God has left sin in the world in order that there may be forgiveness: not only the secret forgiveness by which He Himself cleanses our souls, but the manifest forgiveness by which we have mercy on one another and so give expression to the fact that He is living, by His mercy, in our own hearts. Thomas Merton, No Man Is An Island
Blessed is the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful; But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree Planted by the rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper. Psalm 1:1-3
Agnus Dei, qui tolis peccata mundi, miserere nobis. Agnus Dei, qui tolis peccata mundi, dona nobis pacem. Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on us. Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, grant us peace.
This weekend I made a circular walk from the village of East Kennet, Wiltshire, up onto the ancient wansdyke and back.
On this particular day the perfect contours of the chalk downs, the summer patchwork of textured fields and the variegated colours of crops and meadows responded to the majesty of the swirling weather. Mists descended, soft striations of distant rain marked the horizon and the sun peaked through bruised clouds like a spotlight illuminating the finest gothic cathedral.
The astonishing beauty of it all composed itself before my eyes. All I had to do was look. I couldn’t quite believe how perfect it was. In this moment I felt like I caught a scent of the Edenic creation, unfallen and in its paradisiacal state.
I love this land. The more I see it, the more it reveals of itself and of the creator.