Here at the end of the ninth set of seven lessons, in the midst of the armor we are picking up to keep us safe from the fiery darts of our enemies, we come to a soldier's real friends, food and water. Man does not live by bread alone, and yet we must have food and drink if we are to keep up the fight. We earn our daily rations, but it is still a gift and it is right to give thanks and praise.
63. The Bread of Life
O God, You are my God; early will I seek after You.
My soul is thirsty and my body hungers for your touch,
In a dry and thirsty land where water cannot be found;
I look for your power and glory, as I have seen it in the sanctuary.
Because your loving-kindness is better than life, my lips will praise You,
And so I will bless You while I live; I will lift up my hands in your name.
My soul will be satisfied as if with fine food and my mouth will be glad with the praise,
When I remember You as I wait for sleep and meditate in the night.
Because You have been my help, I will rejoice in the shadow of your wings.
My soul follows hard after You and your right hand holds me up.
Those who seek after me, to destroy my soul, will go down into the earth.
They shall fall by the sword of your power, they shall be food for the beasts.
But the King shall live and rejoice in God; every one that swears by Him shall feel the glory,
And the mouths of them that speak lies shall be stopped.
Because your loving kindness is better than life, because You have been my help I will rejoice in the shadow of your wings. This is the real bread of life, or rather the bread that sustains the real, the eternal life. Here we are again at a place of rest and peace, enjoying a meal, thankful for the gifts that our Lord gives. It is always near, we are in it, but like water to a fish it is almost impossible to know. Real life replaces temporary existence and we are learning how to live it. We are thankful for everything that comes our way, every moment is truly a gift.
We ask who we are, what we have become and what we might be. We see the image of perfection, the one we would become if we knew how and we see all the mistakes we have ever made: which one is really us? We are both and more; perfection and error, effort and hesitation, the desire to do well marred by the vanity of success. Life is more art than science, more faith than doctrine. Loving kindness forgives all our faults and faith becomes our everlasting shield.