We Remember

November 2, 2021
All Souls Day

Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, we pray with Psalm 23, that familiar pastoral which, for millennia, has comforted our griefs and fears.

The Lord is my shepherd; 
I shall not want.
You make me lie down in green pastures 
and lead me beside still waters.
You revive my soul
and guide me along right pathways for your name’s sake.

Psalm 23: 1-3

But even for us who believe, it’s a somber day.

Because we just don’t know, do we? We believe. We hope. We trust. But we just don’t know

  • how life can seem to end so finally
  • why love’s cord seems to break, or at least to tangle
  • where they go when they leave us
  • when we will see them again

That’s why I think that, in many ways, All Souls Day is for us, the living. The act of corporate remembrance lets us hold up before one another these profound “unanswerables” while saying, “Still, I believe; I hope; I love.”

We give one another strength on All Souls Day to choose eternal life in a world that often casts only a deadly shadow. 

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil, for you are with me;
your rod and your staff comfort me.

Psalm 23: 4

Today, we participate in a treasured spiritual exercise for us – those who remain:

We remember.

By our holy remembering:

  • We bless in our departed beloveds what – in life – we might have taken for granted.
  • We cherish their goodness and acknowledge their weaknesses.
  • We consider that our love and longing for them is but a pale reflection of God’s own.
  • We release our dear family and friends into that Immense Love.

As part of the great Communion of Saints, we release even those who have no one holding on to them. By our prayer for them, we attest our love to a heavenly family we have yet to meet.

Our dear Catherine McAuley said this, even in a time when she was faced with constant loss and bereavement:

Shall we all meet in Heaven?
Oh what joy even to think of it!

Venerable Catherine McAuley

On All Souls Day, we do think of it – and are consoled by a quiet, indescribable joy.

You spread a table before me
despite anything that troubles me;
you have anointed my head with oil;
Indeed, my cup is running over.
Surely this goodness and mercy follows us always
and we will dwell in your house for ever.

Psalm 23: 5-6

Poetry: Hildegard of Bingen (1098–1179) – O Shepherd of Souls

O Shepherd of souls
and O, First Voice
through whom all creation was summoned,
now to you,
to you may it give pleasure and dignity
to liberate us
from our miseries and languishing.

Music: Stand in the Light – Jordan Smith 

As we remember all our faithful departed today, we pray that we may all stand in the Light.

Becoming Saints

Monday, November 1, 2021
Feast of All Saints

Synaxis of All Saints – Anonymous Russian icon

Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, we pray with Psalm 24, an exultant song of praise and celebration whose opening lines leave no doubt of God’s overarching Supremacy

The earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it, 
the world and all who dwell therein.
For it is God who founded it upon the seas
and made it firm upon the rivers of the deep.

Psalm 24: 1-2

The psalmist then asks and answers the burning question of all spiritual seekers: who may come into the presence of this Omnipotent Being? Who may live in Eternal Love?

Who can ascend the mountain of the Lord,
and who can stand in the holy place of God?
Those who have clean hands and a pure heart, 
who have not pledged themselves to falsehood, 
nor sworn by what is a fraud.
They shall receive a blessing from the Lord
and a just reward from the God of their salvation.

Psalm 24: 3-5

It is these successful seekers whom we celebrate today,
the ones already embraced in everlasting glory.

As we consider their lives, we might ask the further question: how did they do it; how did they achieve holiness.

John, in our second reading, says the key to holiness is to honor the gift already given to each of us at our creation and confirmed in our Baptism:

Beloved:
See what love God has bestowed on us
that we may be called the children of God.
Yet so we are.
The reason the world does not know us
is that it did not know God.
Beloved, we are God’s children now;
what we shall be has not yet been revealed.
We do know that when it is revealed we shall be like God
for we shall see God as God truly is.
Everyone who shares this hope seeks a heart purified in God.


