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,

“Why 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.

(George Herbert)

Lord, as we fast from food and deny our appetites, may You be the finest meal and the richest fare we have ever tasted!  And as we taste, may we hunger all the more.  Amen.

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