Scripture Chapters for August and September:
Please read Proverbs Chapter 22 and Chapter 23
After reading the chapters please look at the following passages for study and reflection.
“He who loves purity of heart, and whose speech is gracious, will have the king as his friend.” Proverbs 22: 11
1. What is “purity of heart”? Look at Matt 5:8.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church reference no. 2518 says:
“Pure in heart” refers to those who have attuned their intellects and wills to the demands of God’s holiness, chiefly in three areas: charity, chastity or sexual rectitude, love of truth and orthodoxy of faith.”
The pure in heart are single-minded in their devotion to God. They are not divided or conflicted in their allegiance to God, trying to please both God and human beings. They have only one goal and purpose-to please God, and so their heart is pure because of its undivided allegiance to God. (See Psalm 24: 3-4).
2. How does purity of heart benefit relationships with others as well as with
“The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender
- Proverbs 22: 7
This proverb warns against incurring debt irresponsibly and unnecessarily.
In biblical times, one could literally become a slave to his creditor until the debt was paid off.
1. Have you ever taken out a loan unnecessarily?
2. What do you think this says about those who default on loans or those who foreclose on their mortgage?
Proverbs Chapter 23
“When you sit down to eat with a ruler, observe carefully what is before you, and put a knife to your throat if you are a man given to appetite.”
- Proverbs 23: 1-2
1. What do you think this proverb is saying about someone who has a tendency to overeat?
2. How does the virtue of temperance come into play here? For both of these questions, read Sirach 31: 12-21.
“Let not your heart envy sinners, but continue in the fear of the Lord all the day.”
- Proverbs 23: 17
Please read the following Catechism of the Catholic Church reference nos. 2538 - 2540. Then answer the questions that follow.
CCC 2538: The tenth commandment requires that envy be banished from the human heart. When the prophet Nathan wanted to spur King David to repentance, he told him the story about the poor man who had only one ewe lamb that he treated like his own daughter and the rich man who, despite the great number of his flocks, envied the poor man and ended by stealing his lamb (Read 1 Kings 21: 1-29). Envy can lead to the worst crimes. “Through the devil’s envy death entered the world.” (Wisdom 2: 24)
“We fight one another, and envy arms us against one another. . . . If everyone strives to unsettle the Body of Christ, where shall we end up? We are engaged in making Christ’s Body a corpse . . . . We declare ourselves members of one and the same organism, yet devour one another like beasts.”
- St. John Chrysostom
CCC 2539: Envy is a capital sin. It refers to the sadness at the sight of another’s goods and the immoderate desire to acquire them for oneself. Even unjustly, when it wishes grave harm to a neighbor it is a mortal sin.
“St. Augustine saw envy as “the diabolical sin.” From envy are born hatred, detraction, calumny, joy caused by the misfortune of a neighbor, and displeasure caused by his prosperity.” - St. Gregory the Great
CCC 2540: Envy represents a form of sadness and therefore a refusal of charity; the baptized person should struggle against it by exercising goodwill. Envy often comes from pride; the baptized person should train himself to live in humility.
“Would you like to see God glorified by you? Then rejoice in your brother’s progress and you will immediately give glory to God. Because his servant could conquer envy by rejoicing in the merits of others, God will be praised.”
- St. John Chrysostom
1. In ways do you envy the good fortune of others?
2. Of all the capital sins, why is envy singled out as “diabolical” (CCC 2539)?
3. How can one struggle against it?