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Inspired by the sight of a statue of The Blessed Joan of Arc

O Lord God of Hosts, who hast said in Thy Gospel: "I am not come to bring peace but a sword,"282282Matt. 10:34. arm me for the combat. I burn to do battle for Thy Glory, but I pray Thee to enliven my courage. . . . Then with holy David I shall be able to exclaim: "Thou alone art my shield; it is Thou, O Lord Who teachest my hands to fight."283283Cf. Ps. 143[144]:1, 2.

O my Beloved, I know the warfare in which I am to engage; it is not on the open field I shall fight. . . . I am a prisoner held captive by Thy Love; of my own free will I have riveted the fetters which bind me to Thee, and cut me off for ever from the world. My sword is Love! with it—like Joan of Arc—"I will drive the strangers from the land, and I will have Thee proclaimed King"—over the Kingdom of souls.

Of a truth Thou hast no need of so weak an instrument as I, but Joan, thy chaste and valiant Spouse, has said: "We must do battle before God gives the victory." O my Jesus! I will do battle, then, for Thy love, until the evening of my life. As Thou didst not will to enjoy rest upon earth, I wish to follow Thy example; and then this promise which came from thy Sacred Lips will be fulfilled in me: "If any man minister to me, let him follow Me, and where I am there also shall My servant be, and . . . him will My Father honour."284284John 12:26. To be with Thee, to be in Thee, that is my one desire; this promise of fulfilment, which Thou dost give, helps me to bear with my exile as I wait the joyous Eternal Day when I shall see Thee face to face.

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