I have been reading the book of Wisdom. What a beautiful spiritual text. It was written about fifty years before the birth of Jesus. It is in the style of Hebrew verse. Some of the text is written as King Solomon, although the author himself is anonymous. For me it has the power of the writings of Marcus Aurelius and the Stoics to quell the emotional turmoil of dealing with prideful and difficult people.
From Chap 5 8:13
What did our pride avail us?
What have wealth and its boastfulness afforded us?
All of them passed like a shadow
and like a fleeting rumor;
Like a ship traversing the heaving water:
when it has passed, no trace can be found,
no path of its keel in the waves.
Or like a bird flying through the air;
no evidence of its course is to be found--
But the fluid air, lashed by the beating of pinions,
and cleft by the rushing force
Of speeding wings, is traversed;
and afterward no mark of passage can be found in it.
Or as, when an arrow has been shot at a mark,
the parted air straightway flows together again
so that none discerns the way it went--
Even so, once born, we abruptly came to nought
and held no sign of virtue to display,
but were consumed in our wickedness.
These words show that the life steeped in a focus on the world, leads to nothing significant. A life with no impact. Why does virtuos action alone have any significance in the world? It must be true that evil also has an impact on the world, selfishness and folly must impact the world negatively.
But what if this world didn't really exist, or rather was simply here to test one's mettle? The only thing significant here is that one can demonstrate their ability to connect to Wisdom and live according to her guidance.
Chapter 6 12:19 delves into how Wisdom presents herself to those who seek her. It also emphasizes the love of discipline.
12 Resplendent and unfading is Wisdom,
and she is readily perceived by those who love her,
and found by those who seek her.
13 She hastens to make herself known to those who desire her;
14 one who watches for her at dawn will not be disappointed,
for she will be found sitting at the gate.
15 For setting your heart on her is the perfection of prudence,
and whoever keeps vigil for her is quickly free from care;
16 Because she makes her rounds, seeking those worthy of her,
and graciously appears to them on the way,
and goes to meet them with full attention.
17 * For the first step toward Wisdom is an earnest desire for discipline;
18 then, care for discipline is love of her;
love means the keeping of her laws
To observe her laws is the basis for incorruptibility;
19 and incorruptibility makes one close to God;
Wow! What a beautiful truth is presented here. I have always said that discipline brings rewards. Care for discipline is the love of Wisdom. To follow the laws of Wisdom is the basis of incorruptibility. You will always be in integrity with God in following Wisdom (which comes from God). Incorruptibility (Integrity) makes one close to God. These truths are powerful. When I can live in integrity with virtue, I am closer to God. This closeness also gives me Wisdom. They draw together. They represnt a true duality.
The most popular reading in the AA 24 hour a day book is January 6th (the Epiphany) and the meditation that follows this text is all about discipline. Indeed, discipline leads to the path of Wisdom, which leads us directly to the Kingdom of Heaven.
From Twenty-Four Hours a Day © 1975 by Hazelden Foundation
Thought for the Day
Keeping sober is the most important thing in my life. The most important decision I ever made was my decision to give up drinking. I am convinced that my whole life depends on not taking that first drink. Nothing in the world is as important to me as my own sobriety. Everything I have, my whole life, depends on that one thing. Can I afford ever to forget this, even for one minute?
Meditation for the Day
I will discipline myself. I will do this disciplining now. I will turn out all useless thoughts. I know that the goodness of my life is a necessary foundation for its usefulness. I will welcome this training, for without it, God cannot give me His power. I believe that this power is a mighty power when it is used in the right way.
Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may face and accept whatever discipline is necessary. I pray that I may be fit to receive God's power in my life.