PN 18

1  Oh! how I love the memory of 
The blessed days of my childhood....
To protect the flower of my innocence
The Lord always surrounded me
With love!....
2  Also, despite my littleness
I was truly filled with tenderness,
And the promise slipped from my heart
To wed the King of the elect,
3  In the springtime of my life I loved
Saint Joseph, the Virgin Mary.
Already my soul was immersed, enthralled,
When the Heavens were reflected
In my eyes!...
4  I loved the wheat fields, the plains.
I loved the distant hills.
Oh! in my joy I could scarcely breathe
As I gathered flowers
With my sisters.
5  I loved to pick the short grass,
Corn-flowers... all the little flowers.
I found the smell of violets,
And especially the cowslips,
So sweet...
6  I loved the white daisy,
The walks on Sundays,
The little birds singing on the branches,
And the ever-radiant blue
Of the Heavens.
7  Each year I loved to put 
My shoe in the chimney.
Rushing down as soon as I was awake
I would sing of the feast of Heaven,
8  I loved Mama's smile.
Her deep gaze seemed to say: 
"Eternity overwhelms me and attracts me.
I'm going to go up in the blue Sky
To see God!
9  "In our Homeland I'll find
My Angels... the Virgin Mary.
I shall offer the tears, the hearts
Of my children whom I leave on earth
To Jesus!..."
10  Oh! how I loved Jesus in the Host,
Who came to betroth himself to my enchanted soul
In the morning of my life.
Oh! how I opened my heart
With happiness!....
11  Later I loved the creature
Who seemed pure to me.
Seeking the God of nature everywhere,
In Him I found peace
12  Oh! in the belvedere
Flooded with joy and light,
How I loved receiving my Father's caresses,
Gazing upon his hair,
White and snowy...
13  Sitting on his lap
With Thérèse in the evening,
I remember being rocked for a long time.
I still hear the echo
Of his sweet song.
14  O memory! You give me rest.
You remind me of so many things....
Supper in the evening... the smell of roses!.
Les Buissonnets full of glee
In the summer!
15  I used to love being able to blend
My soul with Thérèse's.
The moment the sun was going down,
I was just one heart
With my sister...
16  Then our voices blended,
Our hands intertwined.
Together we sang of Sacred Nuptials.
Already we were dreaming of Carmel..
Of Heaven!....
17  The blue skies, the golden fruit
In Switzerland and Italy delighted me.
I especially loved the lively way
The Holy Old Pontiff-King
Looked at me....
18  Holy ground of the Coliseum,
I kissed you with love!...
The sacred vaults of the catacombs
Very sweetly echoed
My song.
19  After joy came tears!...
So great was my alarm...
I put on the weapons of my Spouse,
And his Cross became my support,
My wealth
20  Ah! for a long time I was exiled,
Deprived of my beloved family.
Poor wounded doe, I only had
The flowering eglantine
For refuge!
21  But one evening my tender soul
Saw Mary's smile,
And one blessed drop of her blood
Changed (what a favor!) into milk
For me!....
22 Then I loved, while fleeing the world,
To hear the faraway echo answer me!...
In the solitary, fertile valley,
I gathered flowers
Through my tears!...
23  I loved to hear the faint bell
Of the faraway church.
I loved to sit in the Fields
To hear the sighs of the breeze
In the evening.
24  I loved the swallows' flight,
The plaintive song of the turtledoves.
I listened to the sound of the insects' wings,
Loving the song
Of their buzzing.
25  I loved the morning dew
And the graceful cicada.
I loved to see the virginal bee
Making honey
As soon as she awoke.
26  I loved to pick the heather 
Running on the thin moss.
I caught butterflies fluttering on the ferns
With pure reflection
Of blue.
27  I loved the fire-fly glittering in the shadow.
I loved the stars beyond counting.
Above all I loved the moon beam
With its bright silver disk
Shining in the dark blue sky.
28  I loved to overwhelm with affection
My little Father in his old age.
He was everything to me... happiness... child... wealth!
Ah! I often kissed him
29We loved the soft sound of the waves.
Hearing the roaring storm
In the evening in deep solitude,
