I thank the LORD and I praise him;
I bless the name of the LORD.
When I was young and innocent,
I sought wisdom openly in my prayer
I prayed for her before the temple,
and I will seek her until the end,
and she flourished as a grape soon ripe.
My heart delighted in her,
My feet kept to the level path
because from earliest youth I was familiar with her.
In the short time I paid heed,
I met with great instruction.
Since in this way I have profited,
I will give my teacher grateful praise.
I became resolutely devoted to her—
the good I persistently strove for.
My soul was tormented in seeking her,
My hand opened her gate
and I came to know her secrets.
I directed my soul to her,
and in cleanness I attained to her.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
We turn the calendar and begin the month of June — so often a time for family events, days of vacation, and other summer activities. Here in the north longer days and the beauty of summer flowers brighten our spirits. Today’s first reading from the Book of Sirach speaks about the wisdom of human experience that unfolds throughout the times and seasons of our lives. Of this deeper spiritual wisdom, the author writes: “My hand opened her gate and I came to know her secrets…I gained understanding such that I will never forsake her.”
Today is the feast of St. Justin, one of the Church’s early martyrs. This second-century saint became a disciple of philosophy, teaching the ideas of Aristotle and Plato. After witnessing the courage of the early martyrs he wrote that Christianity is “the only safe and worthy philosophy.” He taught Christian thought up until his own death as a martyr.
As June begins, you and I might ponder what engages our minds and draws our hearts. What am I passionate about in my relationship with the Lord? In my care for my family? What draws my heart today as I prepare to receive the Body and Blood of Jesus at tomorrow’s great feast?
“Being with Jesus demands that we go out from ourselves, and from living a tired and habitual faith.” (Pope Francis on March 27, 2013)
—The Jesuit Prayer Team
Grant me, O Lord, to see everything now with new eyes, to discern and test the spirits that help me read the signs of the times, to relish the things that are yours and to communicate them to others. Give me the clarity of understanding that you gave St. Ignatius.
—Fr. Pedro Arrupe SJ