We honor all the Saints today, especially the multitudes whose names are unknown to us. They are the ones who lived lives of Beatitude among us, as our Gospel teaches. May they help us to learn the lessons of:

  • a liberated spirit
  • an unpretentious persistance
  • a hopeful endurance
  • a thirst for righteousness
  • a merciful and pure heart
  • a gentle peace-making
  • and a courageous pursuit of justice

These are the keys that will lift up the gates of Heaven for us, allowing the Holy One to make us holy:

Lift up your heads, O gates;
lift them high, O everlasting doors;
and the One who reigns in glory shall come in.

Psalm 24:7

Poetry: In Whom We Live and Move and Have Our Being – Denise Levertov 

Birds afloat in air’s current,
sacred breath? No, not breath of God,
it seems, but God
the air enveloping the whole
globe of being.
It’s we who breathe, in, out, in, the sacred,
leaves astir, our wings
rising, ruffled—but only saints
take flight. We cower
in cliff-crevice or edge out gingerly
on branches close to the nest. The wind
marks the passage of holy ones riding
that ocean of air. Slowly their wake
reaches us, rocks us.
But storm or still,
numb or poised in attention,
we inhale, exhale, inhale,
encompassed, encompassed.

Music: two songs for the big feast🤗

Psalm 24: Lift up your heads, ye gates – Georg Friedrich Handel
Sung by the Gramophone Chorus – Ghana


Give Us Clean Hands – Charlie Hall

The Heart of Love

October 31, 2021
Thirty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time

Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, we pray with beautiful Psalm 18:

I love you, O LORD, my strength,
    O LORD, my rock, my fortress, my deliverer.
R. I love you, Lord, my strength.
My God, my rock of refuge,
    my shield, the horn of my salvation, my stronghold!

Psalm 18: 2-3

In our readings, both Deuteronomy and Mark proclaim the call to love God wholeheartedly.

In Mark, it is one of the scribes who initiates this proclamation by asking Jesus which is the first – most important – of the commandments. Unlike many of Jesus’ encounters with the scribes and Pharisees, this one does not seem hostile. The man, as one might expect of an expert in the Law, wants to know if Jesus continues the priorities of the Torah. 

One of the scribes came to Jesus and asked him,
“Which is the first of all the commandments?” 

Mark 12:28

He is pleased with Jesus’ answer. And Jesus is pleased with him. We can almost see Christ’s smile at the scribe’s sincere and lived response. 

Jesus replied, “The first is this:
Hear, O Israel!
The Lord our God is Lord alone!
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart,
with all your soul, 
with all your mind,
and with all your strength.
The second is this:
You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
There is no other commandment greater than these.” 
The scribe said to him, “Well said, teacher.

Mark 12: 29-31

This man sees through the Pharisaical confusions which have been heaped upon this most important law. He understands that love of God and neighbor mean infinitely more than burnt offerings and public sacrifices.


How do we reach this wholehearted love in our complex lives? We’re not busy with burnt offerings, but we are distracted by so many forces that lay claim to our attention and devotion. 

We love many worthy and unworthy things in our lives. We often confuse real love with one of its masquerading forms – “loves” that are self-serving rather than other-serving.

Today’s Alleluia verse is an answer to our, “How?”.

Whoever loves me
will keep my word, says the Lord;
and my father will love him
and we will come to him.

John 14:23

Real love is proved by action. It’s that simple.
What do my actions say about where my heart is?
Let me just flip back through my last 24 hours
to see if God would have smiled at my choices, words, and actions.
And let me change what I need to change for tomorrow.


Poetry: from Rumi

Last night I learned how to be a lover of God,
To live in this world and call nothing my own.

I looked inward
And the beauty of my own emptiness
filled me till dawn.
It enveloped me like a mine of rubies.
Its hue clothed me in red silk.

Within the cavern of my soul
I heard the voice of a lover crying,
“Drink now! Drink now!”—

I took a sip and saw the vast ocean— 
Wave upon wave caressed my soul. 
The lovers of God dance around 
And the circle of their steps
becomes a ring of fire round my neck.

