My God, I love Thee; not because
I hope for Heav’n thereby,
Nor yet because who love Thee not
Must die eternally.
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 man
Who was Thine enemy.
Then why, O blessed Jesus Christ
Should I not love Thee well?
Not for the hope of winning Heaven,
Nor of escaping hell.
Not with the hope of gaining aught,
Nor seeking a reward,
But as Thyself hast loved me,
O everlasting 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.
-17th century Latin text, Attributed to Francis Xavier, Translated by Edward Caswall