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Prayer 17 from Therese of Lisieux

"Lord God of Hosts"

 

 

[original manuscript lost]

 

Prayer inspired by an image of St. Joan of Arc.

Lord, God of hosts, in the Gospel you told us: "I have not come to bring peace but the sword." Arm me for battle; I burn to fight for your glory but I beg you to strengthen my 'courage.... Then with Holy King David I can exclaim:

"You alone are my sword, You, Lord train my hands for war...

O my Beloved! I know what combat you have in mind for me; the contest will not be on the field of 10 battle

1 am a prisoner of your Love. I have freely forged the chain that binds me to You and separates me forever from that world which you have cursed.... My sword is nothing but Lovewith it I will chase the foreigner from 15 the king­dom. I will have you proclaimed King in the souls who refuse to submit to your Divine Power.

Doubtless, Lord, you do not need such a feeble instru­ment as myself, but Joan, your chaste and courageous bride, said: "We must 20 fight so that God may give the vic­tory. " O my Jesus, I will fight then, for your Love, until the evening of my life. As you did not wish to rest on earth, I want to follow your example. I hope this promise that fell from your 25 Divine lips will find fulfillment in me: "If any­one follow Me, where I am, there also will my servant be. Whoever serves me, my Father will honor."

To be with you, to be in you is my one desire.... This assurance that you give me of its 30 fulfillment helps me to bear my exile while awaiting the glorious day of the eternal Face to Face!...

 

 © Washington Province of Discalced Carmelite Friars, Inc