Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Pay Attention!

Continuing my posts of patristic texts coinciding with this Sunday’s Psalm study.

How can a young man keep his way pure?
    By guarding it according to your word.  (Psalm 119:9)

Let us listen, then, to the master of precaution: “I said, I will pay attention to my ways”; that is, “I said to myself: in the silent biddings of my thoughts, that I should pay attention to my ways.”  Some ways there are that we ought to follow; others as to which we ought to pay attention.  We must follow the ways of the Lord and pay attention to our own ways,  lest they lead us into sin.  One can pay attention if one is not hasty in speaking.  The Law says, “Hear, O Israel, the Lord your God.”  It is not “speak” but “hear.”  Eve fell because she said to the man what she had not heard from the Lord her God.  The first word from God says to you, Hear! If you hear, pay attention to your ways; and if you have fallen, quickly amend your way.  For how does a young person amend his way; except by paying attention to the word of the Lord?  Be silent therefore first of all, and listen, so that you do not fail in your tongue.

Ambrose, Duties of the Clergy 1.2.7

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