clear translucent dew
Are full of some mysterious vital power;
They form the sap that ever doth renew
And ope the petals of the half-blown flower.
Thou art the Flower with petals still unclosed;
I gaze upon Thy beauty undefiled.
Thou art the Rose of Sharon long foretold,
Still in Thy glorious bud, Thou heavenly Child!
Thy dearest Mother’s arms, so pure and white,
Form for Thee now a royal cradle-throne;
Thy morning sun is Mary’s bosom bright,
Thy sunlit dew her virginal milk, my Own!
Ah, little Brother, shieldedsafe from harms,
In Thy deep eyes Thy future clear I see, —
Soon Thou wilt leave for us Thy Mother’s arms;
E’en now to suffer, Love is urging Thee.
And round Thy very Cross, Thou fading Flower,
Still clings the fragrance of Thy cradle-throne;
I recognize the pearls of Thy first hour:
This Blood drew life from Mary’s milk, my Own.
Those pearly dews on all our altars rest;
The angels fain would slake their thirst thereby,
Offering to God these words, forever blest:
“Behold the Lamb “ — St. John’s adoring cry.
Yes, see the Word, made Bread for famished men,
The Eternal Priest, the Lamb on altar-throne!
Since God’s own Son is Mary’s Son, all, then,
This Bread drew life from Mary’s milk, my Own!
On love divine, on joy, on glory’s light,
The seraphs feast with rapture ever new;
I, a frail child, in the ciborium bright
See but a milk-white Host, like pearly dew.
And since ‘tis milk that suits with childhood most,
And Thou art Love Itself upon Thy throne,
So, tender Love, in my white daily Host
I see Thy Mother’s virginal milk, my Own!

February 2, 1893

O Mother! thou my heart’s desire
Hast granted now; so hear my cry
Of gratitude and love like fire
Thy child uplifts to thee on high.
By love for God and all mankind,
By bonds of prayer and earnest will,
Thou deignest now my soul to bind
To those who Christ’s last wish fulfil.
‘Tis theirs through pagan lands to go,
And raise the cross of Christ on high;
‘Tis mine, within the cloister low,
His slightest will to satisfy.
I long for suffering; and the cross
With strong desire my heart doth crave.
A thousand deaths were gain, not loss,
If but one soul I help to save!
For this to Carmel’s hill I’ve come, —
Myself to immolate for men.
Christ brought a fire from Heaven’s high dome
I fain would light in hearts again.
Where Afric suns the desert bake,
Where Asian Su-tchen1 fronts the east,
My Mother, I can help to make
Thy virginal name revered and blest.
My prayers shall travel every day,
As fast as mighty river rolls;
My brothers, missioned far away,
Helped here by me, shall conquer souls;
And so the pure baptismal stream
Shall make of many a Pagan child
A temple, where God’s grace shall beam,
And God with man be reconciled.
Ah! might I see dear children fill
The heavenly courts where seraphs sing!
Them, by my prayers and God’s sweet will,
My brothers shall to Jesus bring.
The palm my spirit longs to gain,
My brother’s hand in mine shall place.
A martyr’s sister! Any pain
Would seem delight to win that grace.
The fruit of our apostolate
Our longing eyes at last shall see,
When, pressing on through heaven’s gate,
Our souls shall meet the saved and Thee.
Be theirs the honor of the fight,
My priestly brothers far away!
Be mine, reflection of their light,
At last, in heaven’s eternal day!


