O most happy mansion of the city above! O most bright
day of eternity, which night does not darken, but
which the highest truth ever enlightens! O day, ever
joyful and ever secure, which never changes its state
to the opposite! Oh, that this day shine forth, that
all these temporal things come to an end! It envelops
the saints all resplendent with heavenly brightness,
but it appears far off as through a glass to us
wanderers on the earth. The citizens of heaven know
how joyful that day is, but the exiled sons of Eve
mourn that this one is bitter and tedious.
of this life are short and evil, full of grief and
distress. Here man is defiled by many sins, ensnared
in many passions, enslaved by many fears, and
burdened with many cares. He is distracted by many
curiosities and entangled in many vanities,
surrounded by many errors and worn by many labors,
oppressed by temptations, weakened by pleasures, and
tortured by want.
Oh, when will these evils end? When shall I be freed
from the miserable slavery of vice? When, Lord, shall
I think of You alone? When shall I fully rejoice in
You? When shall I be without hindrance, in true
liberty, free from every grievance of mind and body?
When will there be solid peace, undisturbed and
secure, inward peace and outward peace, peace secured
on every side? O good Jesus, when shall I stand to
gaze upon You? When shall I contemplate the glory of
Your kingdom? When will You be all in all to me? Oh,
when shall I be with You in that kingdom of Yours,
which You have prepared for Your beloved from all
I am left poor and exiled in a hostile land, where
every day sees wars and very great misfortunes.
Console my banishment, assuage my sorrow. My whole
desire is for You. Whatever solace this world offers
is a burden to me. I desire to enjoy You intimately,
but I cannot attain to it. I wish to cling fast to
heavenly things, but temporal affairs and unmortified
passions bear me down. I wish in mind to be above all
things, but I am forced by the flesh to be
unwillingly subject to them. Thus, I fight with
myself, unhappy that I am, and am become a burden to
myself, while my spirit seeks to rise upward and my
flesh to sink downward. Oh, what inward suffering I
undergo when I consider heavenly things; when I pray,
a multitude of carnal thoughts rush upon me!
O my God, do not remove Yourself far from me, and
depart not in anger from Your servant. Dart forth
Your lightning and disperse them; send forth Your
arrows and let the phantoms of the enemy be put to
flight. Draw my senses toward You and make me forget
all worldly things. Grant me the grace to cast away
quickly all vicious imaginings and to scorn them. Aid
me, O heavenly Truth, that no vanity may move me.
Come, heavenly Sweetness, and let all impurity fly
from before Your face.
Pardon me also, and deal mercifully with me, as often
as I think of anything besides You in prayer. For I
confess truly that I am accustomed to be very much
distracted. Very often I am not where bodily I stand
or sit; rather, I am where my thoughts carry me.
Where my thoughts are, there am I; and frequently my
thoughts are where my love is. That which naturally
delights, or is by habit pleasing, comes to me
quickly. Hence You Who are Truth itself, have plainly
said: "For where your treasure is, there is your
heart also." If I love heaven, I think willingly of
heavenly things. If I love the world, I rejoice at
the happiness of the world and grieve at its
troubles. If I love the flesh, I often imagine things
that are carnal. If I love the spirit, I delight in
thinking of spiritual matters. For whatever I love, I
am willing to speak and hear about.
Blessed is the man who for Your sake, O Lord,
dismisses all creatures, does violence to nature,
crucifies the desires of the flesh in fervor of
spirit, so that with serene conscience he can offer
You a pure prayer and, having excluded all earthly
things inwardly and outwardly, becomes worthy to
enter into the heavenly choirs.