Archive for the ‘Proverbs’ Category

4th Week of Great Lent – Thursday. Proverbs 13:21

Thursday, March 26th, 2009

Your time is gonna come!


Evil shall pursue sinners; but good shall overtake the righteous.

(Proverbs  13:21, from the selection Prov 13:19 – 14:6, Vespers, 4th Thursday of Great Lent)


The Proverbs are good to read every day. They are good reminders; they help keep us on track. I suppose that they are read during all weekdays in Great Lent precisely because inculcating their wisdom into our daily life enables us to realize the power of the resurrection, which we are pointing to the entire fast.  The resurrection is powerful, life changing, but it does not affect everyone. Only those who attempt to change will be affected by it. Many of the changes we must make are elucidated in the Proverbs.


This proverb is an excellent word picture of the entire life of the righteous, and by this is meant the sinner who, with God’s grace helping, aspires to love the law of God and follow it, and become righteous. 


There are four pursuits described here. Sinners pursue evil; those who wish to be righteous pursue the following of all the commandments. Evil pursues sinners, and will surely overtake them (read the Psalms and Proverbs especially, you will find dozens of examples), and God pursues the righteous, and surely His good and mercy will ultimately prevail.


The Proverb does not tell us when these things shall happen, but we know – the absolute end of these pursuits is at the end of all things, when the Lord will come to judge the living and the dead.


We are not without consolation until this time; in various ways, we slowly change, and good “overtakes” us. We are commanded to pursue God, but we do this poorly. What a great consolation it is that He is always pursuing us!


Many times in confession I remind someone of the progress they have made – this is very important! We cannot go on very long in any pursuit without consolation.


Perhaps you formerly cursed a great deal, now you do not curse, or do so rarely when overtaken with anger.


Perhaps you formerly had many unclean thoughts and actions and now control yourself much more than in the past.


Perhaps you have finally excised the worm of bitterness that formerly overtook you with the memory of someone who hurt you deeply.


All these things are consolations; they are examples of good overtaking us.


God is with us, even when we do not feel Him. Evil is with sinners, even if they do not feel it.


It is a great consolation to know that are we run the race, and often stumble, and even go in the wrong direction for a time, God is with us, running with us, pursing us. What we see in the world now will not always be. The evil will be punished, the good will be rewarded. Which will we be?



Priest Seraphim Holland 2009.     St Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, McKinney, Texas great-lent-week-04-thursday_2009-03-26+vespers+evil-shall-pursue-sinners-but-good-shall-overtake-the-righteous.html great-lent-week-04-thursday_2009-03-26+vespers+evil-shall-pursue-sinners-but-good-shall-overtake-the-righteous.doc



New commentaries are posted on our BLOG: http://www/


Daily Lenten Meditations on the service texts and scripture readings:


Compendium of materials about Great Lent:


Use this for any edifying reason, but please give credit, and include the URL were the text was found. We would love to hear from you with comments!


“I am building a temple!”

Saturday, January 31st, 2009

The following is taken from the excellent BLOG by Fr Milovan. He sometimes gleans things from other sources, and I often glean things from him!

I am building a temple!

January 29, 2009

H/T: ????????, Archbishop Ignaty’s blog

Three builders were carrying the same exact work.

-What do you do? -each of them was asked.

-I carry stones, said the first one.

-I’m earning a living, responded the second one.

But the third one replied: “I am building a temple”.


My comments.

A Christian should live his life with this sentiment. This “parable” is an excellent mnemonic device which will help us to remember how we should consider EVERYTHING we do (unless it is a sin of course, in that case, we are breaking down a temple!)

When my children were small, in a simpler time, as we sat downstairs on our rug made of bear hair, we would read aloud things from the scriptures, or the Prologue, and talk about what we read. These were very sweet times. There are many days when I ache to go back to them. I believe we were building a temple, or as we sometimes put it, adding gems to our crown, or bricks to our wall.

