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Saturday, April 12, 2008

Wisdom 7:7 - 8:1

7: Wherefore I prayed, and understanding was given me: I called upon God, and the spirit of wisdom came to me.

8: I preferred her before sceptres and thrones, and esteemed riches nothing in comparison of her.

9: Neither compared I unto her any precious stone, because all gold in respect of her is as a little sand, and silver shall be counted as clay before her.

10: I loved her above health and beauty, and chose to have her instead of light: for the light that cometh from her never goeth out.

11: All good things together came to me with her, and innumerable riches in her hands.

12: And I rejoiced in them all, because wisdom goeth before them: and I knew not that she was the mother of them.

13: I learned diligently, and do communicate her liberally: I do not hide her riches.

14: For she is a treasure unto men that never faileth: which they that use become the friends of God, being commended for the gifts that come from learning.

15: God hath granted me to speak as I would, and to conceive as is meet for the things that are given me: because it is he that leadeth unto wisdom, and directeth the wise.

16: For in his hand are both we and our words; all wisdom also, and knowledge of workmanship.

17: For he hath given me certain knowledge of the things that are, namely, to know how the world was made, and the operation of the elements:

18: The beginning, ending, and midst of the times: the alterations of the turning of the sun, and the change of seasons:

19: The circuits of years, and the positions of stars:

20: The natures of living creatures, and the furies of wild beasts: the violence of winds, and the reasonings of men: the diversities of plants and the virtues of roots:

21: And all such things as are either secret or manifest, them I know.

22: For wisdom, which is the worker of all things, taught me: for in her is an understanding spirit holy, one only, manifold, subtil, lively, clear, undefiled, plain, not subject to hurt, loving the thing that is good, quick, which cannot be letted, ready to do good,

23: Kind to man, steadfast, sure, free from care, having all power, overseeing all things, and going through all understanding, pure, and most subtil, spirits.

24: For wisdom is more moving than any motion: she passeth and goeth through all things by reason of her pureness.

25: For she is the breath of the power of God, and a pure influence flowing from the glory of the Almighty: therefore can no defiled thing fall into her.

26: For she is the brightness of the everlasting light, the unspotted mirror of the power of God, and the image of his goodness.

27: And being but one, she can do all things: and remaining in herself, she maketh all things new: and in all ages entering into holy souls, she maketh them friends of God, and prophets.

28: For God loveth none but him that dwelleth with wisdom.

29: For she is more beautiful than the sun, and above all the order of stars: being compared with the light, she is found before it.

30: For after this cometh night: but vice shall not prevail against wisdom.

1: Wisdom reacheth from one end to another mightily: and sweetly doth she order all things.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

St Ephrem the Syrian

Lo, I try to gather my thoughts from every corner, but I am unsuccessful, for the things responsible for the passions of my thoughts remain in me. I have not yet been freed from the influence of the evil spirits that will detain me on my upward path toward heaven. I have not yet acknowledged the weight of the multitude of my sins. Those who have plunged me into sin now bear fruit in the flesh of my body.

How long shall I who am wretched continue to become intoxicated in the absence of wine, and neglect my self as if it were alien to me? Like a wicked servant who concocts plots to harm his master, so do I scheme to undermine my own salvation, as if someone else were to suffer the injury my actions produce. I do not want to be vigilant; daily do I offend your great patience. My wickedness stands before mine eyes. Yet you will be patient with me according to your kindness.

Grant me, O Lord, the remedy of conversion, that I might be healed of all the evil that is in me. Grant that I might enter the realm of restraint. Grant that I might spend all the days of my life in contrition of heart. Enlighten the clouded eyes of my mind, that I might rush zealously to embark on the path that leads to your vineyard.

The time of my life has run low, spent in vain cares and shameful thoughts. My life has come upon the eleventh hour. O Lord, steer my ship with its cargo and grant understanding to this powerless merchant, that I might complete my purchase while I still have time. For the hour of departure has arrived -- it already looms before my eyes -- and I took fright exceedingly when I saw my poverty.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

From the Homilies of St Macarius

To all souls that love God, to all true Christians, there shall come a first month of the year, as the month of April, a day of resurrection.