“Leave in me only fire..” Fr. Jean Petit

The following is an excerpt from a little book which has been my companion this Lent. The holy religious priest (now deceased) who penned these passionate words, did so under the order of his superiors. Throughout his writings, he refers often to Therese, and shares deep insights into her Act of Oblation to Merciful Love (which is printed at the back of the book). Two kindred souls, I would say. Two hearts aflame with love for God at a white-hot intensity which few of us are ever privileged to reach.

Yet, to draw near to these flaming souls is to dream of catching fire, imploring the Holy Spirit to plunge us too into the Furnace of His Divine Love!


In the heart of Your child,  
O Father, stir up only flames,
for the sake of the whole Mystical Body.

Here is my desire, my sole desire. I live for it; I will die for it. I will live for it through all eternity. It pursues me during the day and illuminates my night. It is my nourishment, my health, my passion, and my immense happiness:

To give myself credit for nothing, to feel my total incompetence, to possess nothing as mine; and in proportion to this voluntary and acknowledged weakness, to be totally bound to live Your Life, to be abandoned unreservedly to the One Who is eternal– to my Father, Who loves me beyond all measure, and to the Holy Trinity, Who burns to make me participate in Its Divine Life; to be totally bound to wait for the One Who possesses all and Who desires to give all. What unspeakable joy!

I know it. I feel it. Your fire, O my God, surrounds me, pierces me through, insinuates its way into the most intimate fibers of my heart, fills to overflowing the almost infinite caverns of my soul, and responds to my littleness by making me a participant of Your Divinity.

My lips speak of daily events; my eyes behold houses and trees; my ears hear conversations. But in all of this my heart sees only shadows and illusions. You alone, adorable Trinity, are the reality. It is You Whom I seek; it is You for Whom I thirst. Toward You alone my lips, my eyes, my hands, and my ears aspire…..

From the book: Descending Fire, The Journal of a Soul Aflame, compiled from the writings of Father John Petit (pseudonym)
pp. 114-115

4 thoughts on ““Leave in me only fire..” Fr. Jean Petit

  1. “To give myself credit for nothing, to feel my total incompetence, to possess nothing as mine”
    I love this Patricia…If one could truly empty oneself like this what a fire of hunger for the Lord this would leave room for. It sounds like a great companion book for Lent.

    I’ve really been enjoying Pope Benedict’s 1st book on Jesus. It has helped my Lectio in Scripture; especially his teaching on the Our Father. What a master he is with words. I’ve probably heard 100 sermons on the Lord’s Prayer, but nothing ever like his.

    I’m so grateful for those gifted in sharing the depths of the spiritual life and how to help us journey toward “stirring up the flames”

    Love and hugs … +

    • Hi Caroline : )
      I love the line you quoted above. Oh how hard to reach such perfect humility and truth about oneself! And you are so right….how God would come rushing in to fill one so bereft of self! I too am so grateful for those who light up the way before us, so that we can at least get a glimpse of what we might become, if only….

      Tell me more about Pope Benedict’s Jesus of Nazareth, volume one. I have it also. (But you already knew that! : ) I have volume two as well, and understand there is to be a third volume. Sad to say, I have not yet begun any of them. But your comment about his teaching on the Our Father is truly exciting.

      Loved your post today. You were so brave to ask your husband to tell you the truth. Brave and strong and humble as well. Good for you, my friend. You are bearing much fruit this Lent! Much better than getting comments : )
      Love and peace,
      Patricia xo

      • Hi Patricia…I hope his 3rd volume comes out soon! The second volume required more attentive reading as I remember and it was great..but this first one I can’t put down. If I find time and energy : ) I’ll try to outline his teaching on the Our Father in a post .

        Oh– this Lent has been quite a challenge. I pray I’m bearing fruit. and suppose it’s better than comments, but I still miss them. I do think the Lord has me working through some things in their absence though. My uncle is in a nursing home now. My sister and I helping my aunt and my mom. Time has been so limited for blogging..You’re always the site I visit even if I only have time for one.

        Blessings and +

        • Caroline, so good to hear from you. Obviously, I’m having blogging issues too…related to time. It’s been a crazy week. I wanted to write a “Tuesday Adoration” post, and you were part of it as you came to mind during my meditation time during adoration. Hopefully, I can still recapture what I wanted to say; I know I will if the Lord wishes it.

          Am going to New Orleans tomorrow with my husband, and will have a bit of free time Friday while he is at a seminar. I may give myself a break from blog-free Friday, since I will be alone at the hotel and should have time to write a post. I’ll have to see what Jesus thinks about that : )

          Good for you, to be so immersed in our beloved Holy Father’s writing! I love him so much. I worry that he won’t be with us many more years, as I hear reports that he is getting weaker as his 85th birthday approaches. My husband and I were actually in Rome for his 80th, and got a ticket to go to the birthday concert. Of course, Holy Father was a white “speck” from where we were sitting, but we were delighted all the same. I still have the programs.

          Do you know what the third volume will cover? I would also like to read the new book his brother wrote about him.

          Oh, wanted to tell you that your dog and your kitty are both TOO CUTE!!! I want them! I recently bought a book by a Franciscan friar which makes a case for animals being in heaven and our seeing our pets again. I lost a most loved cat 2 years ago, and I still miss him so very much. He was so perfect in everyway. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about him.

          I always visit you too, Caroline. I will probably overwhelm you with comments once they are up again! May your Lent continue to be blessed!

          Love and hugs xo

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