So as not to falter in good works we ought always to rely for support on the help of the one who says, "For without me you can do nothing." Hence in order to express the fact that the start of faith and good action is given to us by the Lord, the psalmist properly says, "My God, his mercy goes before me." Again, in order to teach that the good things we do must be accomplished with his assistance, he says, "And your mercy follows after me all the days of my life." In order to show that the prize of eternal life rendered for good works is bestowed upon us freely, he says, "Who crowns you in compassion and mercy." He crowns us indeed in mercy and compassion when he repays us with the reward of heavenly blessedness for the good works which he himself has mercifully granted us to carry out. - Saint Bede the Venerable (+735) From Homilies on the Gospels, Book One, Advent to Lent. Translated by Lawrence T. Martin and David Hurst, OSB
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