My Armor



‘The spouse of the King is terrible as an army set in array; She is like to a choir of music on a field of battle.’ Canticles vi. 3; vii.

‘Put you on the armor of God that you may be able to stand against the deceits of the devil.’ Ephesians vi. II.

With heavenly armor am I clad to-day;

The hand of God has thus invested me.

What now from Him could tear my heart away;

What henceforth come between my God and me?

With Him for Guide, the fight I face serene;

Nor furious fire, nor foe, nor death, I fear.

My enemies shall know I am a queen,

The spouse of God, most high, most dear.

This armor I shall keep while life shall last;

Thou, Thou, hast given it Me, my King, my Spouse!

My fairest, brightest gems, by naught on earth surpast,

Shall be my sacred vows.

My first dear sacrifice, O Poverty,

Thou shalt go with me till my dying hour.

Detached from all things must the athlete be,

If he the race would run, and prove his power

Taste, worldly men! regret, remorse and pain,

The bitter fruits of earthly, vain desire;

The glorious palms of Poverty I gain,

I who to God alone aspire.

‘Who would My heavenly Kingdom have from Me,

He must use violence,’ so Jesus said.

Ah well then! Poverty my mighty lanceshall be,

The helmetfor my head.

The pure white Angels’ sister now am I;

My vow of Chastityhas made me so.

Ah, how I hope one day with them to fly!

Meanwhile to daily combat must I go.

For my great Spouse, of every lord the Lord,

Struggle must I, with neither truce nor rest;

And Chastity shall be my heavenly sword.

To win men’s souls to Jesus’ breast.

O Chastity,my sword invincible!

To overcome my foes thou hast sufficed;

By thee am I – O joy ineffable! –

The Spouse of Jesus Christ.

The proud, proud angel, in the realms of light,

Cried out, rebellious: ‘I will not obey!’

But I shall cry, throughout earth’s dreary night,

‘With all my heart, I will obey alway!’

With holy boldness all my soul is steeled,

Against hell’s wild attacks I bravely dart;

Obedience ismy firm and mighty shield,

The buckleron my valiant heart.

O conquering God! no other prize I seek,

Than to submit with all my heart to Thee;

Of victories th’ obedient man shall speak

Through all eternity.

If now a soldier’s weapon I can wield,

If valiantly like him the foe I face,

I also long to sing upon the field,

As sang the glorious Virgin of all grace.

Thou mak’st the chords to vibrate of Thy lyre.

That lyre, O Jesus! is my loving heart;

To sing Thy mercies is that heart’s desire.

How sweet, how strong, how dear, Thou art.

With radiant smile, Thou Spouse, my heart’s Delight,

I go to meet all foes from hell’s dark land;

And singing I shall die, upon the field of fight,

My weapons in my hand.


 June, 1894.
Poems of St. Teresa, Carmelite of Lisieux, known as The “Little Flower of Jesus,” Translated by S.L. EMERY,


Christian Mystics