We told our children that every time they did something good, they were putting another precious stone in their “crown”, or, another brick in the wall of their “mansion” that they would have in heaven. Do you know the scriptures we referred to many times? They are true, and are about the only thing that matters and lasts in this life.

In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. (John 14:2)


Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:  (20)  But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:  (21)  For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. (Mat 6:19-21)

This is no children’s tale calculated to make them behave. It is the pure, unvarnished truth!  How many times, our children would do something good, and we would tell them that they have another diamond in their crown, and they would beam with joy!

What my children did not know when we were sitting on that bear rug was that I was describing for them a summary of my philosophy of life.

Nothing is mundane! Everything we do must be for Christ! Only the things we do for Christ will last.

I confess that much in my life feels mundane; Much of life feels like vast amounts of "space" between short significant moments. This is an illusion, and a very powerful one, because I find myself feeling mundane at various moments through the day. Why is this? It is all because of my attitude. It is because I do not have the wisdom to see things as they really are, because of blindness and stupidity caused by my sinfulness.

Why do I write this self indictment? Because one of the great graces given to a priest in his ordination is to understand human nature and feel his own weakness deeply, and recognize the tragedy of the human condition in himself and those he loves, his flock. We are mundane because we live in a mundane way. So many things we do could be supernatural, if we would think in the right way!

What is mundane in your life?  Perhaps it is doing the dishes that you cannot remember dirtying, taking care of the kids, working at the office, prayers that are said with little feeling and much distraction.

This is an illusion. This parable reminds us about the illusion. In time, with God’s help, we will not need such mnemonic devices to be good – we will be changed and see the truth in every moment, bit in the meantime, as we get better, perhaps you will use this parable to remind yourself that nothing in  your life is mundane – in EVERYTHING, you are building a temple.

Priest Seraphim


Great Lent, the first week, Clean Thursday – In all thy ways acquaint thyself with her – Prov 3:5-6

Thursday, March 13th, 2008

Trust in God with all thine heart; and be not exalted in thine own wisdom. 6. In all thy ways acquaint thyself with her, that she may rightly direct thy paths.”

Prov 3:5-6, Thursday in the First Week At Vespers, Proverbs Prov 3:1-18

Man’s wisdom is nothing; it is foolishness before God. The fear of the lord is the beginning of wisdom, that is, of fulfilling the injunction: “In all thy ways acquaint thyself with (wisdom).”

The Lord Jesus Christ is here called “wisdom”, it is one of His many titles. This is why we are told: “In all thy ways acquaint thyself with her.” Wisdom is not an attribute, but a person; one becomes acquainted with a person.

It is not coincidental that we are told in one breath to “trust in God with all thine heart”, and then with the next, to “be not exalted in thine own wisdom”. Man’s wisdom does not trust the Lord with all its heart, it is “wise in its own conceit”. To trust someone is not just intellectually believing they are reliable; it is also willful submission to the person as a reliable guide and a strong protector. The flesh wants to go its own way; the proverb calls this “being exalted in (its) own wisdom.”

The way of life is not only belief; it is the forcing of oneself to trust in God. The adversary of trust in God is ourselves. We lie to ourselves if we say we trust God while also trusting ourselves.

How are we to trust in the Lord? It is from His revelation to us. No wisdom can come from ourselves, but knowledge grows in us as we cultivate a relationship with wisdom. This is the only way. Trusting God takes effort and involves everything in our life! “In all thy ways acquaint thyself with her, that she may rightly direct thy paths. ”


1Co 1:20 Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?

1Co 1:25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

Psa 25:14 The secret of the LORD is with them that fear him; and he will shew them his covenant.

Pro 1:7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Pro 18:11 The rich man’s wealth is his strong city, and as an high wall in his own conceit.

Pro 26:5 Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit.

Pro 26:12 Seest thou a man wise in his own conceit? there is more hope of a fool than of him.

Pro 26:16 The sluggard is wiser in his own conceit than seven men that can render a reason.

Pro 28:11 The rich man is wise in his own conceit; but the poor that hath understanding searcheth him out.