There come times when words
cannot even begin to express or capture
the mystery of the heart—
when all that one can do
is accept the gift of God, in silence,
and surrender it all back to him in return.
Yes, Father, to remain before you always
only a poor little child,
with empty, open hands.
Hands that do not grasp or control,
but receive each moment anew
as it flows from the wellspring of your love.
Times of light and clarity,
almost blind the eyes,
and times of darkness and suffering,
when the truth of love and fidelity
is a frail flame burning in the inmost heart.
Yet, Father! What is lacking if I have you—
or rather, if you have me?
And your hands certainly never let go.
Ah, the gift of certainty—
and the gift of uncertainty,
they go hand in hand.
To hear you calling,
“Come, follow me,”
to hear you say, “It is I.”
And to step out onto the crashing waves
—look not to this, to that!
Look only to him who awaits you
with outstretched arm and open hand.
I stumble again and again,
begin to sink—
and you raise me up,
Hand in hand.
This is the only way to walk.
Lord, I cannot walk on my own!
Hold my hand in yours,
like a little child
unable to support his weight.
But I am carried by grace.
Oh, blessed poverty and littleness,
which allows grace and mercy to be seen!
It is not the child who has done this
—no mere man can walk on the waves—
but there must be a Father, and a Son,
who sustain and fill the heart with strength.
Yes, who support, with tender arms,
when there is nothing but weakness left in me.
My hand in yours, Lord my God!
I look to the light of your face,
a beacon in the storm.
A light, transfigured glory—
it is well that we are here.
A light, under eyelids half closed—
a bruised and bloody face.
Imprint these features, Lord,
on my inmost heart:
a light in the darkness for the upright,
a spark darting through stubble,
a drink for those who thirst—
and lead me through the darkness,
to find the light of your face in them.
Draw me, Jesus, sweetest Lord,
by the light of your face,
despised and rejected by men,
a man of sorrows, and acquainted with suffering.
Ah, for here we need you the most!
In my heart impress the features
of that Holy Face,
and on my face
let them read your Heart.
More, Jesus…I ask than this,
for to be your light before them,
my brother, my sister,
is not enough.
Can a pale reflection ever match the Light?
No…but draw me, Lord,
there to stand before the Face of Mercy,
my heart but a reflection
of the pain they bear,
my slightest breath, my sighs, my prayer,
an expression of their thirst.
To be Christ before men,
who is equal to this?
But what is less (or more?)—
to be a poor and thirsting heart
before the Face of God.
Hand in hand, I feel the nails,
the heartbeat of Love, so close within.
“I thirst!” you cry, dear Jesus;
let me feel it too.
The thirst of God.
The thirst of man.
Here the two are one.