Heaven calls me with its rain and thunder—
a hundred thousand cries
yet I cannot hear…..

All I hear is the call of my Beloved.


Music: V’Ahavta- Marty Goetz

V’Ahavta is part of the Shema Yisrael (שְׁמַע יִשְׂרָאֵל)- a prayer that serves as a centerpiece of the morning and evening Jewish prayer services.

Slippin’ and Slidin’

October 30, 2021
Saturday of the Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time

Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, we pray with Psalm 94 which assures us of God’s patient and enduring love.

Happy are they whom you instruct, O Lord!
whom you teach out of your law;
to give them rest in evil days…
For you will not abandon your beloved,
nor will you forsake your own.

Psalm 94: 12-14

How does God instruct us in this perfect Law? Our Alleluia Verse offers this insight:

Take my yoke upon you and learn from me,
For I am meek and humble of heart.

Matthew 11:29

By imitating the humble love of Jesus, we learn to become more like God in whose image we are created.


Deepening in that imitative love is a lifelong journey. Sometimes, maybe often, our footing is unsure. Sometimes we even fall flat on our face!

The psalmist tells us we are not alone in the struggle, a verse we might repeat when we are a bit off spiritual balance:

Were not the LORD my help,
my soul would soon dwell in the silent grave.
When I say, “My foot is slipping,”
your mercy, O LORD, sustains me.

Psalm 94: 17-18

Poetry: Prayer of the Tightrope Dancer – Sister Eleanor Fitzgibbons, IHM

Oh God of tenderness
and watchful love,
You are my balance beam,
I shall not falter.
With you, my surety,
I will not fail.


Music: Two songs today

  1. Blessed Assurance – written in 1883 by Fanny Crosby an amazing creative talent and activist. She was blind from infancy.

  1. For my fellow tightrope walkers out there:
    Walk-in’ the Tightrope: Some of you might like this rockin’ song from Stevie Ray Vaughn to kick up your Saturday 😉

Catch the Word!

October 29, 2021
Friday of the Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time

Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, we pray with Psalm 147 which calls upon Israel to praise God for gifts received.

God has not done for others what has been done for you;
the Divine Way God has not made known to them. Alleluia.

Psalm 147: 20

The psalm gives us deeper insight into our reading from Romans. In Romans, chapters 9-11, Paul focuses on Israel’s quintessential place in the unfolding of salvation history.

In today’s passage, Paul laments the recalcitrance of some of his kin to open their hearts to the Gospel:

I have great sorrow and constant anguish in my heart. 
For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ
for the sake of my own people,
my kindred according to the flesh. 
They are children of Israel…

Romans 9: 2-3

Paul’s lament is not a condemnation. Rather he mourns the fact that his fellow Israelites, who are uniquely blessed by God, choose not to accept the new and transformative Gift offered them in the person of Jesus Christ.


The lesson for us when praying with this psalm and reading? Perhaps this:

God is always doing something new and wonderful in us and in Creation. God is always inviting us deeper into the relationship of love and mercy.

The path to that sacred depth is laid out for us in the Gospel where we learn to imitate Christ.


Sometimes we too are recalcitrant. We like things to be ordered and controlled, just like today’s Gospel Pharisees liked to control the Sabbath.

But the God of the Sabbath is not to be controlled by our fears, demands, or securities. That God will continue to challenge, invite, surprise, and love us into deeper relationship.

Our work is to stay open and responsive to this dynamic God Whose graces are “new every morning” – in fact, every moment…

Who sends forth the command to the earth;
Whose Word runs swiftly!

Psalm 147: 15

Poetry: He Comes Ever Again – Rowan Williams

He will come like last leaf’s fall.
One night when the November wind
has flayed the trees to bone, and earth
wakes choking on the mould,
the soft shroud’s folding.

He will come like frost.
One morning when the shrinking earth
opens on mist, to find itself
arrested in the net
of alien, sword-set beauty.

