Daily Devotional for July 10-16
*Readings from the Old Testament ‘Wisdom of Solomon’
WOS 6: Hear therefore, O ye kings, and understand; learn, ye that be judges of the ends of the earth.
2Give ear, ye that rule the people, and glory in the multitude of nations.
3For power is given you of the Lord, and sovereignty from the Highest, who shall try your works, and search out your counsels.
4Because, being ministers of his kingdom, ye have not judged aright, nor kept the law, nor walked after the counsel of God;
5Horribly and speedily shall he come upon you: for a sharp judgment shall be to them that be in high places.
6For mercy will soon pardon the meanest: but mighty men shall be mightily tormented.
7For he which is Lord over all shall fear no man’s person, neither shall he stand in awe of any man’s greatness: for he hath made the small and great, and careth for all alike.
8But a sore trial shall come upon the mighty.
9Unto you therefore, O kings, do I speak, that ye may learn wisdom, and not fall away.
10For they that keep holiness holily shall be judged holy: and they that have learned such things shall find what to answer.
11Wherefore set your affection upon my words; desire them, and ye shall be instructed.
Prayer: O Gentle Light of the holy glory of the immortal, heavenly, holy, blessed Father, O Jesus Christ: Having come to the setting of the sun, having beheld the evening light, we praise the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit: God. Meet it is for Thee at all times to be hymned with reverent voices, O Son of God, Giver of life. Wherefore, the world doth glorify Thee.
*Eastern Vesper Hymn
12Wisdom is glorious, and never fadeth away: yea, she is easily seen of them that love her, and found of such as seek her.
13She preventeth them that desire her, in making herself first known unto them.
14Whoso seeketh her early shall have no great travail: for he shall find her sitting at his doors.
15To think therefore upon her is perfection of wisdom: and whoso watcheth for her shall quickly be without care.
16For she goeth about seeking such as are worthy of her, sheweth herself favourably unto them in the ways, and meeteth them in every thought.
17For the very true beginning of her is the desire of discipline; and the care of discipline is love;
18And love is the keeping of her laws; and the giving heed unto her laws is the assurance of incorruption;
19And incorruption maketh us near unto God:
20Therefore the desire of wisdom bringeth to a kingdom.
21If your delight be then in thrones and sceptres, O ye kings of the people, honour wisdom, that ye may reign for evermore.
22As for wisdom, what she is, and how she came up, I will tell you, and will not hide mysteries from you: but will seek her out from the beginning of her nativity, and bring the knowledge of her into light, and will not pass over the truth.
23Neither will I go with consuming envy; for such a man shall have no fellowship with wisdom.
24But the multitude of the wise is the welfare of the world: and a wise king is the upholding of the people.
25Receive therefore instruction through my words, and it shall do you good.
Prayer: Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle, be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray; and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God thrust into hell Satan and all the evil spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.
WOS 7: I myself also am a mortal man, like to all, and the offspring of him that was first made of the earth,
2And in my mother’s womb was fashioned to be flesh in the time of ten months, being compacted in blood, of the seed of man, and the pleasure that came with sleep.
3And when I was born, I drew in the common air, and fell upon the earth, which is of like nature, and the first voice which I uttered was crying, as all others do.
4I was nursed in swaddling clothes, and that with cares.
5For there is no king that had any other beginning of birth.
6For all men have one entrance into life, and the like going out.
7Wherefore I prayed, and understanding was given me: I called upon God, and the spirit of wisdom came to me.
8I preferred her before sceptres and thrones, and esteemed riches nothing in comparison of her.
9Neither compared I unto her any precious stone, because all gold in respect of her is as a little sand, and silver shall be counted as clay before her.
10I loved her above health and beauty, and chose to have her instead of light: for the light that cometh from her never goeth out.
11All good things together came to me with her, and innumerable riches in her hands.
12And I rejoiced in them all, because wisdom goeth before them: and I knew not that she was the mother of them.
13I learned diligently, and do communicate her liberally: I do not hide her riches.
14For she is a treasure unto men that never faileth: which they that use become the friends of God, being commended for the gifts that come from learning.
15God hath granted me to speak as I would, and to conceive as is meet for the things that are given me: because it is he that leadeth unto wisdom, and directeth the wise.
16For in his hand are both we and our words; all wisdom also, and knowledge of workmanship.
Prayer: Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world: have mercy upon us. Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world: have mercy upon us. Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, grant us peace.
17For he hath given me certain knowledge of the things that are, namely, to know how the world was made, and the operation of the elements:
18The beginning, ending, and midst of the times: the alterations of the turning of the sun, and the change of seasons:
19The circuits of years, and the positions of stars:
20The natures of living creatures, and the furies of wild beasts: the violence of winds, and the reasonings of men: the diversities of plants and the virtues of roots:
21And all such things as are either secret or manifest, them I know.
22For wisdom, which is the worker of all things, taught me: for in her is an understanding spirit holy, one only, manifold, subtil, lively, clear, undefiled, plain, not subject to hurt, loving the thing that is good quick, which cannot be letted, ready to do good,
23Kind to man, steadfast, sure, free from care, having all power, overseeing all things, and going through all understanding, pure, and most subtil, spirits.
24For wisdom is more moving than any motion: she passeth and goeth through all things by reason of her pureness.
25For she is the breath of the power of God, and a pure influence flowing from the glory of the Almighty: therefore can no defiled thing fall into her.
