My Shepherd will supply my need, Jehovah is His name,
In pastures fresh He makes me feed beside the living stream;
He brings my wandering spirit back when I forsake His way,
And leads me for His mercy's sake in paths of truth and grace.
When I walk through the shades of death
His presence is my stay,
One word of His supporting grace drives all my fears away;
His hand in site of all my foes doth still my table spread,
My cup with blessings overflows, His oil anoints my head.
The sure provisions of my God attend me all my days;
Oh, may Thy house be my abode and all my work be praise;
There would I find a settled rest, while others come and go;
No more a stranger nor a guest, but like a child at home.
- Isaac Watts, hymn: "My Shepherd Will Supply My Need," 1719. Photo of children on the beach by me.
"The unity for which Christ lived and died is not an abstract ideal. It is the result of hard work: suspending judgment, choosing others before self, forgiving, seeking reconciliation rather than nursing hurt pride. In other words, it requires that we die to self in Christ. The fruit? The blessing of God's peace!"
- Magnificat, from evening prayer for September 25, 2007.
God's free initiative demands man's free response, for God has created man in his image by conferring on him, along with freedom, the power to know him and love him. The soul only enters freely into the communion of love. God immediately touches and directly moves the heart of man. He has placed in man a longing for truth and goodness that only he can satisfy. The promises of 'eternal life' respond, beyond all hope, to this desire:
If at the end of your very good works . . . , you rested on the seventh day, it was to foretell by the voice of your book that at the end of our works, which are indeed 'very good' since you have given them to us, we shall also rest in you on the sabbath of eternal life.
- Catechism of the Catholic Church 2002, quoting St. Augustine, De gratia et libero arbitrio, 17; PL 44, 901.