MY WISHES BEFORE THE TABERNACLE

0 little key!  I envy thee,

For thou canst open, 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 lamp within 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, 0 Lord divine!

'Tis no cold stone I offer Thee,

Who dost desire this heart of mine!

O corporal that 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.

0 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 ostensorium am 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,

0 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,

0 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!

                                                                                1896.

JESUS ONLY

WRITTEN FOR A NOVICE.

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.  

TO SCATTER FLOWERS

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

A WORK OF LOVE

A CANTICLE FOR THE SACRISTANS OF CARMEL,

AND FOR THOSE SISTERS WHOSE OFFICE IT IS TO MAKE

THE ALTAR BREADS

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 to dwell with us below!

No queens are reigning anywhere

In joy as great as ours today

Our very work is love and prayer,

And binds our Spouse to us always.

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.  

MY ARMOR

TO A NOVICE FOR HER PROFESSION DAY

"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 4 the devil." 

Ephesians vi. II.  

With heavenly armor am I clad today;

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, be 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.

0 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.

0 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.  

MY PEACE AND MY JOY

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

A LILY AMIDST THORNS

FOR A NOVICE

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 today, 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 today 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 De light;

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 un told,

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.

A WITHERED ROSE

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

"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

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