He will come like dark.
One evening when the bursting red
December sun draws up the sheet
and penny-masks its eye to yield
the star-snowed fields of sky.

He will come, will come,
will come like crying in the night,
like blood, like breaking,
as the earth writhes to toss him free.
He will come like child.

Music: Blue Dream – Fiona Jay Hawkins

Zap?

October 23, 2021
Saturday of the Twenty-ninth Week in Ordinary Time

Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, we pray with Psalm 24 in which the psalmist expresses the heart’s deep longing for God:

Who can ascend the mountain of the LORD?
    or who may stand in that holy place?
The one whose hands are sinless, whose heart is clean,
    who desires not what is vain.
Who shall receive a blessing from the LORD,
    a reward from God the savior.
Such is the race that seeks for God,
    that seeks the face of the God of Jacob.

Psalm 24: 5-6

But achieving those sinless hands and clean heart is not always an easy task. It takes a life focused on faith and rooted in love.

Jesus talks about that focus in today’s Gospel.

Jesus gives us a parable which, at first, appears to say, “Get your act together fast, or God might zap you.” From Jesus’s words, we can assume that some public disasters have recently occurred. Those in the gathered crowd are unnerved by these events.

Jesus uses that nervousness to talk about repentance. He tells the people that tragedy can make us wake up to the fact that life is fragile and fleeting. That awareness should make us want to use our time on earth well, to give glory to God.

The repentance Jesus encourages is not just a contrition, or turning from sin. It is an opening of the soul’s eyes to see our lives and circumstances as God sees them.

Is God going to zap us if we don’t have that kind of repentance? No, I think not.

God is always Mercy …
always, always Mercy.

With the parable of the fruitless fig tree, Jesus assures us that God is with us, giving us every grace and opportunity to bear spiritual fruit. God is patient and nurturing. But, in every human life, there is a limit to the time we have to respond.


Poetry: The Facts of Life – Pádraig Ó Tuama

That you were born
and you will die.

That you will sometimes love enough
and sometimes not.

That you will lie
if only to yourself.

That you will get tired.

That you will learn most from the situations
you did not choose.

That there will be some things that move you
more than you can say.

That you will live
that you must be loved.

That you will avoid questions most urgently in need of
your attention.

That you began as the fusion of a sperm and an egg
of two people who once were strangers
and may well still be.

That life isn’t fair.
That life is sometimes good
and sometimes better than good.

That life is often not so good.

That life is real
and if you can survive it, well,
survive it well
with love
and art
and meaning given
where meaning’s scarce.

That you will learn to live with regret.
That you will learn to live with respect.

That the structures that constrict you
may not be permanently constricting.

That you will probably be okay.

That you must accept change
before you die
but you will die anyway.

So you might as well live
and you might as well love.
You might as well love.
You might as well love.


Music: Calm the Soul – Poor Clares Galway

Seeking and Waiting

October 19, 2021
Memorial of Saints John de Brébeuf and Isaac Jogues, Priests, and Companions, Martyrs

Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy,  we pray with Psalm 40 in which the psalmist prays for all who seek God and faithfully wait on God’s salvation:

May all who seek you
    exult and be glad in you,
And may those who love your salvation
    say ever, “The LORD be glorified.”

Psalm 40:17

Luke’s Gospel describes the expectant fidelity God gives us and desires from us. In other words, God waits for us too!

The master of the house was away on a long journey. Likely he would have tried to return home in daylight, because the ancient roads were dark and menacing at night. Perhaps the evening meal was already prepared in anticipation of his arrival. But he does not appear over the distant rise where all the household’s eyes are trained.


You know how they waited. You’ve waited for loved ones coming home in bad weather. You’ve waited for beloved holiday guests when flights are delayed or traffic is snarled.

You watch for headlights cresting down the far road. You listen for the sound of a car door closing. Minutes seem like hours. The perfectly prepared meal cools, and your energy slackens as you pick at the olives and breadsticks.


