“Father in heaven!
You have loved us first,
help us never to forget that You are love
so that this sure conviction
might triumph in our hearts
over the seduction of the world,
over the inquietude of the soul,
over the anxiety for the future,
over the fright of the past,
over the distress of the moment.
But grant also that this conviction
might discipline our soul
so that our heart might remain faithful
and sincere in the love which we bear
to all those whom You have commanded us
to love as we love ourselves.
You have loved us first, O God, alas!
We speak of it in terms of history
as if You have only loved us first but a single time,
rather than that without ceasing
You have loved us first many times
and every day and our whole life through.
When we wake up in the morning
and turn our soul toward You
– You are the first –
You have loved us first;
if I rise at dawn and at the same second
turn my soul toward You in prayer,
You are there ahead of me,
You have loved me first.
When I withdraw from the distractions of the day
and turn my soul toward You,
You are the first and thus forever.
And yet we always speak ungratefully
as if You have loved us first only once.”