Could I some childlike spirit see,
Resembling Christ, my little Child,
Then she with Him should cradled be
Upon my bosom undefiled.
Angelic spirits, hovering near,
Would envy such celestial bliss;
Yet Thee I chose, so come then, dear!
My Child awaits thy timid kiss.
Oh, Jesus’ sister thou shalt be, —
I choose thee for “this better part.”
Wilt gladly bear Him company?
Then shalt thou rest upon my heart.
And I will shield thee ‘neath my veil,
Near Bethlehem’s Babe so fair and bright.
Oh, thou shalt think the stars are pale,
Compared with this divine delight.
But would’st forever stay with me,
And with this Christ-Child, in my care?
Then thou all fitly dressed must be
In childhood’s graces heavenly fair.
Upon thy brow mine eyes must trace
Thy light of purity divine;
Simplicity’s most tender grace
Through all things in thy life must shine.
God, Three in One, and One in Three,
By angels tremblingly adored,
Asks gently to be called by thee
“Flower of the Fields,” that simple word.
As fair white daisies lift their face
With steadfast meekness to the skies,
So thou must look with kindred grace
Within the Christ-Child’s holy eyes.
To worldly men no charm appears
In this meek King Who wears no crown.
Thou oft shalt see the burning tears
From Jesus’ eyes fail swiftly down.
Then thine own pains thou must forget,
To calm and soothe our Blessed One;
Then thou must prize the vows that set
Thy place so close to Him alone.
Our God, Whose mighty power controls
Fury of flood and force of flame,
Now lieth low, to save men’s souls,
A Child enclothed in our shame.
The Word, the Father’s Word on high,
My little Lamb, thy Brother dear,
Now speaks no word, He breathes no sigh;
Silent and dumb He lieth here.
That silence forms the mystic sign
Of love beyond all utterance deep;
Its meaning thou must well divine
And day by day like silence keep.
And if, at times, His eyelids close,
Rest then near Him in perfect peace;
His Sacred Heart no slumber knows,
His love for thee shall never cease.
Nor think, dear Mary, anxiously,
About the task of every day;
To lovethy blessed work shall be,
Its holy crown be thine for aye.
Lo! if some voice reproaches thee
Because no great things thou hast done,
Oh, make this answer steadfastly:
“But I Ioved much!” So heaven is won.
Our Lord Himself thy crown shall weave;
And if thou seek His love alone,
If all for Him thou gladly leave,
Near His for aye shall be thy throne.
When life’s long vigil is all past,
Heav’n’s dawn shall break in joy for thee;
And face to face, at last, at last,
The Vision of God shall welcome thee!


Fain would I sing, O Mother blest! the reasons why I love thee;
Why e’en to name thy name, with joy, O Mary! fills my
heart; And why the glorious thoughts of thee, in greatness far above
me, Inspire no fear within my soul, so dear and sweet thou art.
Yet, if I were to see thee now, in majesty stupendous,
Surpassing all the crowned saints in highest heaven above,
Scarce could I dream I am thy child, (O truth sublime,
For I should think myself to be unworthy of thy love.
The mother, who desires to be her child’s best earthly treasure,
Must ever share its grief with it, must understand its pain.
Queen of my heart! how many years, thy sorrows had no
What bitter tears thine eyes have shed, my worthless heart
to gain!
So, musing on thy earthly life, in Scripture’s sacred story,
I dare to look upon thy face, and unto thee draw nigh;
For when I see thee suffering, — concealed thy marvelous glory

It is not hard, then, to believe thy little child am 1.
When Gabriel came from heaven’s courts, to ask thee to be
mother Of God Who reigns omnipotent to all eternity,
I see thee, Mary! then prefer to that great grace, another, —
Through all thy consecrated life a virgin pure to be.
And so I now can comprehend, immaculate white maiden!
Why thou wast dearer unto God than heaven itself could
be; And how thy humble, human frame, with mortal weakness laden,
Could yet contain the Eternal Word, Love’s vast unbounded
I love thee when I hear thee call thyself the handmaid only
Of God, Whom thou didst win to earth by thy humility;
All-powerful it made thee then, above all women, lonely,
And drew, into thy bosom chaste, the Blessed Trinity,
The Holy Spirit, Love Divine, o’ershadowed thee, O Mother!
And God the Father’s only Son incarnate was in thee.
How many sinful, sorrowing souls shall dare to call Him —
For He shall be called: Jesus, thy first-born, eternally.
And oh! despite my frailties, dear Mary! well thou knowest
That I at times, like thee, possess the Almighty in my breast.
Shall I not tremble at the gift, O God! that Thou bestowest ?
A mother’s treasure is her child’s: — I still my fears to rest.
For I, O Mary, am thy child! O Mother dear and tender.
Shall not thy virtues and thy love plead now with God for
Then, when the pure white sacred Host, in all its veiled splendor,
Visits my heart, thy spotless Lamb will think He comes to
Oh, thou dost help me to believe that e’en for us, frail mortals,
‘Tis not impossible to walk where we thy footsteps see;
The narrow road before us now, thou lightest to heaven’s portals.
Who lowliest virtues here below didst practise perfectly.
Near thee, O Mother! I would stay, little, unknown and lowly;
Of earthly glory, oh! how plain I see the vanity!
In the house of St. Elizabeth, thy cousin dear and holy,
I learn of thee to practise well most ardent charity.
There, too, I listen on my knees, great Queen of all the Angels!
To that sweet canticle that flows in rapture from thy soul;
So dost thou teach me how to sing like heavenly, glad evangels
And glorify my Jesus, Who alone can make me whole.
Thy burning words of love divine are mystic flowers victorious,
Whose fragrance shall embalm the long, long, ages yet to
In thee, indeed, the Almighty King hath done great things and
I meditate upon them now, and bless my God in thee.
When good St. Joseph did not know the great archangel’s story,
Which thou wouldst fain conceal from men in thy humility,
O tabernacle of the Lord! thou didst not tell thy glory,
But veiled the Saviour’s presence in profoundest secrecy,
Thy silence, how I love it now, so eloquent, so moving!
For me it is a concert sweet, of melody sublime;
I learn thereby the grandeur of a soul that God is proving,
That only looks for help from Him and in His chosen time.
Then later still, O Joseph! and O Mary! I behold you
Repulsed in little Bethlehem by all the dwellers there;
From door to door you vainly went, for all the people told you
They had no place to shelter you, no time to give you care.
Their rooms were for the great alone; and in a stable dreary
The Queen of Heaven gave birth to Him Who made both
heaven and earth.
O Mother of my Saviour! then, thou wast not sad nor weary;
In that poor shed how grand thou wert! how painless was
that Birth!
And there when, wrapped in swaddling bands, I see the King
Eternal, —
When of the Word divine, supreme, the feeble cry I hear

