Christ Martha Maria by Henryk Siemiradzki, via Wikimedia Commons
Jesus, you are my true friend, my only friend.
You take a part in all my misfortunes;
You take them on yourself;
You know how to change them into blessings.
You listen to me with the greatest kindness
when I relate my troubles to you,
and you always have balm to pour on my wounds.
I fond you at all times, I find you everywhere,
You never go away;
if I have to change my dwelling, I find you wherever I go.
You are never weary of listening to me,
You are never tired of doing me good.
I am certain of being beloved by you if I love you;
my goods are nothing to you,
and by bestowing yours on me you never grow poor.
However miserable I may be,
no one nobler or wiser or even holier
can come between you and me,
and deprive me of your friendship;
and death, which tears us away from all other friends,
will unite me forever to you.
All humiliations attached to old age
or to the loss of honor will never detach you from me.
On the contrary, I shall never enjoy you more fully,
and you will never be closer to me
than when everything seems to conspire against me,
to overwhelm me, and to case me down.
You bear with all my faults with extreme patience,
and even my want of fidelity and ingratitude
do not wound you to such a degree
as to make you unwilling to receive me back
when I return to you.
Jesus, gant that I may die praising you,
that I may die loving you,
that I may die for the love of you. Amen.
St. Claude de la Colombière, 1641-1682, French Jesuit priest and ascetic
Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.