The voice of the nightingale
Deep in the woods!
30  But one morning his fair face
Searched for the image of the Crucifix.
He left me the pledge of his love,
Giving me his Last Look.... "
My share! "
31  And Jesus' divine hand
Took Céline's only treasure,
And taking it ever so far from the hill,
Placed it near the Eternal One
In Heaven!...
32  Now I am a prisoner.
I have fled the groves of earth.
I have seen that all is passing there.
I have seen my happiness fade
And die!
33  Beneath my steps the grass has been crushed.
The flower in my hands has withered.
Jesus, I want to run in your meadow
My steps won't leave a trace
On it...
34  As a stag in its ardent thirst
Longs for running springs,
O Jesus! I run, faltering, to you.
To calm my fervor I must have
Your tears!...
35  It's your love alone that transports me.I leave my flock on the plain.
I don't take the trouble to tend it.
I only want to please my one
New Lamb.
36  Jesus, you are the Lamb I love.
You are all I need, O supreme good!
In you I have everything, the earth and even Heaven.
The Flower that I pick, O my King,
Is You!...
37  Jesus, fair lily of the valley,
Your sweet perfume has captivated me.
Bouquet of myrrh, O sweet-smelling corolla!
I want to keep you on my heart
To love you...
38  Your love always goes with me.
In you, I've the forests, the countryside.
I've the reeds, the meadows, the mountains,
The rain and the snowflakes
From Heaven.
39  In you, Jesus, I have everything.
I've the wheat, the half-closed flowers,
Forget-me-nots, buttercups, beautiful roses.
I've the freshness, the smell
Of the white lily of the valley.
40  I've the melodious lyre,
Sounding solitude,
Rivers, rocks, gracious waterfalls,
Nimble deer, gazelle, squirrel,
41  I've the rainbow, pure snow,
The vast horizon, greenery,
Distant islands... The ripe harvest,
Butterflies, the bright springtime,
The fields.
42  In your love I further find
The sun-gilded palm trees,
Night like the sunrise,
The sweet babbling of the brook,
The bird.
43  I've delicious grapes,
Graceful dragonflies,
The virgin forest with its mysterious flowers,
I've all the little blond children,
Their songs.
44  In you, I've springs and hills,
Liana vines, periwinkles, hawthorn,
Fresh water lilies, honeysuckle, eglantine,
The slight rustling of the light
45  I've the trembling wild oats,
The solemn, powerful voice of the winds,
The gossamer, the ardent flame,
The gentle breeze, bushes in bloom,
Bird nests.
46  I've the beautiful lake, I've the valley,
Lonely and all-wooded.
I've the ocean's silvery wave,
Golden fish, diverse treasures
Of the seas.
47  I've the ship slipping away from the beach,
The golden wake and the shore,
I've the lights of the sun decorating the cloud
As it disappears
From the sky.
48  In you, I've the pure dove.
In you, under my coarse habit
I find ring, necklaces, and jewelry,
Gems, pearls and brilliant
49  In you I've the brilliant star,
Often your love is unveiled;
And when the day is drawing to a close,
I perceive your hand
As through a veil.
50  You whose hand upholds the spheres,
Who plant the deep forests,
You who at a mere glance make them fertile,
You always watch over me
With a look of love.
51  I've your Heart, your adored Face,
Your sweet look that has wounded me.
I've the kiss of your sacred mouth.
I love you and want nothing more,
52With the angels I'll go to sing
The praises of sacred love.
Make me fly soon in their processions.
O Jesus! may I die one day
Of love!....
53  Drawn to the gentle flame,
The moth flies and catches on fire.
So your love draws my soul.
In it I want to fly,
To burn!....
54  My God, I already hear
Your eternal feast being prepared
Taking my silent harp from the willows,
I'm going to sit on your lap
To see You!...
55  Close by You, I'm going to see Mary....
The Saints.... my dear family!...
After this life's exile I'll go
To see my Father's house again
In Heaven!

© Washington Province of Discalced Carmelite Friars, Inc


The Canticle of Céline



See the music score


datation: April 28, 1895           

addressee: Céline (sr Geneviève) upon request