St. Therese of Lisieux is well-known for having developed a simple, yet profound relationship with the Lord. Her love for Christ was absolute, and before passing, she promised the world: “I will spend my heaven doing good on earth.” Prayers to St. Therese are a source of abounding graces. After her sister Pauline was elected new prioress of the Order of Carmelites, in Lisieux, the “Little Flower” replaced her as the official poetess of the community. But until then, the Little Therese had never written any poetry. Yet over the years, her writing improved, and poems even became a perfect medium through which to express her immense love for God.
St. Therese’s poems are a spectacular display of spiritual strength, love and inspiration. More than reading Therese’s poetry, you can use it to guide you during your time of prayer.
Here are a few selected poems by St. Therese of the Child Jesus to help you pray to the Lord!
St. Therese’s poems became famous, either because they were turned into songs by many artists, or shared massively through other forms of media. Of course, you can simply enjoy a laid-back reading of Therese’s poems, but, as St. Augustine said: “To sing is to pray twice!” Do not hesitate to draw inspiration from her poems and turn them into songs!
On the evening of Love, speaking without parable,
Jesus said : "If anyone wishes to love me
All his life, let him keep my Word.
My Father and I will come to visit him.
And we will make his heart our dwelling.
Coming to him, we shall love him always.
We want him to remain, filled with peace,
In our Love !…"
Living on Love is holding You Yourself.
Uncreated word, Word of my God,
Ah ! Divine Jesus, you know I love you.
The Spirit of Love sets me aflame with his fire.
In loving you I attract the Father.
My weak heart holds him forever.
O Trinity ! You are Prisoner
Of my Love !…
Living on Love is living on your life,
Glorious King, delight of the elect.
You live for me, hidden in a host.
I want to hide myself for you, O Jesus !
Lovers must have solitude,
A heart-to-heart lasting night and day.
Just one glance of yours makes my beatitude.
I live on Love !…
Living on Love is not setting up one’s tent
At the top of Tabor.
It’s climbing Calvary with Jesus,
It’s looking at the Cross as a treasure !…
In Heaven I’m to live on joy.
Then trials will have fled forever,
But in exile, in suffering I want
To live on Love.
Living on Live is giving without limit
Without claiming any wages here below.
Ah ! I give without counting, truly sure
That when one loves, one does not keep count !…
Overflowing with tenderness, I have given everything,
To his Divine Heart… lightly I run.
I have nothing left but my only wealth :
Living on Love.
Living on Love is banishing every fear,
Every memory of past faults.
I see no imprint of my sins.
In a moment love has burned everything…
Divine Flame, O very sweet Blaze !
I make my home in your hearth.
In your fire I gladly sing :
" I live on Love !… "
Living on Love is keeping within oneself
A great treasure in an earthen vase.
My Beloved, my weakness is extreme.
Ah, I’m far from being an angel from heaven !…
But if I fall with each passing hour,
You come to my aid, lifting me up.
At each moment you give me your grace :
I live on Love.
Living on Love is sailing unceasingly,
Sowing peace and joy in every heart.
Beloved Pilot, Charity impels me,
For I see you in my sister souls.
Charity is my only star.
In its brightness I sail straight ahead.
I’ve my motto written on my sail :
" Living on Love. "
Living on Love, when Jesus is sleeping,
Is resting on stormy seas.
Oh ! Lord, don’t fear that I’ll wake you.
I’m waiting in peace for Heaven’s shore…
Faith will soon tear its veil.
My hope is to see you one day.
Charity swells and pushes my sail :
I live on Love !…
Living on Love is wiping your Face,
It’s obtaining the pardon of sinners.
O God of Love ! may they return to your grace,
And may they forever bless your Name…
Even in my heart the blasphemy resounds.
To efface it, I always want to sing :
" I adore and love your Sacred Name.
I live on Love !… "
Living on Love is imitating Mary,
Bathing your divine feet that she kisses, transported.
With tears, with precious perfume,
She dries them with her long hair…
Then standing up, she shatters the vase,
And in turn she anoints your Sweet Face.
As for me, the perfume with which I anoint your Face
Is my Love !…
"Living on Love, what strange folly !"
The world says to me, " Ah ! stop your singing,
Don’t waste your perfumes, your life.
Learn to use them well…"
Loving you, Jesus, is such a fruitful loss !
All my perfumes are yours forever.
I want to sing on leaving this world :
" I’m dying of Love ! "
Dying of Love is truly sweet martyrdom,
And that is the one I wish to suffer.
O Cherubim ! Tune your lyre,
For I sense my exile is about to end !…
Flame of Love, consume me unceasingly.
Live of an instant, your burden is so heavy to me !
Divine Jesus, make my dream come true :
To die of Love !…
Dying of Love is what I hope for.
When I shall see my bonds broken,
My God will be my Great Reward.
I don’t desire to possess other goods.
I want to be set on fire with his Love.
