Get Divine Wisdom: At Any Price

Originally appeared at: Orthodox Reflections

There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death (Proverbs 14:12 KJV).

In the beginning of the pandemic, some things just seemed to be the right way to go. In the end, it was catastrophic for those following the error. Now we witness the melee as a train-wreck in slow motion that will continue for generations, as the thief will steal good people’s health, acquired wealth, and unrealized contributions to the Faith. Only a few could truly sort the issues that eventually became manifest.  Now we know, but in the beginning, it wasn’t so obvious.

Modern times are perilous times, with each day revealing new evils beyond anything Man has known; our technology is killing us on many levels. Without wisdom, no one will escape evil’s intent on fully annihilating the Image of God. Keep in mind: all fallen angels are engaged in getting back at God –which in no way can they do otherwise—by their full-fledged attack on Man. Their hatred for God is beyond measure and beyond comprehension. All those who cooperated in any way are carrying Satan’s grudge against God and enabling their own destruction and the destruction of others of immature faith.

For this sudden advancement of evil, the human race—especially those in modernized cultures—have been fully sedated. Like a comatose patient on the operating table, all vestiges of Man—all things that make Man what he is—are being removed without so much as a whimper. Everything is being flipped upside down; all things of Man are under assault, even things so basic as the distinction between male and female.

As we speak, foolish Orthodox parents are putting the future of their children at risk by having them vaccinated, putting them in public schools, and not guarding their supple, fertile, and inquisitive young minds. In my estimation, the average life expectancy of the current youth generation might not reach 50. Many will leave the Faith in apostasy. But this is all needless, useless, and a failure to adequately protect our most sacred trust before God—the next generation.

No longer can we blame our hierarchs; it’s time to grow up, take the preservation of our welfare from those who would—due to incompetence —abuse it. Navigating these new hazards will take more than heeding the classical dispensers of wisdom. Each person must hear God on their own, become illumined in their being, and acquire Wisdom at any cost.

Our forbearers—the saints named and unnamed—heard God’s voice, saw visions, had dreams from God, and even appearances of the saints. If our experience in life is void of these things, we will disappoint them. If we stand on their shoulders, then our attainment to spiritual heights should be all the easier. Now is the time to join them in the quest for God, to hear His voice, and to obtain wisdom suitable for our day and time. The question is: are we up to the challenge?

According to St Paul, “In all these things [adversity] we are more than conquerors” [1] The Church will always exist, but not as it appears right now; things will—and must—change. What is true will endure, what is not will fade away; the shakable things are now shaking. However, God’s people were not slated for judgement; to them God will reveal His salvation.

Meditations

Commune With Wisdom !!

In the Byzantine paradigm, Wisdom was a person created before everything else[2] as seen in multiple icons. [3] So enthralled by her, they named the most impressive building ever built after her: the Hagia Sophia. Modern architects and engineers still marvel at the wonders of her composition.

Take time to assimilate the icon: she is given honor by Christ, the Holy Mother of God, and St John; with wings, she is angelic; seated, she is at rest; the world is under her feet; the rod of authority is in her hand (like archangels); and notice the 7 pillars. Above, the angels marvel to each other at her beauty, majesty, and glory.

What is the true meaning of beauty? Of course, it is symmetry and balance, it is perfection in integration of everything, and its Wisdom in all her glory.

Throughout Scripture, Wisdom is constantly cast in the feminine,[4] meaning she sits before us as a counselor and not a governor. [5] In modesty, she will never force any issue. In Proverbs, she is juxtaposed to the harlot—more broadly the “base woman”— who destroys men leading them down into Hades and Death[6] and the woman who destroys her own home.[7]

In the English language, “wisdom” is a contraction of two words—wise dominion. Thinking of it this way, it’s obvious when we see it, and obvious when we don’t.

During the pandemic, she was there, “Wisdom sings in the streets; She moves boldly in the squares. She preaches on the city walls and sits at the gates of lords…” (Proverbs 2:20,1). While she was there all the time, few consulted her. How bereft of wisdom we were and still are.

