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    LOVE FOR GOD

    My God, I love Thee; not because

    I hope for heaven thereby,

    Nor yet because who love Thee not

    Are lost eternally.

    Thou, O my Jesus, Thou didst me

    Upon the cross embrace;

    For me didst bear the nails, and spear,

    And manifold disgrace,

    And griefs and torments numberless,

    And sweat of agony;

    Yea, death itself; and all for me

    Who was thine enemy.

    Then why, O blessed Jesus Christ,

    Should I not love Thee well?

    Not for the sake of winning heaven,

    Nor of escaping hell;

    Not from the hope of gaining aught,

    Not seeking a reward;

    But as Thyself hast loved me,

    O ever-loving Lord.

    So would I love Thee, dearest Lord,

    And in Thy praise will sing;

    Solely because Thou art my God,

    And my most loving King.

     

    Francis Xavier, 1506-1552 

    Translated by Edward Caswall, 1814-1878.