Friday, January 21, 2011

Lord, you have seized me (From Abbé Michel Quoist’s “Prayers”)


Lord,
you have seized me,

and I could not
resist you.

I took bypaths, but you knew them.
You overtook me.
I struggled,
You won.

Here I am,
out of breath,
no fight left in me,

and I’ve said “Yes”,
almost willingly.

When I stood there,
trembling like one,
defeated before his captor,

Your look of love fell on me.

The die is cast; I can no longer forget you.
In a moment you seized me,
in a moment you conquered me.
My doubts were swept away,
my fears dispelled.
For I recognized you without seeing you.

I felt you without touching you,
I understood you without hearing you.
Marked by the fire of your love,
I can no longer forget you.

Now I know that you are there, close to me,
and I work in peace, beneath your gaze.
I no longer knew what it is to make an effort to pray,
I merely lift my eyes to you and I meet yours,
and we understand one another.

All is right,

all is calm.
And I am at peace.

At times, you steal over me irresistibly,
as the ocean covers the shore,
or suddenly you seize me,
and I am helpless,
I can only stand still.
Captivated, I hold my breath,
as the world fades away,
for you have suspended time itself.

I wish these minutes were hours,
when you leave, you leave me afire,
and overwhelmed with profound joy.
Though I have no new ideas,
I know you possess me even more completely.
For the wound you’ve given has widened even more,
making me a prisoner of your love.

Once more you have made a desert around me,
but this time it is different.
You are too great,
you eclipse all things.
What I used to cherish seems trifling,
and my desires melt like wax underneath the sun.
Nothing matters to me now,
neither my comfort,
nor even my life.
I desire only your presence.

Others may think me mad.
But it is they who have lost their minds.
For they have not known you.
But you have seized me,
and my mind and soul is at rest.
And I am at peace.

"The Kingdom of Heaven is a condition of the heart." (Friedrich Nietzsche)