William Law, Priest, Spiritual Writer, 1761
William of Ockham, Friar, Philosopher, Teacher of the Faith, 1347
Preserve me, O God, for in you have I taken refuge;
I have said to the Lord, ‘You are my lord, all my good depends on you.’
All my delight is upon the godly that are in the land, upon those who are noble in heart.
Though the idols are legion that many run after,
their drink offerings of blood I will not offer,
neither make mention of their names upon my lips.
The Lord himself is my portion and my cup;
in your hands alone is my fortune.
My share has fallen in a fair land;
indeed, I have a goodly heritage.
I will bless the Lord who has given me counsel,
and in the night watches he instructs my heart.
I have set the Lord always before me;
he is at my right hand; I shall not fall.
Wherefore my heart is glad and my spirit rejoices;
my flesh also shall rest secure.
For you will not abandon my soul to Death,
nor suffer your faithful one to see the Pit.
You will show me the path of life;
in your presence is the fullness of joy
and in your right hand are pleasures for evermore.
I will exalt you, O Lord,
because you have raised me up and have not let my foes triumph over me.
O Lord my God, I cried out to you and you have healed me.
You brought me up, O Lord, from the dead;
you restored me to life from among those that go down to the Pit.
Sing to the Lord, you servants of his; give thanks to his holy name.
For his wrath endures but the twinkling of an eye, his favour for a lifetime.
Heaviness may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.
In my prosperity I said,
‘I shall never be moved. You, Lord, of your goodness, have made my hill so strong.’
Then you hid your face from me and I was utterly dismayed.
To you, O Lord, I cried; to the Lord I made my supplication:
‘What profit is there in my blood, if I go down to the Pit?
Will the dust praise you or declare your faithfulness?
‘Hear, O Lord, and have mercy upon me; O Lord, be my helper.’
You have turned my mourning into dancing;
you have put off my sackcloth and girded me with gladness;
Therefore my heart sings to you without ceasing;
O Lord my God, I will give you thanks for ever.
At that time, I charged you as follows: ‘Although the Lord your God has given you this land to occupy, all your troops shall cross over armed as the vanguard of your Israelite kin. Only your wives, your children, and your livestock—I know that you have much livestock—shall stay behind in the towns that I have given to you. When the Lord gives rest to your kindred, as to you, and they too have occupied the land that the Lord your God is giving them beyond the Jordan, then each of you may return to the property that I have given to you.’ And I charged Joshua as well at that time, saying: ‘Your own eyes have seen everything that the Lord your God has done to these two kings; so the Lord will do to all the kingdoms into which you are about to cross. Do not fear them, for it is the Lord your God who fights for you.’
At that time, too, I entreated the Lord, saying: ‘O Lord God, you have only begun to show your servant your greatness and your might; what god in heaven or on earth can perform deeds and mighty acts like yours! Let me cross over to see the good land beyond the Jordan, that good hill country and the Lebanon.’ But the Lord was angry with me on your account and would not heed me. The Lord said to me, ‘Enough from you! Never speak to me of this matter again! Go up to the top of Pisgah and look around you to the west, to the north, to the south, and to the east. Look well, for you shall not cross over this Jordan. But charge Joshua, and encourage and strengthen him, because it is he who shall cross over at the head of this people and who shall secure their possession of the land that you will see.’ So we remained in the valley opposite Beth-peor.
When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you.’ After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.’ When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.’
But Thomas (who was called the Twin), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, ‘We have seen the Lord.’ But he said to them, ‘Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe.’
A week later his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were shut, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you.’ Then he said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe.’ Thomas answered him, ‘My Lord and my God!’ Jesus said to him, ‘Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.’
Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book. But these are written so that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in his name.
who called your servant William Law
to a devout and holy life:
grant that by your spirit of love
and through faithfulness in prayer
we may find the way to divine knowledge
and so come to see the hidden things of God;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.