Sometimes our prayer life feels like that. We do all the things necessary to welcome God’s grace, but instead we feel distant from the Divine Presence. We long for God’s warm blessing over the feast of our life, but God tarries somewhere at the other edge of our hope.  We feel like these Gospel servants who wait, exhausted, even into the early morning hours.

But we don’t give up. Our hope remains steadfast because God has promised. And it is in that fidelity that our eyes are opened to realize that God had been present all along — just not looking as we had expected.

It turns out that God is the One who had been waiting… waiting for us to see.


Poetry: Waiting by Leza Lowitz

You keep waiting for something to happen,
the thing that lifts you out of yourself,

catapults you into doing all the things you've put off
the great things you're meant to do in your life,

but somehow never quite get to.
You keep waiting for the planets to shift

the new moon to bring news,
the universe to align, something to give.

Meanwhile, the pile of papers, the laundry, the dishes, the job –
it all stacks up while you keep hoping

for some miracle to blast down upon you,
scattering the piles to the winds.

Sometimes you lie in bed, terrified of your life.
Sometimes you laugh at the privilege of waking.

But all the while, life goes on in its messy way.
And then you turn forty. Or fifty. Or sixty...

and some part of you realizes you are not alone
and you find signs of this in the animal kingdom

when a snake sheds its skin its eyes glaze over,
it slinks under a rock, not wanting to be touched,

and when caterpillar turns to butterfly
if the pupa is brushed, it will die –

and when the bird taps its beak hungrily against the egg
it's because the thing is too small, too small,

and it needs to break out.
And midlife walks you into that wisdom

that this is what transformation looks like –
the mess of it, the tapping at the walls of your life,

the yearning and writhing and pushing,
until one day, one day

you emerge from the wreck
embracing both the immense dawn

and the dusk of the body,
glistening, beautiful

just as you are.

Music: A country tune today, maybe overly simple. But I find some country music has a profound nugget of truth buried in the twang. I hope you can enjoy it.

He Was There All the Time ~ Gary S. Paxton

Teresa of Avila

October 15, 2021

Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, on this feast of the great St. Teresa of Ávila, we pray with Psalm 32:

You are my shelter; you guard me from distress;
with joyful shouts of deliverance you surround me.

Psalm 32:7

We have all experienced these types of moments when we feel “delivered”.

  • We might have been praying for someone’s health, or our own.
  • We might have been caught in a difficult decision.
  • We might have been waiting for an acceptance letter or call.
  • We might have been hoping our apology would be accepted, or that one would be given.
  • We might have been aching for an inspiration, a thread of hope, or a new understanding.

And then —- Light!

We know what it feels like when the Light comes. But often, it is not the light we had expected. True “deliverance” comes not from shedding a worrisome circumstance. Instead, it comes from being incorporated into an unshakable faith and trust, as St. Teresa of Ávila describes it:

May today there be peace within. 
May you trust God that
you are exactly where you are meant to be. 
May you not forget
the infinite possibilities that are born of faith. 
May you use those gifts that you have received,
and pass on the love that has been given to you. 
May you be content knowing you are a child of God. 
Let this presence settle into your bones,
and allow your soul the freedom
to sing, dance, praise and love. 
It is there for each and every one of us.


Poem: Nada Te Turbe – Teresa of Ávila

Let nothing disturb you,
Let nothing frighten you,
All things are passing:
God alone is changeless.
Patience 
obtains all things.
Whoever has God 
lacks nothing;
God alone suffices.

Nada te turbe,
Nada te espante.
Todo se pasa.
Dios no se muda.
La paciencia 
Todo lo alcanza.
Quien a Dios tiene,
Nada le falta.
Solo Dios basta.


Music: Two beautiful selections today

  1. Voice in My Heart – Iris Koh

2. A reflection in Spanish from the Discalced Carmelite Sisters

Pure Grace

Thursday of the Twenty-eighth Week in Ordinary Time 
October 14, 2021

Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, we pray with Psalm 130 which promises that, even when we are in the depths, God offers us “the fullness of redemption”.

