From now until Ash Wednesday, we’ll have readings from the book of Sirach. Also called Ecclesiasticus (the Church book), Sirach was used to teach those preparing for baptism or for the newly baptized.
Scripture of the Day: Sirach 1:1–10
All wisdom comes from the LORD
and with him it remains forever, and is before all time
The sand of the seashore, the drops of rain,
the days of eternity: who can number these?
Heaven’s height, earth’s breadth,
the depths of the abyss: who can explore these?
Before all things else wisdom was created;
and prudent understanding, from eternity.
The word of God on high is the fountain of wisdom
and her ways are everlasting.
To whom has wisdom’s root been revealed?
Who knows her subtleties?
To whom has the discipline of wisdom been revealed?
And who has understood the multiplicity of her ways?
There is but one, wise and truly awe-inspiring,
seated upon his throne:
There is but one, Most High
all-powerful creator-king and truly awe-inspiring one,
seated upon his throne and he is the God of dominion.
It is the LORD; he created her through the Holy Spirit,
has seen her and taken note of her.
He has poured her forth upon all his works,
upon every living thing according to his bounty;
he has lavished her upon his friends.
Question of the Day
How are wisdom, counsel, understanding, and knowledge different?
- Wisdom embodies all the other gifts of the Holy Spirit. Wisdom strengthens faith, fortifies hope, and perfects charity; promotes the practice of virtue in the highest degree. Wisdom enlightens the mind to discern and relish things divine. Wisdom is seeing through the eyes of God.
- Knowledge enables us to evaluate created things at their true worth—in their relation to God. Knowledge unmasks the pretenses of creatures, reveals their emptiness, and points out their only true purpose as instruments in the service of God.
- Understanding helps us grasp the meaning of the truths of our holy religion. By faith we know them, by understanding we learn to appreciate and relish them. Penetrate truth and be quickened to newness of life. We begin to walk worth of God in all things pleasing to him.
- Counsel endows the soul with supernatural prudence; enables us to judge rightly what must be done, especially in difficult circumstances. Supernatural common sense.