O GOD, I love Thee for Thyself, And not that I may Heaven gain,
Nor because those who love Thee not, Must suffer Hell’s eternal pain.
Thou O my Jesus! Thou didst me Upon the Cross embrace;
For me 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 one Who was Thine enemy.
Then why, O blessed Jesus Christ, Should I not love Thee well:
Not for the sake of winning Heaven, Or of escaping Hell;
Not with the hope of gaining aught, not 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