St. Thérèse of Lisieux on Love
Today is the feast of St.Thérèse of Lisieux, my dear friend and heavenly helper. In honor of the 118th anniversary of St.Thérèse’s entrance into eternal life, I would like to share some of her most precious and intimate words about her one and only Love, Jesus.
The Kiss of Jesus
“How sweet it was, the first kiss of Jesus to my soul! Yes, it was a kiss of Love. I felt I was loved, and I too said: ‘I love Thee, I give myself to Thee forever!’ Jesus asked nothing of me, demanded no sacrifice. Already for a long time past, He and the little Therese had watched and understood one another… That day our meeting was no longer a simple look but a fusion. No longer were we two: Therese had disappeared as the drop of water which loses itself in the depths of the ocean, Jesus alone remained; the Master, the King! Had not Therese begged Him to take away from her, her liberty? That liberty made her afraid; so weak, so fragile did she feel herself that she longed to be united forever to Divine Strength.”
– From Story of A Soul, the Autobiography of St. Therese of Lisieux
Writing about her First Holy Communion, St. Therese described it in the following way:
“It was a kiss of love, I felt myself loved, and I replied, ‘I love You and I give myself to You forever.'”
O Jesus! on this day, you have fulfilled all my desires.
From now on, near the Eucharist, I shall be able
To sacrifice myself in silence, to wait for Heaven in peace.
Keeping myself open to the rays of the Divine Host,
In this furnace of love, I shall be consumed,
And like a seraphim, Lord, I shall love you.
– from the poem “Canticle of a Soul Having Found the Place of Its Rest!…”, by St. Therese of Lisieux
Living on Love!
On the evening of Love, speaking without parable,
Jesus said: “If anyone wishes to love me
All his life, let him keep my Word.
My father and I will come to visit him.
And we will make his heart our dwelling. Coming to him, we shall love him always.
We want him to remain, filled with peace,
In our Love!
Living on Love is holding You Yourself.
Uncreated Word, Word of my God,
Ah! Divine Jesus, you know I love you.
The Spirit of Love sets me aflame with his fire.
In loving you I attract the Father.
My weak heart holds him forever.
O Trinity! You are Prisoner
Of my Love!
Living on Love is living on your life,
Glorious King delight of the elect.
You live for me, hidden in a host.
I want to hide myself for you, O Jesus!
Lovers must have solitude.
A heart-to-heart lasting night and day.
Just one glance of yours makes my beatitude.
I live on Love!
Living on Love is not setting up one’s tent
At top of Tabor.
It’s climbing Calvary with Jesus,
It’s looking at the Cross as a treasure!
In Heaven I’m to live on joy.
Then trials will have fled forever,
But in exile, in suffering I want
To live on Love.
Living on Love is giving without limit
Without claiming any wages here below.
Ah! I give without counting, truly sure
That when one loves, one does not keep count!
Overflowing with tenderness, I have given everything,
To his Divine Heart… lightly I run.
I have nothing left but my only wealth:
Living on Love.
Living on Love is banishing every fear,
Every memory of past faults.
I see no imprint of my sins.
In a moment love has burned everything…
Divine Flame, O very sweet Blaze!
I make my home in your hearth.
In your fire I gladly sing:
“I live on Love!”
Living on Love is keeping within oneself
A great treasure in an earthen vase.
My Beloved my weakness is extreme.
Ah, I’m far from being an angel from heaven!
But if I fall with each passing hour,
You come to my aid, lifting me up.
At each moment you give me your grace:
I live on Love.
Living on Love is sailing unceasingly,
Sowing peace and joy in every heart.
Beloved Pilot, Charity impels me,
For I see you in my sister souls.
Charity is my only star.
In its brightness I sail straight ahead.
I’ve my motto written on my sail:
I live on love!
Living on Love, when Jesus is sleeping.
Is rest on stormy seas.
Oh! Lord, don’t fear that I’ll wake you.
I’m waiting in peace in Heaven’s shore…
Faith will soon tear its veil.
My hope is to see you one day.
Charity swells and pushes my sail:
I live on Love!
Living on Love, O my Divine Master,
Is begging you to spread your Fire
In the holy, sacred soul of your priest.
May he be purer than a seraphim in Heaven!
Ah! Glorify your Immortal Church!
Jesus, do not be deaf to my sighs.
I, her child, sacrifice myself for her,
I live on Love.
Living on Love is wiping your Face,
It’s obtaining the pardon of sinners.
O God of Love! May the return to your grace,
And may they forever bless your Name.
Even in my heart the blasphemy resounds.
To efface it, I always want to sing:
“I adore and love your Sacred Name.
I live on Love!
Living on Love is imitating Mary,
Bathing your divine feet that she kisses, transported.
With tears, with precious perfume
She dries them with her long hair…
Then standing up, she shatters the vase,
And in turn she anoints your Sweet Face,
As for me, the perfume with which I anoint your Face
Is my Love!
“Living on Love, what strange folly!”
The world says to me, “Ah! Stop your singing.
Don’t waste your perfumes, your life.
Learn to use them well…”
Loving you, Jesus, is such a fruitful loss!
All my perfumes are yours forever.
I want to sing on leaving this world:
“I’m dying of Love!”
Dying of Love is a truly sweet martyrdom,
And that is the one I wish to suffer.
O Cherubim! Tune your lyre,
For I sense my exile is about to end!
Flame of Love, consume me unceasingly.
Life if an instant, your burden is so heavy tome!
Divine Jesus, make my dream come true:
To die of Love!
Dying of Love is what I hope for.
When I shall see my bonds broken,
My God will be my Great Reward.
I don’t desire to possess other goods.
I want to be set on fire with his Love.
I want to see Him, to untie myself to Him forever.
That is my Heaven… that is my destiny:
Living on Love!!!
— a poem by St. Therese of Lisieux