Lectio Divina Reading
January 10, 2004
Solomon prepares to ask for Wisdom
Chapter 8 vs 17-2
Having meditated on all this, and having come to the conclusion that immortality resides in kinship with Wisdom*, 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. I was a boy of happy disposition, I had received a good soul as my lot, or rather, being good, I had entered an undefiled body 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 she entreated him, and with all my heart I said:
* Kinship or relationship conferred by grace. The resulting immortality is first of all one of memory, but also certainly personal immortality since Wisdom is to communicate what she herself possesses by nature.
Solomon’s prayer for Wisdom
Chapter 9 vs 1-6
‘God of our ancestors, Lord of mercy, who by your word have made the universe, and in your wisdom have fitted human beings to rule the creatures that you have made, to govern the world in holiness and saving justice grant me Wisdom, consort of your throne, and do not reject me from the number of your children. 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. Indeed, were anyone perfect among the sons of men, if he lacked the Wisdom that comes from you, he would still cont for nothing.
‘You have chosen me to be king over your people, to be judge of your sons and daughters. 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. With you is Wisdom, she who know 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. Dispatch 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; since she knows and understands everything she will guide me prudently in my actions and will protect me with her glory. Then all I do will be acceptable, I shall govern your people justly and be worthy of my father’s throne.
Footnotes: 1K 3:6-9 and 2 Ch 1:8-10, Gn 32:10; 2 Ch 1K 3:6; 1 Ch 28:9; 2 Ch 1:9; 20-6.
"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of Wisdom."
There are two reasons why humankind are right in fearing the Lord. First, because he is all-knowing, and so no guilt can be hidden from him, not only of transgression, but also of omission: "Everything lies bare and open to his eyes." Second, because he is the all-just, and so nothing goes unpunished by him:" Do not fear those who kill the body; rater fear him who is able to fling both body and soul into hell!" True fear, then, is the fear of losing God.
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