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PS 4


 

1 Heaven's the reward.
The clapper resounding
Before dawn
Makes me jump out of bed.
 
2 Heaven's the reward.
As soon as we're awake,
We see more wonderful things
Than what they have in Paris.
 
3 Heaven's the reward.
In my poor cell
There are no fancy curtains
Or mirrors or carpets.
 
4 Heaven's the reward.
Nothing, no table or chair.
To feel uncomfortable
Is happiness here.
 
5 Heaven's the reward.
I notice without alarm
My flashing weapons.
I love their clatter.
 
6 Heaven's the reward.
 Sacrifice is for me.
Cross, chains, and hair-shirt.
These are my weapons.
 
7 Heaven's the reward.
After a prayer
We have to kiss the floor.
Our rule says so.
 
8 Heaven's the reward.
I hide my armor
Under my coarse habit
And my blessed veil.
 
9 Heaven's the reward.
If Mother Nature
Lets out a rumble,
Laughing, I tell her:
 
10 Heaven's the reward.
Fasting's rather easy.
It makes you nimble.
If you're hungry, too bad!
 
11 Heaven's the reward.
We don't spare
Turnips, potatoes,
Cabbage, carrots, radishes.
 
12 Heaven's the reward.
We're never astonished
When at night we're only given
Bread and fruit.
 
13 Heaven's the reward.
Often it's only fair,
The bread passes by and I leave
The fruit on the plate.
 
14 Heaven's the reward.
My plate is made of clay.
I use my hand for a fork.
The spoon is made of wood.
 
15 Heaven's the reward.
When we finally get together,
We can all talk
Of the joys of paradise.
 
16 Heaven's the reward.
While we talk we're working.
One sews, the other cuts out
Holy vestments.
 
17 Heaven's the reward.
We see saintly cheerfulness
Leave its mark
On our beaming faces.
 
18 Heaven's the reward.
An hour goes by quickly.
I become a hermit again,
But without frowning.
 
19 Heaven's the reward.
The noise of the discipline
Interrupts the silence.
It's deafening.
 
20 Heaven's the reward.
I count off
Sixty-six thousand lashes a year.
That's the precise number.
 
21 Heaven's the reward.
For missionaries
We make war on ourselves
Unceasingly, mercilessly.

 

© Washington Province of Discalced Carmelite Friars, Inc  

 

Heaven's the Reward

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

See the music score


 

datation: summer 1896

addressee: the novices