O Mary, can I envy e’en the angels’ joy supernal?
The Master Whom they worship is My little Brother dear.
What praises must I give to thee, who, in earth’s gloomy prison,
Brought forth this lovely heaven-sent Flower, before our
eyes to bloom!
Though unto shepherds and wise men a star had grandly risen,
These things were kept within thy heart as in some secret
I love thee when I see thee next, like other Hebrew women,
To Israel’s temple turn thy steps when dawned the fortieth
I love thee yielding humbly up, to aged, favored Simeon,
The Lord Who should redeem us all when years had fled
And first my happy smiles awake, to hear his glorious singing,

That “Nunc Dimittis” that shall ring till Time itself shall
But soon thosejoyous notes are changed, and my hot tears are
springing; —
“A sword of grief must be thy lot,” thus runs his prophecy.
O Queen of all the martyr-host! till thy life here is ended,
That sharp, sharp sword shall pierce thy heart! At once, it
pierces sore.
That thy dear Child from Herod’s wrath may surely be defended,
I see thee as an exile fled to Egypt’s pagan shore.
Beneath thy veil thy Jesus slept, thy peace no fears were
When Joseph came to bid thee wake, and straightway flee
from home;
And then at once I see thee rise, as called by angels chanting,
Content, without a questioning word, in foreign lands to
In Egypt and in poverty, I think I see thee, Mary,
All glad at heart, all radiant, with joy beyond compare.
What matters exile unto thee? Thy true home cannot vary.
Hast thou not Jesus, with thee still? and with Him Heaven
is there.
But, oh! in fair Jerusalem, a sorrow, vast, unbounded,
Indeed o’erwhelmed thy mother-heart with grief beyond
compare; —
For three days Jesus hid Himself; no word to thee was spoken.
Thou truly wast an exile then, and knew what exiles bear.
And when, at last, thine eyes again were thy Son’s face
And love entranced thee, watching Him among the doctors
“My Child!” thou saidst, “now tell me why didst leave my arms
Didst Thou not know we sought for Thee with
tear-endimmed eyes?
The Child-God answered to thee then, to thy sweet, patient
O Mother whom He loved so well, whose heart was
well-nigh broken!
“How is it that you sought for Me? Wist not I must be doing
My Father’s work?” Oh, who shall sound the depths those
words betoken?
But next the Gospel tells me that, in His hidden mission,
Subject to Joseph and to thee was Christ, the Holy Boy;
And then my heart reveals to me how true was His submission,
And how beyond all words to tell, thy daily, perfect joy.
And now the temple’s mystery I understand, dear Mother!
The answer, and the tone of voice, of Christ, my King
‘Twas meant the pattern thou shouldst be, thereafter to all other
Tried souls who seek, in Faith’s dark night the coming of
the Lord.
Since Heaven’s high King has willed it so His Mother and His
Should know the anguish of that night the torn heart’s
deepest woe,
Then are notthose, who suffer thus, to Mary’s heart the nearest?
And is not love in suffering God’s highest gift below?
All, all that He has granted me, oh! tell Him He may take it!
Tell Him, dear Mother! He may do whate’er He please with
That He may bruise my heart to-day, and make it sore, and break
So only through Eternity my eyes His Face may see!
I know, indeed, at Nazareth, O Virgin rich in graces!
As the lowly live, so thou didst live, and sought no better
Of ecstasies and wonders there, our eyes can find no traces,
O thou who daily dwelt beside the incarnate King of Kings!
On earth, we know, is very great the number of the lowly;
With neither fear nor trembling now we dare to look on
By common lot and humble path, our Mother dear and holy,
Thou wast content to walk to heaven, and thus our guide
to be.
Through all my weary exile here, I fain would walk beside thee.
O my pure and precious Mother! be near to me each day!
Thy beauty thrills my heart with joy. Deign now to guard and
guide me!
What depths of love are in thy heart for me thy child, alway!
Before thy kind maternal glance, my many fears are banished;
Thou teachest me to gently weep, and then to sing for joy;
Thou dost not scorn our happy days, nor hast thou wholly
Thou smilest on us tenderly, as once upon thy Boy!
When bride and groom at Cana’s feast knew well the wine was
And knew not whence to bring supply, their need thine
eyes perceived,
To Christ, the Master, thou didst speak, who knew His power
