28 January 2012

 

If in this life wealth is a desirable possession, what is more wealthy than Wisdom whose work is everywhere? - Extracted from the Book of Wisdom (Wisdom of Solomon), Chapter 8:

 

1 Strongly Wisdom reaches from one end of the world to the other and she governs the whole world for its good.

 

2 Wisdom I loved and searched for from my youth; I resolved to have her as my bride, I fell in love with her beauty.

 

3 She enhances her noble birth by sharing God's life, for the Master of All has always loved her.

 

4 Indeed, she shares the secrets of God's knowledge, and she chooses what he will do.

 

5 If in this life wealth is a desirable possession, what is more wealthy than Wisdom whose work is everywhere?

 

6 Or if it be the intellect that is at work, who, more than she, designs whatever exists?

 

7 Or if it be uprightness you love, why, virtues are the fruit of her labours, since it is she who teaches temperance and prudence, justice and fortitude; nothing in life is more useful for human beings.

 

8 Or if you are eager for wide experience, she knows the past, she forecasts the future; she knows how to turn maxims, and solve riddles; she has foreknowledge of signs and wonders, and of the unfolding of the ages and the times.

 

9 I therefore determined to take her to share my life, knowing that she would be my counselor in prosperity and comfort me in cares and sorrow.

 

10 'Thanks to her, I shall be admired by the masses and honoured, though young, by the elders.

 

11 I shall be reckoned shrewd as a judge, and the great will be amazed at me.

 

12 They will wait on my silences, and pay attention when I speak; if I speak at some length, they will lay their hand on their lips.

 

13 By means of her, immortality will be mine, I shall leave an everlasting memory to my successors.

 

14 I shall govern peoples, and nations will be subject to me;

 

15 at the sound of my name fearsome despots will be afraid; I shall show myself kind to the people and valiant in battle.

 

16 'When I go home I shall take my ease with her, for nothing is bitter in her company, when life is shared with her there is no pain, nothing but pleasure and joy.'

 

17 Having meditated on all this, and having come to the conclusion that immortality resides in kinship with Wisdom,

 

18 noble contentment in her friendship, inexhaustible riches in her activities, understanding in cultivating her society, and renown in conversing with her, I went all ways, seeking how to get her.

 

19 I was a boy of happy disposition, I had received a good soul as my lot,

 

20 or rather, being good, I had entered an undefiled body;

 

21 but, realizing that I could never possess Wisdom unless God gave her to me, -a sign of intelligence in itself, to know in whose gift she lay - I prayed to the Lord and entreated him, and with all my heart I said:

 

King Solomonís Prayer for Wisdom- Extracted from Book of Wisdom, Chapter 9:

 

1 'God of our ancestors, Lord of mercy, who by your word have made the universe,

 

2 and in your wisdom have fitted human beings to rule the creatures that you have made,

 

3 to govern the world in holiness and saving justice and in honesty of soul to dispense fair judgement,

 

4 grant me Wisdom, consort of your throne, and do not reject me from the number of your children.

 

5 For I am your servant, son of your serving maid, a feeble man, with little time to live, with small understanding of justice and the laws.

 

6 Indeed, were anyone perfect among the sons of men, if he lacked the Wisdom that comes from you, he would still count for nothing.

 

7 'You have chosen me to be king over your people, to be judge of your sons and daughters.

 

8 You have bidden me build a temple on your holy mountain, and an altar in the city where you have pitched your tent, a copy of the holy Tent which you prepared at the beginning.

 

9 With you is Wisdom, she who knows your works, she who was present when you made the world; she understands what is pleasing in your eyes and what agrees with your commandments.

 

10 Despatch her from the holy heavens, send her forth from your throne of glory to help me and to toil with me and teach me what is pleasing to you;

 

11 since she knows and understands everything she will guide me prudently in my actions and will protect me with her glory.

 

12 Then all I do will be acceptable, I shall govern your people justly and be worthy of my father's throne.

 

13 'What human being indeed can know the intentions of God? And who can comprehend the will of the Lord?

 

14 For the reasoning of mortals is inadequate, our attitudes of mind unstable;

 

15 for a perishable body presses down the soul, and this tent of clay weighs down the mind with its many cares.

16 It is hard enough for us to work out what is on earth, laborious to know what lies within our reach; who, then, can discover what is in the heavens?

 

17 And who could ever have known your will, had you not given Wisdom and sent your holy Spirit from above?

 

18 Thus have the paths of those on earth been straightened and people have been taught what pleases you, and have been saved, by Wisdom.'

The fullness of Wisdom is to fear the Lord

-Extracted from Ecclesiasticus/ Sirach, Chapter 1:

 

1 All wisdom comes from the Lord, she is with him for ever.

 

2 The sands of the sea, the drops of rain, the days of eternity - who can count them?

 

3 The height of the sky, the breadth of the earth, the depth of the abyss - who can explore them?

 

4 Wisdom was created before everything, prudent understanding subsists from remotest ages.

 

6 For whom has the root of wisdom ever been uncovered? Her resourceful ways, who knows them?

 

8 One only is wise, terrible indeed,

 

9 seated on his throne, the Lord. It was he who created, inspected and weighed her up, and then poured her out on all his works-

 

10 as much to each living creature as he chose - bestowing her on those who love him.

 

11 The fear of the Lord is glory and pride, happiness and a crown of joyfulness.

 

12 The fear of the Lord gladdens the heart, giving happiness, joy and long life.

 

13 For those who fear the Lord, all will end well: on their dying day they will be blessed.

 

14 The basis of wisdom is to fear the Lord; she was created with the faithful in their mothers' womb;

 

15 she has made a home in the human race, an age - old foundation, and to their descendants will she faithfully cling.

 

16 The fullness of wisdom is to fear the Lord; she intoxicates them with her fruits;

 

17 she fills their entire house with treasures and their storerooms with her produce.

 

18 The crown of wisdom is to fear the Lord: she makes peace and health flourish.

 

19 The Lord has seen and assessed her, he has showered down knowledge and intelligence, he has exalted the renown of those who possess her.

 

20 The root of wisdom is to fear the Lord, and her branches are long life.

 

22 The rage of the wicked cannot put him in the right, for the weight of his rage is his downfall.

 

23 A patient person puts up with things until the right time comes: but his joy will break out in the end.

 

24 Till the time comes he keeps his thoughts to himself, and many a lip will affirm how wise he is.

 

25 Wisdom's treasuries contain the maxims of knowledge, the sinner, however, holds piety in abhorrence.

 

26 If you desire wisdom, keep the commandments, and the Lord will bestow it on you.

 

27 For the fear of the Lord is wisdom and instruction, and what pleases him is faithfulness and gentleness.

 

28 Do not stand out against fear of the Lord, do not practise it with a double heart.

 

29 Do not act a part in public, keep watch over your lips.

 

30 Do not grow too high and mighty, for fear you fall and cover yourself in disgrace; for the Lord would then reveal your secrets and overthrow you before the whole community for not having practised fear of the Lord and for having a heart full of deceit.

 

 

28 January 2012

 

 

 

 

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