At a meditation today in the Cathedral, we read a beautiful and poignant sonnet attributed to St Francis Xavier (1506-1552)…
Not because of your promised heaven
Do I wish to devote my love to you;
Nor from dread of a much-feared hell
Do I wish to cease from offending you.
You touch me, Lord, when I see you nailed –
Nailed on a cross – and I see you mocked;
And stirred by the sight of your body bruised,
By your sufferings too and by your death.
I am stirred by your love in such a way
That even without hope of heaven I shall love you
And without any fear of hell I shall fear you.
Naught you need give me that I may love you
For even without hoping for the hope that is mine
I shall love you, as love you I do.