Wisdom of Sirach 21:20

A fool lifts up his voice with laughter; but a wise man does scarce smile a little.
Read Chapter 21

Venerable Barsanuphius and John the Prophet

AD 600
The fear of God is without turmoil, agitation or restlessness. If, therefore, before our encounter with others, we prepare our hearts with vigilance in the fear of God, why should there be any reason for us to become upset or laugh? There is, in fact, no laughter in the presence of godly fear. It is said of the fools that they raise their voice when they laugh and that the speech of the fool is agitated and results in unpleasantness. Of the righteous one, however, it is said that he only smiles. If, therefore, we bring to ourselves in a similar way the memory of God and fill our thoughts with quiet humility when we are in the company of our friends, we love them in this way and hold before their eyes the tremendous judgment of God. Such a disposition will drive away from our heart every evil thought. For where, in fact, there is quiet, gentleness and humility, this is where God dwells. - "Book of Letters 454"

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation - 2 Peter 1:20

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