Sophia/Wisdom week 4

She will give . . . the bread of understanding to eat and the water of wisdom to drink. 
Ecclesiasticus 15:3

Reading and Reflecting

Read chapter 3 of The Star in My Heart – “The Enchanted Forest.”

Joyce Rupp tells us that she once saw “growing up” as reaching the adult stage where we would know just what to do and would be who we were supposed to be. It would be a time when we have all the right answers to life’s problem. At some point she realized that she was always “growing up” and that it meant gathering around us a number of understandings or beliefs about life. And Rupp describes storing up these beliefs in her heart — like some sort of enchanted forest.

  • What images speak to you about where you store your beliefs that see you through life?
  • What are some of your stored beliefs? What messages do you pull out when you need to address life circumstances? 

Rupp discusses that one of the “biggest growing up experiences” has been that of disenchantment: Going to her enchanted forest of beliefs and discovering that what gave her comfort or a sense of direction no longer worked.

  • When have you experienced that shattering of a core belief?
  • Where do you find wisdom during this time of disenchantment?

Rupp talks about how our expectations often get in the way of growth. 

  • When have your experienced your growth being stunted because of your expectations?
  • Reflect on the expectations you place on others. Are they interfering with you seeing life in a positive light?

King Solomon: A study in how our temptations can lead us to self betrayal

Courtesy of Dr. Marily McEntyre — Forest Dwelling 2022

— Solomon was given “wisdom and understanding beyond measure, and breadth of mind like the sand on the seashore.” He “Ruled over all the kingdoms from the Euphrates to the land of the Philistines to the border of Egypt.” People of all nations came to hear him.  He built a temple unsurpassed in beauty and had fleets of ships. But in old age he turned away from God.

— This is a story of a man of great worldly success and spirituality who betrayed his own best wisdom in old age.  How is this story, for any of us, a call to sustained and deepening self-knowledge, continuing growth in faith and humility, especially in the wake of success? 

Read the linked article about King Solomon and consider: What temptations to self-betrayal are particularly strong as we age?

link to The Fall of King Solomon.

Scripture for this week

Resting in Wisdom

Resting your heart on Her-
This is perfect understanding.
Staying mindful of Her-
This is perfect calm.
She embraces those who are ready for Her,
Revealing Herself in the midst of Her travels,
Meeting them in every thought. 

                        The Wisdom of Solomon 6:15-16

Practice this week:

Draw, paint, or create a collage of your enchanted forest. What does the forest feel like when you enter it full of disenchantment?

Notes from the Enchanted Forest

Tidbits from our conversation on Zoom June 2.

closing Poem


David Wagoner 

Stand still. 
The trees ahead and bushes beside you 
Are not lost. Wherever you are is called Here, 
And you must treat it as a powerful stranger, 
Must ask permission to know it and be known. 
The forest breathes. Listen. It answers, 
I have made this place around you. 
If you leave it, you may come back again, saying Here. 
No two trees are the same to Raven. 
No two branches are the same to Wren. 
If what a tree or a bush does is lost on you, 
You are surely lost. Stand still. The forest knows 
Where you are. You must let it find you.