26For she is the brightness of the everlasting light, the unspotted mirror of the power of God, and the image of his goodness.
27And being but one, she can do all things: and remaining in herself, she maketh all things new: and in all ages entering into holy souls, she maketh them friends of God, and prophets.
28For God loveth none but him that dwelleth with wisdom.
29For she is more beautiful than the sun, and above all the order of stars: being compared with the light, she is found before it.
30For after this cometh night: but vice shall not prevail against wisdom.
Prayer: O Lord, save Thy people and bless Thine inheritance. Grant victory over their enemies to Orthodox Christians, and protect Thy people with Thy Cross.
WOS 8: Wisdom reacheth from one end to another mightily: and sweetly doth she order all things.
2I loved her, and sought her out from my youth, I desired to make her my spouse, and I was a lover of her beauty.
3In that she is conversant with God, she magnifieth her nobility: yea, the Lord of all things himself loved her.
4For she is privy to the mysteries of the knowledge of God, and a lover of his works.
5If riches be a possession to be desired in this life; what is richer than wisdom, that worketh all things?
6And if prudence work; who of all that are is a more cunning workman than she?
7And if a man love righteousness her labours are virtues: for she teacheth temperance and prudence, justice and fortitude: which are such things, as en can have nothing more profitable in their life.
8If a man desire much experience, she knoweth things of old, and conjectureth aright what is to come: she knoweth the subtilties of speeches, and can expound dark sentences: she foreseeth signs and wonders, and the events of seasons and times.
9Therefore I purposed to take her to me to live with me, knowing that she would be a counsellor of good things, and a comfort in cares and grief.
Prayer: O my God relying on Thy infinite goodness and promises, I hope to obtain pardon of my sins, the help of Thy grace, and life everlasting, through the merits of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Redeemer.
*Act of Hope
10For her sake I shall have estimation among the multitude, and honour with the elders, though I be young.
11I shall be found of a quick conceit in judgment, and shall be admired in the sight of great men.
12When I hold my tongue, they shall bide my leisure, and when I speak, they shall give good ear unto me: if I talk much, they shall lay their hands upon their mouth.
13Moreover by the means of her I shall obtain immortality, and leave behind me an everlasting memorial to them that come after me.
14I shall set the people in order, and the nations shall be subject unto me.
15Horrible tyrants shall be afraid, when they do but hear of me; I shall be found good among the multitude, and valiant in war.
16After I am come into mine house, I will repose myself with her: for her conversation hath no bitterness; and to live with her hath no sorrow, but mirth and joy.
17Now when I considered these things in myself, and pondered them in my heart, how that to be allied unto wisdom is immortality;
18And great pleasure it is to have her friendship; and in the works of her hands are infinite riches; and in the exercise of conference with her, prudence; and in talking with her, a good report; I went about seeking how to take her to me.
19For I was a witty child, and had a good spirit.
20Yea rather, being good, I came into a body undefiled.
21Nevertheless, when I perceived that I could not otherwise obtain her, except God gave her me; and that was a point of wisdom also to know whose gift she was; I prayed unto the Lord, and besought him, and with my whole heart I said,
Prayer: O my God I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee, and I detest all my sins, because I dread the loss of heaven and the pains of hell, but most of all because they offend Thee, my God, who art all-good and worthy of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of Thy grace, to confess my sins, to do penance, and to amend my life.
*Act of Contrition
WOS 9:O God of my fathers, and Lord of mercy, who hast made all things with thy word,
2And ordained man through thy wisdom, that he should have dominion over the creatures which thou hast made,
3And order the world according to equity and righteousness, and execute judgment with an upright heart:
4Give me wisdom, that sitteth by thy throne; and reject me not from among thy children:
5For I thy servant and son of thine handmaid am a feeble person, and of a short time, and too young for the understanding of judgment and laws.
6For though a man be never so perfect among the children of men, yet if thy wisdom be not with him, he shall be nothing regarded.
7Thou hast chosen me to be a king of thy people, and a judge of thy sons and daughters:
8Thou hast commanded me to build a temple upon thy holy mount, and an altar in the city wherein thou dwellest, a resemblance of the holy tabernacle, which thou hast prepared from the beginning.
9And wisdom was with thee: which knoweth thy works, and was present when thou madest the world, and knew what was acceptable in thy sight, and right in thy commandments.
10O send her out of thy holy heavens, and from the throne of thy glory, that being present she may labour with me, that I may know what is pleasing unto thee.
11For she knoweth and understandeth all things, and she shall lead me soberly in my doings, and preserve me in her power.
12So shall my works be acceptable, and then shall I judge thy people righteously, and be worthy to sit in my father’s seat.
13For what man is he that can know the counsel of God? or who can think what the will of the Lord is?
14For the thoughts of mortal men are miserable, and our devices are but uncertain.
15For the corruptible body presseth down the soul, and the earthy tabernacle weigheth down the mind that museth upon many things.
16And hardly do we guess aright at things that are upon earth, and with labour do we find the things that are before us: but the things that are in heaven who hath searched out?
17And thy counsel who hath known, except thou give wisdom, and send thy Holy Spirit from above?
18For so the ways of them which lived on the earth were reformed, and men were taught the things that are pleasing unto thee, and were saved through wisdom.
Prayer: O my God I love Thee above all things, with my whole heart and soul, because Thou art all-good and worthy of all love. I love my neighbor as myself for the love of Thee. I forgive all who have injured me, and ask pardon of all whom I have injured. (Act of Charity)