‘You, O Lord my God, gave me life and my body when I was born. You gave my body its five senses; you furnished it with limbs and gave it is proper proportions; and you implanted in it all the instincts necessary for the welfare and safety of a living creature. For these gifts you command me to acknowledge you and praise you and sing in honor of your name, because you are Almighty God, because you are good, and because I owe you praise for these things, even if you had done nothing else. No one but you can do these things, because you are the one and only mould in which all things are cast and the perfect form which shapes all things, and everything takes its place according to your law.’
- Saint Augustine; The Confessions – Book 1, chpt. 7
I have been absent from this blog for much too long. However visiting Seattle with my family and wrapping up this school semester have kept me very busy! When I get the chance I will share some of my pictures from Seattle and some portraits of my beautiful friend Madeleine.
Until then let me share this passage from Isaiah with you. I always love Advent – a time for anticipating the arrival of Jesus. Reading the prophesies about the coming of the Messiah at this time every year always fills me with such excitement, joy, and peace. I hope this passage blesses you as much as it has blessed me.
‘A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse;
from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.
The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him—
the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and of might,
the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the Lord—
and he will delight in the fear of the Lord.
He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes,
or decide by what he hears with his ears;
but with righteousness he will judge the needy,
with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth.
He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth;
with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked.
Righteousness will be his belt
and faithfulness the sash around his waist.
The wolf will live with the lamb,
the leopard will lie down with the goat,
the calf and the lion and the yearling together;
and a little child will lead them.
The cow will feed with the bear,
their young will lie down together,
and the lion will eat straw like the ox.
The infant will play near the cobra’s den,
and the young child will put its hand into the viper’s nest.
They will neither harm nor destroy
on all my holy mountain,
for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord
as the waters cover the sea.
In that day the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to him, and his resting place will be glorious.’
Isaiah 11:1 – 10
Leuconoe dear, seek not I pray to know
what Heaven hath hid;
The span to me accorded, or to thee
is lore forbid!
Tempt not Chaldean horoscopes! More wise,
what comes, to bear;
Nor fret, whether some winters more from Jove
fall to our share,
Or this, which lashes now the Tuscan shore,
our last decreed.
Be wise and strain the wine! Since shot at best
of joy our meed;
Prune distant hopes. Ev’n as we speak, grim Time
speeds wsift away;
Seize now and here the hour that is, nor trust
some later day!
-Horace, Ode Book I, XI; trans. Dr. John Marshall