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“A Japanese proverb says that “Without wisdom, knowledge is just a pile of books on the hind end of a donkey.” In the same vein, can we say that a learned person is not necessarily a wise person? What makes the difference? Can one be wise without reference to the will and ways of the Creator and Ruler of the world?” (Fr. Basil)

“In the Bible, the term “fool” does not indicate mental incompetence, but moral and spiritual insensitivity….A foolish or senseless person is not someone with limited intelligence, but rather a person who is spiritually obtuse—someone who ignores God and refuses to accept responsibility….‘Fearing the Lord is the beginning of discernment, but fools have despised wisdom and moral instruction’ (Proverbs 1:7). The [Behrew] term אֱוִיל (ʾevil, “fool”) refers to a person characterized by moral folly…Fools lack understanding…do not store up knowledge,…fail to attain wisdom,…and refuse correction...They are arrogant, talk loosely…and are contentious…They might have mental intelligence but they are morally foolish.” (Foundation Study Bible, Psalms 53:1, Psalms 92:6, NET Bible, Proverbs 1:7)

“Quite often, we hurry to obtain those things that are easiest. Reading books, surfing the net, stringing together quotes, and such, are child’s play. There is no true labor involved. Many people imagine that an interlinear Bible allows them to read Greek. We have many similar tricks that fool us into thinking that we know what we do not know. As often as not, these activities are weaponized in the on-going arguments of modernity. Only the knowledge of God matters. The knowledge of God cannot be acquired apart from love. Everything within the heart that stands against His love is a wall that creates ignorance. The “silence” of love fills every word of Jesus, and it is their life. It is the song of all creation, the Wisdom that has made them all.” (Father Stephen Freeman)

“According to Saint John Chrysostom, no one can be saved without giving alms and without caring for the poor. Saint Basil the Great says that a man who has two coats or two pair of shoes, when his neighbor has none, is a thief. All earthly things are the possessions of God. “The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell in it” (Ps 24.1). Men are but stewards of what belongs to the Lord and should share the gifts of His creation with one another as much as they can. To store up earthly possessions, according to Christ, is the epitome of foolishness, and a rich man shall hardly be saved (cf. Lk 12.15–21).” (Fr. Thomas Hopko)

“Look at how the world views success. For many people, success is related to money and possessions. When you have much money and become rich, you are a success...But the mistake with this view of success is that it is totally centered on one's self, on what we do for ourselves, how we improve our life. Life is not seen from a communal perspective, where we are interested in the needs of our brother, but from an individualistic, self-centered perspective where our ego becomes the center of the world. This was the sin of the rich man [The Parable of the Rich Fool]. This is why he is a "fool" in the eyes of God. His focus is on what he has, on how his possessions will bring him comfort, on how he can enjoy his life. He has forgotten that life isn't about what we do for ourselves, but how we serve others.” (Fr. Luke A. Veronis)


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