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Poems of SR. TERESA, Carmelite of Lisieux

known as
The "Little Flower of Jesus,"



MY HEAVEN ON EARTH.

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 years;
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.





MY HOPE.

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 I soon 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 time my spirit entered heaven.

               June 12, 1896.





MY WISHES BEFORE THE TABERNACLE.

0 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 mv 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 ol 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.






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