Keep to the paths of the just (Month of Proverbs)

Dog Looking at and Listening to a Phonograph, ...
“His Master’s Voice”
Image by BL1961 via Flickr
The book of Proverbs may not be asking us to take up new and unusual ascetical practices, promising  us that Wisdom is seeking us out where we live – but the second chapter makes it clear that we have an active role nonetheless.  Every part of our spiritual anatomy is called to orient itself to the voice of Wisdom, and not to any other:
receive my words …
turn your ear to wisdom …
incline your heart to understanding …
walk honestly …
walk in the way of the good …
keep to the paths of the just …

This is not easy listening, because we will also encounter those who leave the path, forget the pact with God, whose ways are crooked.

I recently drove to St. Cloud, Minnesota, leaving well before dawn on a foggy morning.  I encountered two detours along the way, one of them onto country roads off the main highway.  The way was well-marked with small orange signs – but I almost missed a turn because I was enjoying my conversation with my traveling companion.  We would have been lost among the fields of central Minnesota, with no idea of how to find out way back to the main highway.   I had to re-orient my attention so that, no matter how interesting the conversation, my eyes were constantly scanning the roadside to see and follow the next little orange sign.

Solomon promises us that God is the shield of those who walk honestly, guarding the path of justice. But his language lets us know that God is marking the way, not driving the car. Wisdom is a way of living, moment by moment, watching and listening for the counsel, the knowledge, the insight that tell us which way to turn.

The Lord gives wisdom, from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.
The upright will dwell in the land, the honest will remain in it.

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About Sister Edith

Benedictine sister of St. Scholastica Monastery in Duluth, Minnesota, serving in vocation and oblate ministry. Also a social scientist, reader, lover of nature and travel, and dabbler in many things. +UIOGD
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