availing, —
The Maker of created things, in Whom thy soul believed.
But first He seemed thy mother-heart’s kind prayer to be
“What matters this, O woman! unto Me and thee?” said
But “Mother,” in His soul’s deep depths, His filial heart was
And that first miracle He wrought, Mother, lie wrought for
One day, while sinners crowded round to hearwhat He was
In His desire to save their souls and them to heaven beguile,
Lo! thou wast there amid the throng, and thou wast meekly
That they would let thee nearer come, and speak with Him
And then thy Son spoke out this word mysterious like that other.
To show us thus His marvelous love for all the souls of
men; —
He said: “Who is My brother, and My sister, and My Mother?
‘Tis he who does My Father’s will!” The Father’s will,
O Virgin, pure, immaculate! O Mother, tenderest, dearest!
Hearing these words that Jesus spake, this time thou wast
not grieved.
No! thy great heart it leaped for joy, O thou His friend the
Because our longing souls likewise to kinship He received.
Oh, how thy heart is glad to know His love to us is given, —
The treasure, that cannot be weighed, of His Divinity!
Who shall not love thee well to-day, and bless thee in high
Seeing thy tender care for us, thy generosity!
For truly thou dost love us all as thy Child Jesus loves us;
And for our sake thou didst consent to stay when He had
Since, if we love, then all to give, e’en self, both tries and proves
So thou, to prove thy love, didst stay in earth’s dark, dreary
Thy love for souls our Saviour knew, that love His heart had
He left thee to us when He went to God’s right hand on
Refuge of sinners! on thy prayers how many hopes are grounded!
Christ gave thee to us from His cross; for us He hears thy
For thou — His Mother — there didst stand, that awfulday, on
As a priest before God’s altar, at the cross so thou didst
stand  And to appease the Father’s wrath, didst offer up, O Mary!
Thy Jesus, our Emmanuel, at God’s supreme command.
A prophet had foretold this thing, O Mother brokenhearted!
“Is any sorrow like to thine?” Thy grief no words can say!
Blest Queen of martyrs! left on earth when Jesus had departed!
‘Twas thy heart’s blood for us was given on that unequalled
day. Henceforth thy shelter in thy woe was St. John’s humble
The son of Zebedee replaced the Son Whom heaven adored.
Naught else the Gospels tell us of thy life, in grace excelling;
It is the last they say of thee, sweet Mother of my Lord!
But that deep silence, oh! I think it means that, up in glory,
When time is past, and into heaven thy children safe are
The Eternal Word, my Mother dear, Himself will tell thy story,
To charm our souls, thy children’s souls, in our eternal
Soon I shall hear that harmony, that blissful, wondrous singing;
Soon, soon, to heaven that waits for us, my soul shall
swiftly fly.
O Thou who cam’st to smile on me at dawn of life’s beginning!
Come once again to smile on me. . . . Mother! the night is
nigh. I fear no more thy majesty, so far, so far above me,
For, I have suffered sore with thee; now hear my heart’s
deep cry!
Oh! let me tell thee face to face, dear Virgin! how I love thee;
And say to thee forevermore: thy little child am I.


O glorious guardian of my frame!
In heaven’s high courts thou shinest bright,
As some most pure and holy flame,
Before the Lord of endless light.
Yet for my sake thou com’st to earth,
To be my brother, Angel dear:
My friend and keeper from my birth,
By day and night to me most near.
Knowing how weak a child am I,
By thy strong hand thou guidest me;
The stones that in my pathway lie,
I see thee move them carefully.
Ever thy heavenly tones invite
My soul to look to God alone;
And ever grows thy face more bright,
When I more meek and kind have grown.
O thou who speedest through all space
More swiftly than the lightnings fly!
Go very often, in my place,
To those I love most tenderly.
With thy soft touch, oh! dry their tears;
Tell them the cross is sweet to bear;
Speak my name softly in their ears,
And Jesu’s name, supremely fair.
Through all my life, though brief it be,
I fain would succor souls from sin.
Dear Angel, sent from heaven to me,
Kindle thy zeal my heart within!
Naught but my holy poverty,
And daily cross togive have I;
O join them to thine ecstasy,
And offer them to God on high.
Thine are heaven’s glory and delight,
The riches of the King of kings;

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