An Unpetalled Rose
A priest asked me: have I ever read St. Therese's poem, An Unpetalled Rose -- Not being familiar with the Little Flower's poetry, I had to search for it -- written towards the end of her young life, it expressed such love and total giving of all one is to Jesus. Here it is:
1 Jesus, when I see you held by Your Mother,
Leaving her arms
Trying, trembling, Your first steps
On our sad earth,
Before You I’d like to unpetal a rose
In its freshness
So that Your little foot might rest ever so softly
On a flower!....
2 This unpetalled rose is the faithful image,
Of the heart that wants to sacrifice itself for You unreservedly
At each moment.
Lord, on Your altars more than one new rose
Likes to shine.
It gives itself to You…. but I dream of something else:
To be unpetalled!...”
3 The rose in its splendor can adorn Your feast,
But the unpetalled rose is just flung out
To blow away.
An unpetalled rose gives itself unaffectedly
To be no more.
Like it, with joy I abandon myself to You,
4 One walks on rose petals with no regrets,
And this debris
Is a simple ornament that one disposes of artlessly,
That I’ve understood.
Jesus, for Your love I’ve squandered my life,
In the eyes of men, a rose forever withered,
I must die!...
5 For You, I must die, Child, Beauty Supreme,
what a blessed fate!
In being unpetalled, I want to prove to You that I love You,
O my Treasure!...
Under Your baby steps, I want to live here below
And I’d like to soften once more on Calvary
Your last steps!....