Becomes Wisdom’s Child

Wisdom exalts her children and lays hold of these who seek her. Whoever loves her loves life, and those who come to her early in the morning will be fill with gladness. He who holds to her will inherit glory and the Lord blesses every place she enters. Those who serve her will will minister to the Holy One, and the Lord loves those who love her. He who obeys her will judge the nation; he that gives heed to her will live with confidence. If he trusts in her, he will inherit her, and his posterity will be in possession of her (Wisdom of Sirach 4: 11-6).

Gaining wisdom is not passive or automatic. Note the action verbs: seek, loves, come, hold fast, serve, obeys, gives heed, trusts.[8]

Wisdom is a woman you can trust. Many voices around us are simply harlots, peddling things that will take us into hell, both physically and spiritually. Only by guarding the heart, bringing our thoughts under the tutelage of mother Wisdom, she will bring forth many good things, many blessings, and guide us to safety every time.

Naming the Hagia Sophia after her, indicates she inhabits the Church. Yet, obviously, some places she has abandoned. Arguably, those places where she no longer has voice could be labeled as not the Church—in the truest sense. At the very least, these places are diseased and should be quarantined until amendment takes place. 

Practicum

Ye Have Not Because Ye Ask Not

But if any of you lacketh wisdom, let him ask of God, who giveth to all liberally and unbraideth not; and it shall be given him. (James 1:5 ASV[9])

The starting point of any endeavor is to first ask God for what you want to do or pursue. To just pursue, is to pursue blindly with hit-or-miss results. If you ask—in honest desire—you will be surprised how quickly God answers. In the promise, there is the surety you will receive liberally.

First step: just ask.

Amplify the Inner Desire

Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterfalls: All thy waves billow over me (Psalms 42: 7 ASV).

When we have asked, then a faint desire will rise up in the inner man—this is Wisdom knocking at the door. Something in you (deep) is being called unto by another Deep—even wisdom.

Focusing on this craving, magnify it until it becomes a profound yearning. As nature cannot tolerate a vacuum, creating an intense inner vacuum for God and Wisdom will bring a filling, a breaking forth –“waves”—, often overwhelming.

Desire is the key to all things; cultivate the right desires. In life, we desire many things—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life[10]—, but when that mechanism of desire is recalibrated to its original locus—focused God-ward—, spiritual growth accelerates copiously. In this we become fully satisfied regarding earthly things—thankful for everything no matter our estate—and impoverished in spiritual things. Contentment with godliness is great gain.

Constant Desire: Constant Wisdom

There is an old saying:

“As long as you are green you will grow, when you are ripe, you will rot.”

One who seeks—and lives by—wisdom never ceases to search out things and never ceases to be a learner. Once one becomes overly confident in what he knows, wisdom leaves, leaving a man to make stupid decisions. If one thinks he has acquired anything, she flies away like a bird.

Wisdom can only be held on to by always being “poor in spirit”; to constantly be aware of one’s spiritual poverty; to always be lacking and ever seeking for more. Many a man has met with disgrace by becoming knowledgeable in a few things. Pride brings him down. These experiences are quite humbling, speaking from experience. When humbled this way, we must drink our medicine embracing the pain of humiliation. Only then will Wisdom return and with new graces as we have learned a lesson by discipline.

In my decisions in life, if this desire keeps welling up within me, I know I am on the right track. The wellspring of love is still flowing. When she—Wisdom—stops knocking at the door of my heart, I start check to see where I am missing God. Where was the point of my departure? I start praying, “Oh, God, what am I missing here?” Often, it is simply a lack of prayer: time to fast, get alone with God, take a pray-cation, be refreshed, and become recalibrated by Wisdom.

To be continued….


[1] Romans 8:37

[2] Wisdom of Sirach 1:4

[3] https://www.oca.org/saints/lives/2000/09/08/108957-icon-of-sophia-the-wi...

[4] Without the meaning of gender, we could never comprehend these imageries.

[5] Husbands and Fathers are governors. Without the meaning of gender, we could never comprehend these imageries.

[6] Proverbs 5: 4. Make no mistake; the modern “base woman” is porn. Going into her, will take you through hell; you cannot touch her without being burned.

[7] 14:1

[8] Quote from the OSB notes, p. 921

[9] American Standard Version 1901

[10]  1 John 2:17




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