ELRIC HAD STUDIED with the monks. He wrote and read. He knew the Gospels back and forth. He had the psalms by heart. An oak grew near his cave with one great branch he'd climb to like a squirrel and perch there till he'd sung them through. He sang in Latin, but, for me, he put them into speech I understood.

"God keeps me as a shepherd keeps his flock. I want for nought," he said. "I bleat with hunger, and he pastures me in meadows green. I'm thirsty, and he leads me forth to water cool and deep and still. He hoists me to my feet when I am weak. Down goodly ways he guides me with his crook, for he himself is good. Yea, even when I lose my way in shadows dark as death, I will not fear, for he is ever close at hand with rod and staff to succor me."

-Originally published in Godric

To receive daily Quote of the Day emails, sign up here.