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O LORD, I have loved the glory of Thine house, the Strength of my soul faints within me when I call to mind the brightness and riches of Thy kingdom, and the everlasting happiness which the blessed enjoy there. For one day with Thee is better than a thousand here, with Thee, and in Thee, is every good. O when shall I come and appear before Thy dazzling and gracious face, when wilt Thou satisfy the desires of my soul with the presence of Thy divine countenance? O love of my heart, my God, when shall I perfectly possess Thee? when wilt Thou unite me more closely unto Thyself, that I may clearly see Thee? when wilt thou draw me to Thyself, all snares 94being broken, and dangers and temptations removed, so that I may be no longer stained with sin or offend Thee more, but may sing in safety a hymn to Thy majesty, to extol the multitude of Thy mercies? Ah! my beloved one, raise me from the dust, poor as I am, and in misery; lead me forth when it shall please thee from my prison, and carry me up mercifully into heaven, that there my soul may with never-ending songs of joy praise and thank Thee for all the benefits which Thou, my only salvation, hast freely bestowed upon me.
Sweet Jesus! O most blessed life, my heart pants and burns for Thee: for Thou art great, and exceedingly to be praised: Thou art all beautiful, and overflowing with unspeakable delights. O when shall I contemplate Thee face to face? O when shall I see Thee, Thou that are lovely beyond all men and angels? Thine unspeakable loveliness, O Lord, very greatly invites and draws me unto Thee, and excites within me chaste desires. Thy pleasant and admirable light, and Thy dazzling brightness, wonderfully gladden my spirit. Already is this corruptible body to me like a most sorrowful shell, and gladly would I choose to put it off, and 95throw it aside by death, so that my soul, that grain which is so dear unto Thee, might be gathered into Thy heavenly garner, and be ever with Thee, its true possessor. Ah! Thou beloved object of my wishes, listen to the voice of my prayer, for I seek Thee with a sighing heart, and I long to contemplate openly the spring-like loveliness of Thy divinity. The clear vision of Thee, O Lord, infinitely surpasses all beauty, and every delight which eye hath seen in this world, or ear heard, or hath entered into the heart of man to conceive. O when wilt Thou show Thyself unto me? When wilt Thou fill me with joy by the sight of Thy desirable countenance? When wilt Thou fully enlighten me with the wished-for rays of Thy divine brightness? When wilt Thou cause me to drink and fill myself with the torrent of Thy sweetest pleasures? When shall I gently embrace Thee, Thou spouse of my soul, and kiss Thee, and praise Thee, with Thy Saints in those realms above of joy and happiness? Behold, my soul is weary, and faints for love of Thee. Ah! my God, have mercy upon me, listen to my manifold groanings, and grant that, as soon as I shall put off this body, I may quickly come to 96Thee, and may glorify Thee for all eternity: since for this end hast Thou created and redeemed me.
O my sweetest God, I earnestly desire to be with Thee, and to behold Thy lovely face. And when will that happen unto me? When shall I return from this exile into that true and heavenly country? O blessed land, where light is ever shining in perfect calmness, where spring with all its loveliness, and summer with its delights, endure for ever; where verdure ever lasteth, and the most lovely flowers never fade; where the sweetest perfumes are ever breathing, and the wondrous melody of songs, and well-tuned instruments, is echoed forth for ever and ever. O Lord, with Thee is there a Paradise of intellectual delights, a Paradise greatly to be desired, flowing unceasingly with streams of purest pleasures, and soothing all around with the unspeakable loveliness of every kind of beauty. With Thee is the fountain of life, and the lovely noon-day brightness, and the calm expanse of air, and the undisturbed peace. With Thee, and in Thee, there is found in all abundance, and in the highest degree, whatever can please or gratify the heart of man. 97What, therefore, do I wish for beside Thee? Thou art sufficient for me. Grant that I may love nought but Thee, and that at length I may fully possess Thee. Thou art my only true and unchangeable good.
I believe, O Lord, that which I do not see. I believe that the riches, the delights, the pleasures of heaven, are immense and everlasting. I believe that Thou art the chiefest, and the uncreated loveliness and sweetness, from whom all that is lovely, all that is sweet, proceeds. Grant, O Lord, that by dwelling upon that which I believe, but do not see, I may one day be found meet to behold that which I believe. O my dear Jesus, when, I ask of Thee, shall my body be destroyed by Thee, and return again unto its dust, and my soul flow back unto Thee its original source? When shall I rest and sleep in Thee, O sweetest peace, and openly behold Thy ineffable glory? When will the sweet fragrance of Thy divinity waft itself upon me, and the everlasting day, when I shall see Thee for ever, dawn upon my soul? O how good, my beloved one, is it to see Thee clearly, to hold Thee, to possess Thee for ever and ever! Ah! grant unto me to end this 98miserable life happily in thy grace and friendship.
O sweet Jesus, at the hour of my departure, bless Thou my soul, and unite my death to Thine, which is life, and the dearest pledge and firmest token of my reconciliation with Thee. Send to me at that hour, that faithful helper, the Virgin Mary, Thy beloved mother, that bright star of the sea, that, having seen this bright and lovely morning beam, I may know that Thou, the Sun of Righteousness, art near me. Say then unto my soul, I am thy Creator, thy Redeemer; thy lover, I have sought thee through the anguish of death and have found thee: fear not, thou shalt be ever with me.
Ah! most lovely jewel of divine greatness, and most graceful flower of human dignity, my sweetest Jesus, do Thou mercifully receive me as I pass from hence into the blessed abode of everlasting peace, and of the brightness of Thy presence. There console me, O my salvation, with the sweetest sweetness of that presence. There re. fresh me with the taste of that dear price with which Thou didst redeem me. There overwhelm and penetrate me with the gentle 99gales of Thy sweet spirit. There plunge me by the kiss of perfect union with Thee, into the depths of perpetual enjoyment of Thee, and may I live by Thee, and rejoice in Thee, and offer Thee the sacrifice of praise, for ever and ever. Amen.100
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