My Heaven On Earth

To bear my exile now, within this world of tears,
The holy tender glance of Christ, my Lord, I need.
That glance, surcharged with love, consoles me through the years;
His loveliness displays foretaste of heaven indeed.
On me my Jesus smiles, when toward Him I aspire,
The trial of my faith then weighs no more on me.
That love-glance of my God, that smile of holy fire,
Oh, this is heaven for me!
‘Tis heaven to have the power, great grace from Christ to win
For Holy Mother Church, for all my Sisters dear,-
For every soul on earth that He may enter in,
Enflame our sinful hearts, and grant us joy and cheer.
All things my love can gain when, heart to heart, I pray,
Alone with Jesus Christ in speechless ecstasy.
Beside His altar blest with Him I gladly stay,–
Oh, this is heaven for me!
My heaven within the Host safe hid and peaceful, lies,
Where Jesus Christ abides, divinest, fairest Fair.
From that great fount of love doth endless life arise;
There, day and night, my Lord doth hearken to my prayer.
When, in Thy perfect love (O moment blest and bright!)
Thou comest, Spouse most pure, me to transform in Thee,
That union of our hearts, that rapture of delight,-
Oh, this is heaven for me!
My heaven it is to feel in me some likeness blest
To Him Who made me and my soul hath reconciled;
My heaven it is always beneath His eye to rest.
To call Him Father dear, and be His loving child.
Safe shielded in His arms, no storm my soul can fear;
Complete abandonment my only law shall be.
To sleep upon His Heart, with His blest Face so near,-
Oh, this is heaven for me!
My heaven is God alone, the Trinity Divine,
Who dwells within my heart, the Prisoner of my love.
There, contemplating Thee, I tell Thee Thou art mine;
Thee will I love and serve until we meet above.
My heaven it is to smile on Thee whom I adore,
E’en when, to try my faith, from me Thou hidest Thee;
Calmly on Thee to smile, until Thou smil’st once more,-
Oh, this is heaven to me!

June 7, 1896.

Poems of Sr. Teresa, Carmelite of Lisieux,
known as The “Little Flower of Jesus,”
Translated by S.L. Emery,