I BLESS You, O heavenly Father, Father of my Lord
Jesus Christ, for having condescended to remember me,
a poor creature. Thanks to You, O Father of mercies,
God of all consolation, Who with Your comfort
sometimes refresh me, who am not worthy of it. I
bless You always and glorify You with Your
only-begotten Son and the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete,
forever and ever.
Ah, Lord God, my holy Lover, when You come into my
heart, all that is within me will rejoice. You are my
glory and the exultation of my heart. You are my hope
and refuge in the day of my tribulation. But because
my love is as yet weak and my virtue imperfect, I
must be strengthened and comforted by You. Visit me
often, therefore, and teach me Your holy discipline.
Free me from evil passions and cleanse my heart of
all disorderly affection so that, healed and purified
within, I may be fit to love, strong to suffer, and
firm to persevere.
Love is an excellent thing, a very great blessing,
indeed. It makes every difficulty easy, and bears all
wrongs with equanimity. For it bears a burden without
being weighted and renders sweet all that is bitter.
The noble love of Jesus spurs to great deeds and
excites longing for that which is more perfect. Love
tends upward; it will not be held down by anything
low. Love wishes to be free and estranged from all
worldly affections, lest its inward sight be
obstructed, lest it be entangled in any temporal
interest and overcome by adversity.
Nothing is sweeter than love, nothing stronger or
higher or wider; nothing is more pleasant, nothing
fuller, and nothing better in heaven or on earth, for
love is born of God and cannot rest except in God,
Who is above all created things.
One who is in love flies, runs, and rejoices; he is
free, not bound. He gives all for all and possesses
all in all, because he rests in the one sovereign
Good, Who is above all things, and from Whom every
good flows and proceeds. He does not look to the gift
but turns himself above all gifts to the Giver.
Love often knows no limits but overflows all bounds.
Love feels no burden, thinks nothing of troubles,
attempts more than it is able, and does not plead
impossibility, because it believes that it may and
can do all things. For this reason, it is able to do
all, performing and effecting much where he who does
not love fails and falls.
Love is watchful. Sleeping, it does not slumber.
Wearied, it is not tired. Pressed, it is not
straitened. Alarmed, it is not confused, but like a
living flame, a burning torch, it forces its way
upward and passes unharmed through every obstacle.
If a man loves, he will know the sound of this
voice. For this warm affection of soul is a loud
voice crying in the ears of God, and it says: "My
God, my love, You are all mine and I am all Yours.
Give me an increase of love, that I may learn to
taste with the inward lips of my heart how sweet it
is to love, how sweet to be dissolved in love and
bathe in it. Let me be rapt in love. Let me rise
above self in great fervor and wonder. Let me sing
the hymn of love, and let me follow You, my Love, to
the heights. Let my soul exhaust itself in praising
You, rejoicing out of love. Let me love You more than
myself, and let me not love myself except for Your
sake. In You let me love all those who truly love
You, as the law of love, which shines forth from You,
Love is swift, sincere, kind, pleasant, and
delightful. Love is strong, patient and faithful,
prudent, long-suffering, and manly. Love is never
self-seeking, for in whatever a person seeks himself
there he falls from love. Love is circumspect,
humble, and upright. It is neither soft nor light,
nor intent upon vain things. It is sober and chaste,
firm and quiet, guarded in all the senses. Love is
subject and obedient to superiors. It is mean and
contemptible in its own eyes, devoted and thankful to
God; always trusting and hoping in Him even when He
is distasteful to it, for there is no living in love
without sorrow. He who is not ready to suffer all
things and to stand resigned to the will of the
Beloved is not worthy to be called a lover. A lover
must embrace willingly all that is difficult and
bitter for the sake of the Beloved, and he should not
turn away from Him because of adversities.