I want to see Him, to unite myself to Him forever.
That is my Heaven…that is my destiny :
Living on Love !
There are some souls on earth
Who search in vain for happiness,
But for me, it’s just the opposite.
Joy is in my heart.
This joy is not ephemeral.
I possess it forever.
Like the springtime rose,
It smiles at me every day.
Truly I’m so happy.
I always have my way…
How could I not be joyful
And not show my cheerfulness ?
My joy is to love suffering.
I smile while shedding tears.
I accept with gratitude
The thorns mingled with the flowers.
When the blue Sky becomes somber
And begins to abandon me,
My joy is to stay in the shadow
To hide and humble myself.
My joy is the Holy Will
Of Jesus, my only love,
So I live without any fear.
I love the night as much as the day.
My joy is to stay little,
So when I fall on the way,
I can get up very quickly,
And Jesus takes me by the hand.
Then I cover him with caresses
And tell Him He’s everything for me,
And I’m twice as tender
When He slips away from my faith.
If sometimes I shed tears,
My joy is to hide them well.
Oh ! How many charms there are in suffering
When one knows how to hide it with flowers !
I truly want to suffer without saying so
That Jesus may be consoled.
My joy is to see him smile
When my heart is exiled…
My joy is to struggle unceasingly
To bring forth spiritual children.
It’s with a heart burning with tenderness
That I keep saying to Jesus :
' For you, my Divine Little Brother,
I’m happy to suffer.
My only joy on earth
Is to be able to please you.
Lord, I’m willing to live a long time more
If that is your desire.
I’d like to follow you to Heaven
If that would make you happy.
Love, that fire from the Homeland,
Never ceases to consume me.
What do life and death matter to me ?
Jesus, my joy, it’s to love you ! '
O Jesu! O my Love! Each eve I come to fling
Before Thy sacred Cross sweet flowers of all the year.
By these plucked petals bright, my hands how gladly bring,
I long to dry Thine every tear!
To scatter flowers! — that means each sacrifice,
My lightest sighs and pains, my heaviest, saddest hours,
My hopes, my joys, my prayers, — I will not count the price.
Behold my flowers!
With deep, untold delight Thy beauty fills my soul.
Would I might light this love in hearts of all who live!
For this, my fairest flowers, all things in my control,
How fondly, gladly I would give!
To scatter flowers! — behold my chosen sword
For saving sinners’ souls and filling heaven’s bowers.
The victory is mine: yes, I disarm Thee, Lord,
With these my flowers!
The petals in their flight caress Thy Holy Face;
They tell Thee that my heart is Thine, and Thine alone.
Thou knowest what these leaves are saying in my place;
On me Thou smilest from Thy throne.
To scatter flowers! — that means, to speak of Thee, —
My only pleasure here, where tears fill all the hours;
But soon, with angel hosts, my spirit shall be free,
To scatter flowers!
Meditation originates in part from the Desert Fathers of the Middle East. Mindfulness is an important method of meditation, which centers around focusing on the present moment: you are not looking to the past or the future, your awareness is solely focused on what you are directly experiencing. It is a great way to feel the presence of God as well. When writing her poem “my song of today”, St. Therese channelled a form of spirituality quite similar to the concept of mindfulness.
My life is but an instant, a passing hour.
My life is but a day that escapes and flies away.
O my God ! You know that to love you on earth
I only have today !…
Oh, I love you, Jesus ! My soul yearns for you.
For just one day remain my sweet support.
Come reign in my heart, give me your smile
Just for today !
Lord, what does it matter if the future is gloomy ?
To pray for tomorrow, oh no, I cannot !…
Keep my heart pure, cover me with your shadow
Just for today.
If I think about tomorrow, I fear my fickleness.
I feel sadness and worry rising up in my heart.
But I’m willing, my God, to accept trial and suffering
Just for today.
O Divine Pilot ! whose hand guides me,
I’m soon to see you on the eternal shore.
Guide my little boat over the stormy waves in peace
Just for today.
Ah ! Lord, let me hide in your Face.
There I’ll no longer hear the word’s vain noise.
Give me your love, keep me in your grace
Just for today.
Near your divine Heart, I forget all passing things.
I no longer dread the fears of the night.
Ah ! Jesus, give me a place in your Heart
Just for today.
Living Bread, Bread of Heaven, divine Eucharist,
O sacred Mystery ! that Love has brought forth…
Come live in my heart, Jesus, my white Host,
Just for today.
Deign to unite me to you, Holy and sacred Vine,
And my weak branch will give you its fruit,
And I’ll be able to offer you a cluster of golden grapes
Lord, from today on.
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Pray with St. Therese of Lisieux by joining a community that publishes quotes from the “Little Flower” daily! Reflect on the spirituality of St. Therese. Join a simple and beautiful novena to St. Therese of Lisieux, pray and learn to walk in her “little way” for nine days!