My God, I love Thee; not because
I hope for heav’n thereby,
nor yet for fear that loving not
I might forever die;
but for that Thou didst all mankind
upon the cross embrace;
for us didst bear the nails and spear,
and manifold disgrace;
And griefs and torments numberless,
and sweat of agony;
e’en death itself, and all for man,
who was Thine enemy.
Then why, most loving Jesus Christ,
should I not love Thee well?
Not for the sake of winning heav’n,
nor any fear of hell;
Not with the hope of gaining aught,
nor seeking a reward,
but as Thyself hast loved me,
O ever-loving Lord!
E’en so I love Thee, and will love,
and in Thy praise will sing,
solely because Thou art my God
and my eternal King!
–St. Francis Xavier