Lent with the Book of Job (Ch 29)
March 22, 2023
Fr. John Colacino C.PP.S.


Chapter 29 (Wednesday of the Fourth Week of Lent)

Job again took up his discourse and said: 
‘O that I were as in the months of old,
   as in the days when God watched over me; 
when his lamp shone over my head,
   and by his light I walked through darkness; 
when I was in my prime,
   when the friendship of God was upon my tent; 
when the Almighty was still with me,
   when my children were around me; 
when my steps were washed with milk,
   and the rock poured out for me streams of oil! 
When I went out to the gate of the city,
   when I took my seat in the square, 
the young men saw me and withdrew,
   and the aged rose up and stood; 
the nobles refrained from talking,
   and laid their hands on their mouths; 
the voices of princes were hushed,
   and their tongues stuck to the roof of their mouths. 
When the ear heard, it commended me,
   and when the eye saw, it approved; 
because I delivered the poor who cried,
   and the orphan who had no helper. 
The blessing of the wretched came upon me,
   and I caused the widow’s heart to sing for joy. 
I put on righteousness, and it clothed me;
   my justice was like a robe and a turban. 
I was eyes to the blind,
   and feet to the lame. 
I was a father to the needy,
   and I championed the cause of the stranger. 
I broke the fangs of the unrighteous,
   and made them drop their prey from their teeth. 
Then I thought, “I shall die in my nest,
   and I shall multiply my days like the phoenix; 
my roots spread out to the waters,
   with the dew all night on my branches; 
my glory was fresh with me,
   and my bow ever new in my hand.” 

‘They listened to me, and waited,
   and kept silence for my counsel. 
After I spoke they did not speak again,
   and my word dropped upon them like dew. 
They waited for me as for the rain;
   they opened their mouths as for the spring rain. 
I smiled on them when they had no confidence;
   and the light of my countenance they did not extinguish. 
I chose their way, and sat as chief,
   and I lived like a king among his troops,
   like one who comforts mourners. 


Let us see, my brothers, why it is that sometimes when a person hears words that hurt him he can let them pass by without any bother as if he had not heard them, whilst at other times, as soon as he hears them he is troubled and upset. My question is – what is the cause of this difference? Is there one reason for this or are there many? I think there are several, but there is one in particular which is the source of all the others, as the saying goes: it results from the state of mind the person is in at that particular time. 
For example, when someone is caught as he comes from prayer or contemplation, he is then in the best of dispositions and is able to put up with his brother and remain undisturbed. It may be that he has great affection for the other and so, out of love, puts up patiently with everything. But it can also happen that he despises the one who wants to upset him, regarding him as the lowest of men and not worth even a reply. Nor would he even consider mentioning his slights and insults to someone else. 
Hence, as I said, it can be that a man is not disturbed or upset because he has only contempt for the things that are said to him and ignores them. The brother who insults us may upset us either because we are not at that moment in the right mood or because we dislike him intensely. There are many other reasons as well which are described in different ways. But, if we examine the matter closely, we can say that the reason for all disturbance is that no one blames himself. 
This is the reason for every taking of offence and upset. This is why at times it is impossible to find peace of soul. Nor should we be surprised at this, since it is the teaching of spiritual men that there is no other way of peace for us. 
This we can see to be true in so many people. And yet we hope for peace but do not follow their teaching. Or, we believe that we are on the right path while we are irritated by everything and cannot bear to take any blame upon ourselves. 

That is the way things are. A man may indeed accomplish innumerable good deeds, but if he does not master this he will never attain peace. Instead, he will always oppress himself and oppress others and his labours will go for nothing. (St. Dorotheus of Gaza, Instructions)

Musical Selection (Annie Herring)

Sometimes when I'm weary
And I lose my foothold
And I slip into a place
Where I have never been before
Frightened, disillusioned
Surrounded by shadows
Somehow I go beyond myself
And deep within my soul

I cry for mercy
I cry for mercy
I cry for mercy, O Lord

Worry, never worry
When you're filled with sorrow
Sometimes it takes a broken heart
To see the light of day
That's when I remember
How to see through shadows
I let His light shine through my prayer
And deep within my soul

I cry for mercy
I cry for mercy
I cry for mercy, O Lord


God of mercy,
you reward the just for the good they do
and forgive repentant sinners;
take pity on us and answer our prayer,
that as we confess our guilt
we may hear the voice of your pardon.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God for ever and ever. Amen.