Church of England Diocese of Canterbury Sandhurst

Daily Scripture & Reflection

28 Feb 2021, 9:15 a.m.
From_the_Vicar Notices

Daily Reflection:

The priest and poet George Herbert is commemorated in the church’s calendar on 27th February. Aristocratic, intellectually and musically gifted, he gave up his high profile position at Cambridge University to become a humble and much loved priest to a small rural community near Salisbury. He died shortly before his fortieth birthday, but his literary, and above all spiritual, legacy is still huge. A teacher friend of mine claimed that after studying Herbert with an A-Level class neither she nor her students were ever the same again. And she is not alone.

This poem, one of Herbert’s best known, expresses both his deep sense of his own unworthiness and his growing realisation that God welcomes us, not because we have done anything to deserve his love, but because he is Love.

A profound thought to meditate on this Lent.

Revd Rosemary

Love III (George Herbert, 1593-1633)

Love bade me welcome, yet my soul drew back,

Guilty of dust and sin.

But quick-eyed Love, observing me grow slack

 From my first entrance in

Drew nearer to me, sweetly questioning

 If I lacked anything.

A guest’, I answered, ‘worthy to be here’.

Love said, ‘You shall be he’.

‘I, the unkind, ungrateful? Ah my dear,

I cannot look on thee’.

Love took my hand and smiling did reply

‘Who made the eyes but I?’

‘Truth, Lord, but I have marred them; let my shame 

Go where it doth deserve.’

‘And know you not’ says Love, ‘who bore the blame?’

‘My dear, then I will serve.’

‘You must sit down’, says Love, ‘and taste my meat.’

So I did sit and eat.