Poem of the Month - June 2013

I include the following poem this month for a number of reasons.  First, it is the month of the Sacred Heart - therefore it is liturgically and in popular tradition appropriate.  Second, June is the month of marriages in our modern culture and my sister was just married.  The Sacred Heart is the truest of love poems.  Third, we are going to visit my dear sister, Sister Michael Joseph of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, this coming week.  Her symbol in the convent, a tiny image that acts as a monogram (for the work assignment board each week, embroidering on her handkerchieves and clothes, etc.) is a little line-drawing of the Sacred Heart.  Fourth, my sister the sister is a Carmelite, and the following poem was written by a great Carmelite saint, St. Therese of Lisieux.

To the Sacred Heart

    ~St. Therese of Lisieux

O Heart of Jesus, treasured tenderness,
Thou art my joy supreme, my hope, my all!
Thou who didst charm my youth and sweetly bless,
Stay with me now till twilight shadows fall.
Master, to Thee alone my life I give,
To Thee the longings of my heart are known.
Lost in Thy goodness infinite, I live,
O Heart of Jesus, lost in Thee alone!

Thy Heart is all my need and it will be
My strength abiding, my unfailing stay,
I need a love that takes my frailty
And holds me in its keeping night and day.
No creature heart I find whose love is mine
Ever and always with undying power.
Jesus, Thy love must make my nature Thine.
Be Thou my Brother in each suff’ring hour.

If I to see Thy glory would aspire
Then I must know Thy crucible of flame,
But here I choose my purgatory’s fire:
Thy burning love, Heart of my God, I claim.
Then when my soul wings upward like a dove
Called from the earth to heaven’s home of light,
May it go forth in one pure act of love,
Plunge to Thy Heart in one unswerving flight.