Wisdom’s Corner No. 35: Wisdom as a Teacher

240_F_22131647_D2k5xJWGzdmTO6LdfpdpNWAfENBiTT6X

“Wisdom takes care of those who look for her; she raises them to greatness.  Loving her is loving life itself; rising early to look for her is pure joy.  Anyone who obtains Wisdom will be greatly honored.  Wherever he goes, the Lord will bless him.  Wisdom’s servant’s are the servants of the Holy One, and the Lord loves everyone who loves her.  Those who obey her will give sound judgments, those who pay attention to her have true security.  Put your trust in Wisdom, and you will possess her and pass her on to your descendants.  At first, Wisdom will make you so afraid that you will think you cannot go on.  The discipline she demands will be tormenting, and she will put you to the test with her requirements until she trust you completely.  Then she come to you with no delay, reveal her secrets to you, and make you happy.  But if you go astray, she will abandon you and let you go to your own ruin.”

Sirach 4

Wisdom’s Corner No. 34: A King is Like Everyone Else

240_F_22131647_D2k5xJWGzdmTO6LdfpdpNWAfENBiTT6X

“Like every human being, I am mortal, I am a descendant of that first man, who was made from the soil.  I was conceived from the sperm of a man, in the pleasure of intercourse.  For nine months my flesh took shape in the blood of my mother’s womb.  When I was born, I came into the world like anyone else.  I began to breathe; and like everyone else, the first sound I made was a cry.  I was wrapped in cloths and cared for.  No king every began life differently.  For all of us, there is one way into life, and there is one way out.”

Wisdom 6

Wisdom’s Corner No. 33: The Search for Justice

240_F_22131647_D2k5xJWGzdmTO6LdfpdpNWAfENBiTT6X

“Love justice, you rulers of the world.  Set your minds sincerely on the Lord, and look for him with all honesty.  Those who do not try to test him will find him; he will show himself to those who trust him. Dishonest thoughts separate people from God, and if we are foolish enough to test him, his power will put us to shame.  Wisdom will never be at home with anyone who is deceitful or a slave of sin.  Everyone who is holy has learned to stay away from deceitful people.  He will not stay around when foolish thoughts are being expressed; he will not feel comfortable when injustice is done.”

Wisdom 1

Wisdom’s Corner No. 32: Home and Hospitality

240_F_22131647_D2k5xJWGzdmTO6LdfpdpNWAfENBiTT6X

“The necessities of life are water, food, clothing, and a home where you can have privacy.  It is better to be poor and live under your own crude roof than to enjoy lavish banquets in other people’s homes.  Be happy with what you have, even if it isn’t very much, and don’t listen to anyone who would insult your home and family.  Going from house to house is a miserable way to live.  Anywhere you go, you don’t dare speak.  You welcome the guests and pour the drinks, and nobody  thanks you.  Instead, people humiliate you by saying things like: Stranger! Come here and set the table! I want to eat what you’ve got there! Give it here! Go away, stranger! I’ve got an important guess! My brother is coming to visit, and I need the room!

Being denied hospitality or having a moneylender hound you–these are hard things for any sensitive person to endure.

Sirach 29

Wisdom’s Corner No. 31: Self-confidence

240_F_22131647_D2k5xJWGzdmTO6LdfpdpNWAfENBiTT6X

“Take advantage of opportunities but guard yourself against evil.  Don’t underrate yourself. Humility deserves honor and respect, but a low opinion of yourself leads to sin. Do not let others have their way at your expense; do not bring on your own ruin by giving up your rights.  Never hesitate to speak out when the occasion calls for it.  Don’t hide your wisdom.  Your wisdom and education can be known only by what you say.  Do not, however, go against the truth, and remember that you do not know everything.  Don’t be ashamed to confess your sins; there’s no point in trying to stop a river from flowing.  Don’t allow yourself to be dominated by someone who is stupid or show partially to influential people.  Stand up for what is right, even if it cost you your life; the Lord will be fighting on you side.

Don’t be quick to speak or lazy and negligent in your work.  Don’t act like a lion at home or be suspicious of your servants.  Don’t stick out your hand to get something if your going to be tight-fisted when the time comes to pay it back.”

