St Therese: To My Angel Guardian
TO MY ANGEL GUARDIAN
A Poem by St Thérèse of Lisieux
Memorial of the Holy Guardian Angels
O glorious guardian of my frame!
In heaven’s high courts thou shinest bright,
As some most pure and holy flame,
Before the Lord of endless light.
Yet for my sake thou com’st to earth,
To be my brother, Angel dear:
My friend and keeper from my birth,
By day and night to me most near.
Knowing how weak a child am I,
By thy strong hand thou guidest me;
The stones that in my pathway lie,
I see thee move them carefully.
Ever thy heavenly tones invite
My soul to look to God alone;
And ever grows thy face more bright,
When I more meek and kind have grown.
O thou who speedest through all space
More swiftly than the lightnings fly!
Go very often, in my place,
To those I love most tenderly.
With thy soft touch, oh! dry their tears;
Tell them the cross is sweet to bear;
Speak my name softly in their ears,
And Jesu’s name, supremely fair.
Through all my life, though brief it be,
I fain would succor souls from sin.
Dear Angel, sent from heaven to me,
Kindle thy zeal my heart within!
Naught but my holy poverty,
And daily cross to give have I;
O join them to thine ecstasy,
And offer them to God on high.
Thine are heaven’s glory and delight,
The riches of the King of kings;
The Host in our ciboriums bright
Is mine, and all the wealth pain brings.
So with the Cross, and with the Host,
And with thine aid, dear Angel Friend,
I wait in peace, on time’s dark coast,
Heaven’s happiness that knows no end.
(seven months before her death)
From a translation by S. L. Emery, 1907
Art: Detail from Head of an Angel, Fra Angelico [Guido di Pietro], ca 1445-50, Restored Traditions, used with permission. Mirror of Angel with Lute, Corbert Gauthier, 2010, copyright, all rights reserved, used with permission. Golden Crucifix, April 2006, own work, Nino Barbieri, CC; Detail from “The Adoration of the Child” by Piero di Cosimo, ca 1500, PD-US; both Wikimedia Commons. Adoration Jesus Christ Blessed Sacrament Eucharist Monstrance, Estler, 2014.
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