Sunday, July 01, 2012

My Peace and My Joy by St. Therese


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.