Category: Ecclesiastes

  • Ecclesiastes 8 1-4

    8 Who is like the wise person,
    and who knows the meaning of a word?:

    ‘A person’s wisdom brightens their face,
    and the strength of their face is changed’.

    2I (?) keep the king’s word,
    and on account of the word of oath to God 3don’t be fearful.

    You go out from before him;
    don’t stand against a bad word.
    Because he can do anything that he pleases,
    4in that the king’s word has power,
    And who can say to him, ‘What are you doing?’;

    Eternal Light, shine into our hearts;
    Eternal Goodness, deliver us from evil;
    Eternal Power, be our support;
    Eternal Wisdom, scatter the darkness of our ignorance:
    That we may seek your face
    with all our heart and mind and soul and strength. Amen.


  • Ecclesiastes 7 26-29

    26I myself find more bitter than death
    is the woman who is a great snare,
    whose heart is a great net,
    whose hands are a great chain.
    One who is good-before-God escapes from her,
    but the one who sins is caught by her.
    27Look, this is what I’ve found,
    – Qoholet said-
    adding one thing to another
    to find a conclusion,
    28which my heart sought further
    but did not find.
    I found one human being among a thousand,
    but a woman among these I didn’t find.
    29 Look at this alone,
    I found that God made humanity upright,
    but they have sought many schemes.

    God, give me grace to accept with serenity
    the things that cannot be changed,
    Courage to change the things
    which should be changed,
    and the Wisdom to distinguish
    the one from the other.

    Living one day at a time,
    Enjoying one moment at a time,
    Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace,
    Taking, as Jesus did,
    This sinful world as it is,
    Not as I would have it,
    Trusting that You will make all things right,
    If I surrender to Your will,
    So that I may be reasonably happy in this life,
    And supremely happy with You forever in the next.


  • Ecclesiastes 7 23-25

    23I tested all this with wisdom,
    I said ‘Let me be wise’,
    but it is far from me.
    24What happens is far away
    and deep, deep; who can find it out?
    25I myself turned round my heart
    to know
    and to explore,
    and to seek wisdom and the scheme of things,
    and to know that wickedness is foolishness
    and foolishness is madness.

    ternal Light, shine into our hearts,
    Eternal Goodness, deliver us from evil,
    Eternal Power, be our support,
    Eternal Wisdom, scatter the darkness of our ignorance,
    Eternal Pity, have mercy upon us;
    that with all our heart and mind
    and soul and strength we may seek thy face
    and be brought by thine infinite mercy
    to thy holy presence;
    through Jesus Christ our Lord.

    Alcuin (735-804)

  • Ecclesiastes 7 19-22

    19Wisdom strengthens a wise person
    more than ten rulers who were there in a city.
    20Because there’s no righteous person on earth
    who does good
    and does not do wrong.
    21Also do not give your heart
    to all the things that people say,
    so that you don’t hear your servant cursing you,
    22because your heart also
    knows that many times you too have cursed other people.

    Lord, you have given me so much,
    I ask for one more thing –
    a grateful heart.

    George Herbert

  • Ecclesiastes 7 15-18

    15I’ve seen everything in my mere-breath-life:
    There’s a righteous person who dies in their righteousness
    and there’s a unrighteous person who keeps on going in their unrighteousness.

    16Don’t be greatly righteous
    and don’t be greatly wise: why should you be devastated?
    17Don’t be greatly unrighteous and don’t be a fool:
    why die when it’s not your time?

    18It’s good that you take hold of this one
    but also not let go of your grasp of the other,
    because someone in awe of God will escape with both of them.

    Be thou a bright flame before me,
    Be thou a guiding star above me
    Be thou a smooth path below me
    Be thou a kindly shepherd behind me
    Today – tonight -forever

    St Columba

  • Ecclesiastes 7 8-14

    8The end of something is better than its beginning ,
    patience of spirit is better than the pride of spirit.
    9Don’t be quick in your spirit to be exasperated,
    because anger settles in the bosom of fools.

    10Don’t say, ‘How is it
    that the earlier days were better than these’,
    because it’s not out of wisdom that you ask this.

    11Wisdom is good, like an inheritance,
    and something valuable to people who see the sun.
    12Because as wisdom shades,
    so silver shades.
    But the value of knowledge
    is that wisdom keeps its masters alive.

    13See God’s activity,
    because who is able to straighten what he has twisted?
    14In the day of good, be in the good things,
    and in the day when things are bad, see:
    God made both this one as well as that one,
    with the result that a person cannot find out
    anything (that comes) after them.

    O Love, O God who created me, in your love recreate me.
    O Love, who redeemed me,
    fill up in me whatever part of your love
    has fallen into neglect within me.
    O Love, O God, who first loved me,
    grant that with my whole heart,
    and with my whole soul,
    and with my whole strength,
    I may love you.

    Gertrude the Great

  • Ecclesiastes 7 5-7

    5It is better to listen to the reprimand of a wise person
    than to be listening to the song of fools,
    6because like the sound of thistle twigs under a pot
    is the laughter of fools
    and this too is mere breath.
    7because (surely?) oppression
    can make a mockery out of a wise person,
    and a gift can destroy the heart.

    Teach us, good Lord,
    to serve thee as thou deservest;
    to give and not to count the cost;
    to fight and not to heed the wounds;
    to toil and not to seek for rest;
    to labour and not to ask for any reward,
    save that of knowing that we do thy will,
    through Jesus Christ our Lord.

    St Ignatius

  • Ecclesiastes 7 1-4

    7 A good name is better than good oil,
    so is the day of death than the day of birth.

    2It is better to go to a house of mourning
    than to go to a house of feasting ,

    For it (death) is the end of everyone
    and the living person should take it to their heart.

    3Vexation is better than laughter,
    because in sadness of face there is good for the heart

    4The heart of the wise is in a house of mourning,
    the heart of the fool is in a house of rejoicing.

    Grant, Lord,
    that we may hold to you without parting,
    worship you without wearying,
    serve you without failing;
    faithfully seek you,
    happily find you,
    and forever possess you,
    the only God,blessed now and for ever.

    St Anselm

  • Ecclesiastes 6 10-12

    10What has happened already its name is called
    and what a human person is was known.
    And a person is not able to argue with One who is stronger than them,
    11because the more the words are, the more is mere-breathiness.
    What’s the advantage for a person?
    12Because who knows what is good for a person in life,
    for the number of the days of his breathy life?
    A person spends them, like a shadow,
    so who can tell them
    what will happen under the sun after them?

    Thank you, dear Jesus,
    for all you have given me,
    for all you have taken away from me,
    for all you have left me.

    Thomas More (c.1478-1535)

  • Ecclesiastes 6 7-9

    7All a person’s labour is for their mouth,
    but their appetite /soul doesn’t get full.
    8Because what’s the value for the wise person
    over the fool?
    – and the humble person,
    who knows how to walk in front of the living?
    9The eyes seeing are better
    than the appetite/soul walking
    This too is mere breath, a chasing of wind.

    Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:
    Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
    Where there is injury, pardon;
    Where there is discord, union;
    Where there is doubt, faith;
    Where there is despair, hope;
    Where there is darkness, light;
    Where there is sadness, joy,
    For your mercy and for your truth’s sake. Amen