Prayer to Embrace God in Love by St. Anselm of Canterbury

As I prepare for my eight-day silent retreat this afternoon, I came across this prayer from St. Anselm of Canterbury.

“I am desperate for your love, Lord. My heart is aflame with fervent passion. When I remember the good things you have done, my heart burns with desire to embrace you.
I thirst for you. I hunger for you, I long for you, I sigh for you. I am jealous for your love.
What shall I say to you? What can I do for you? Where shall I seek you? I am sick for your love. The joy of my heart turns to dust. My happy laughter is reduced to ashes.
I want you. I hope for you.
My soul is like a widow, bereft of you. Turn to me and see my tears. I will weep until you come to me.
Come now, Lord, and I will be comforted. Show me your face, and I shall be saved. Enter my room, and I shall be satisfied. Reveal your beauty and my joy will be complete.”

It is a true expression of the heart. We all seek, desire, want, and continually realize that nothing is ever enough. As Fr. Thomas Dubay said in And You are Christs, we are a thirst in the flesh, an incarnated thirst. We yearn for endless beauty and joy, endless love and delight, endless security and happiness – and an immortality in which to enjoy it all. We were born this way and we will die this way.

The real question is how are we trying to slake our thirst? St. Anselm knew that he could only go to Christ to slake his thirst. How about us? How desperate are we for Christ’s love? How aflame is our heart with a desire to be intimately united with Him?

St. Anselm of Canterbury, pray for us!



  1. Great prayer! Thanks for posting! Enjoy your retreat. Go with God.

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