Let Israel hope in the LORD,
For with the LORD is mercy,
and plenteous redemption.

Psalm 130:7

For Paul in our first reading today, who is preaching a universal salvation in Jesus Christ, those “depths” are sin:

For there is no distinction; (between Jew and Gentile)
all have sinned and are deprived of the glory of God.

Romans 3:2-24

Paul then declares a core teaching of the New Covenant

They are justified freely by God’s grace
through the redemption in Christ Jesus…

Romans 3:24

Paul is preaching to a community in which a few “boasters” have surfaced – people who felt they could reinterpret and codify the Gospel their own way – like the Pharisees and lawyers do with the Mosaic Law in our reading from Luke today .

Paul is correcting that falsehood. He uses a lot of words to explicate the Gospel’s core tenet of universal redemption by grace. But for me, they are “theology words” not “prayer words”.


What I choose to pray with is this awesome truth:

God loves me so much
as to redeem me
from the depths of spiritual alienation
through the Gift of Jesus Christ.

The people in today’s Gospel refused to recognize and accept that all-defining gift. If they had, everything about their lives would have been transformed. And worse yet, by their exalted positions as scholars and leaders, they used their power to block others from learning about and receiving this Transcendent Grace.


In every generation, there are “religionists” who decide what elements of doctrine satisfy their own needs and desires. They preach that fragmented and divisive catechism to advance their self-serving agendas. They design laws which inhibit rather than assist people in opening their spirits to God’s merciful fullness.


Our readings today call us rise from the depths of any such inhibitions:

  • to cherish the gift of our redemption in Christ
  • to meditate on and educate ourselves in a true understanding of that gift
  • to test ourselves for an honest and inclusive faith rooted in the righteousness of God

Now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law,
though testified to by the law and the prophets,
the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ
for all who believe.

Romans 3:21

Poetry: CONSUMED IN GRACE – Catherine of Siena 
From ‘Love Poems From God‘ by Daniel Ladinsky. 

I first saw God when I was a child, six years of age.
the cheeks of the sun were pale before Him,
and the earth acted as a shy
girl, like me.
Divine light entered my heart from His love
that did never fully wane,
though indeed, dear, I can understand how a person’s 
faith can at time flicker,
for what is the mind to do
with something that becomes the mind’s ruin:
a God that consumes us
in His grace.
I have seen what you want;
it is there,
a Beloved of infinite 
tenderness.

Music: Amazing Grace – written by John Newton, sung by Il Divo

The Little Flower

Memorial of Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus
Friday, October 1, 2021

Thérèse of Lisieux (2 January 1873 – 30 September 1897) 
was a French Catholic Discalced Carmelite nun 
who is widely venerated in modern times. 
She is popularly known in English as "The Little Flower”.  
In her short life, she radiated a sacred simplicity, 
often referred to as “The Little Way” 
which has inspired generations of spiritual seekers. 
Pope Pius X called her the greatest saint of modern times.

Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, in place of the dour readings of the day, we pray with some thoughts from the Little Flower herself:

For me, prayer is a surge of the heart;
it is a simple look turned toward heaven,
it is a cry of recognition and of love,
embracing both trial and joy.


When one loves, one does not calculate.


The world’s your ship and not your home.


Poetry: To Live in Love by Thérèse of the Child Jesus – a beautiful long prayer-poem. You may wish to use just a stanza or two, or to pray with the musical version below.

If any one love Me, they will keep My word and My Father will love them
and We will come to them and make Our abode with them…
My peace I give unto you … Abide in My love.”
(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.
0 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 always.
I live of love!

To live of love, 0 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, 0 Christ!
For this I plead with Thee by night, by day;
And give myself, in sacrifice unpriced,
With love always!

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: ” 0 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,
OF LOVE TO DIE.

February 25, 1895 


Music: St. Thérèse’s Canticle of Love – Sister Marie Thérèse Sokol, OCD