Lord, you seized me and I could not resist you.
I ran for a time, but you followed me.
I took by-paths, but you knew them.
You overtook me.
Here I am, Lord, out of breath, no fight left in me,
and I’ve said ‘yes’ almost unwillingly.
When I stood there trembling like one defeated before his captor,
Your look of love fell on me.
The die is cast, Lord, 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 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 loving gaze.
I no longer know what it is to make an effort to pray.
I just lift me eyes to you and I meet yours.
And we understand one another. All is light, all is peace.
At times, O Lord, you steal over me irresistibly,
as the ocean slowly covers the shore.
Or suddenly you seize me as a lover clasps his beloved in his arms.
And I am helpless, a prisoner, and I have to stand still.
Captivated, I hold my breath, the world fades away, you suspend time.
I wish that these minutes were hours . . .
When you withdraw, leaving me afire and overwhelmed with profound joy,
Though I have no new ideas, I know that you possess me more completely.
You have reached new depths in me,
The wound has widened and I am more than ever a prisoner of your love.
Lord, once more you have made a desert around me,
but this time it is different.
You are too great, you eclipse everything.
What I had cherished now seems trifling, and my desires melt like wax
in the sun under the fire of your love.
Nothing matters to me,
Neither my comfort
Nor even my life.
I desire only you,
I want nothing but you.
I know others say, “He is mad!”
But Lord, it is they who are out of their minds.
They do not know you, they do not know God,
they do not know that one cannot resist him.
But you have seized me, Lord, and I am sure of you.
You are there, and I am overjoyed.
Sunlight floods over all, and my life shines like a jewel.
How easy everything is, how luminous!
All is pure and joyful.
Thank you, Lord, thank you!
Why me, why did you choose me?
Joy, joy, tears of joy.
Michel Quoist, 1918 – 1997, French Catholic priest and writer
Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ and become one with him.