Sirach 4

Wisdom’s Corner No. 30: The Nature of Wisdom

240_F_22131647_D2k5xJWGzdmTO6LdfpdpNWAfENBiTT6X

The spirit of Wisdom is intelligent and holy.  It is of one nature but reveals itself in many ways.  It is not made of any material substance, and it moves about freely.  It is clear, clean and confident; it cannot be harmed.  It loves what is good.  It is sharp and unconquerable.  Kind and a friend of humanity.  It is dependable and sure, and has no worries.  It has power over everything, and sees everything.  It penetrates every spirit that is intelligent and pure, no matter how delicate its substance may be.

Wisdom moves more easily than motion itself; she is so pure that she penetrates everything.  She is a breath of God’s power–a pure and radiate stream of glory from the Almighty.  Nothing that is defiled can ever steal its way into Wisdom.  She is a reflection of eternal light, a perfect mirror of God’s activity and goodness.  Even though Wisdom acts alone, she can do anything.  She makes everything new, although she herself never changes.  From generation to generation she enters the souls of holy people, and makes them God’s friends and prophets.  There is nothing that God loves more than people who are at home with Wisdom.  Wisdom is more beautiful than the sun and all the constellations.  She is better than light itself, because night always follows day, but evil never overcomes Wisdom.  Her great power reaches into every part of the world, and she sets everything in useful order.”

Wisdom 7-8

Wisdom’s Corner No. 29: The Evil That People Do

240_F_22131647_D2k5xJWGzdmTO6LdfpdpNWAfENBiTT6X

“You are doomed! You buy more houses and fields to add to those you already have.  Soon there will no place for anyone else, and you alone will live in the land.  I have heard the Lord almighty say, ‘All these big, fine houses will be empty ruins.  The grapevines growing on five acres of land will yield only five gallons of wine.  Ten bushels of seed will produce only one bushel of grain.’

You are doomed! You get up early in the morning to start drinking, and you spend long evenings getting drunk.  At your feasts you have harps and tambourines and flutes–and wine.  But you don’t understand what the Lord is doing, and so you will be carried away as prisoners.  Your leaders will starve to death, and the common people will die of thirst.  The world of the dead is hungry for them, and it opens its mouth wide.  It gulps down the nobles….along with the noisy crowd of common people.

Everyone will be disgraced, and all who are proud will be humbled.  But the Lord Almighty shows his greatness by doing what is right, and he reveals his holiness by judging his people.  In the ruins of the cities lambs will eat grass and young goats will find pasture.

You are doomed! You are unable to break free from your sins.  You say, ‘Let the Lord hurry up and do what he says he will, so that we can see it.  Let…God carry out his plans: let’s see what he has in mind.’

You are doomed! You call evil good and call good evil.  You turn darkness into light and light into darkness.  You make what is bitter sweet, and what is sweet bitter.

You are doomed! You think you are wise, so very clever.

You are doomed! Heroes of the wine bottle! Brave and fearless when it come to mixing drinks! But for a bribe you let the guilty go free, and you keep the innocent from getting justice.  So now, just as straw and dry grass shrivel and burn in the fire, your roots will rot and your blossoms will dry and blow away, because you have rejected what the Lord Almighty….has taught us.  The Lord is angry with his people and has stretched out his and to punish them.  The mountains will shake and the bodies of those who die will be left in the streets like rubbish.  yet even then the Lord’s anger will not be ended, but his hand will still be stretched out to punish.

The Lord give a signal to call for a distant nations.  He whistles for them to come from the ends of the earth.  And here they come, swiftly, quickly!  None of them grow tired; not one of them stumble.  The never doze or sleep.  Not a belt is loose; not a sandal strap is broken.  Their arrows are sharp, and their hoofs are as hard as flint, and their chariot wheels turn like a whirlwind.  The soldiers roar like lions that have killed an animal and are carrying it off where no one can take take it away from them.

When  that day comes, they will roar…as loudly as the sea.  Look at this country! Darkness and distress! The light is swallowed by darkness.”

Isaiah 5