I’m drawn to poverty and depravation
As fire to destruction, as rain to a flood.
Does anyone ask me, “Why do you breathe?”
Has a single soul asked me
When I was well, or when I was sick
And every breath burned from soreness?
Even so I breathed; even so I endure
The taxation of a wretched life
That I may fulfill that purpose which
Christ, my Lord ordains.

But can it matter which love commands
My attention? What says a solemn Lord
To His own love, that love which
Lovers oft have sung, and yet deprives
The spirit of its higher aim:
For there have been desperate lonely men
Who in their lives divest the heart
Of its devotion to a single being, that none
May savour its magnanimity alone,
But given full-force, and selfless,
To the race of men.

Oh, God, you have given this!
What do you say to an overabundance
Of gift? May I have both, and truly
With love of another and love of all,
Complete your eminent design?
If ever there were a time, Jesus,
Wherein my wandering soul needed wisdom,
It is now. Be my guide;
For what love will champion your cause?
How am I to know?

I am, though your servant,
abjectly lost in your manifold loves.
What else can so full a heart confess,
And so blessed a spirit pray?