“A foolish woman is noisy; she is wanton and knows no shame. She sits at the door of her house, she takes a seat on the high places of the town, calling to those who pass by, who are going straight on their way, ‘Whoever is simple, let him turn in here!’ And to him who is without sense she says, ‘Stolen water is sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant.’ But he does not know that the dead are there, that her guests are in the depths of hell.” (Prov 9:13-18)

Here, at the end of Chapter 9 of Proverbs, “foolishness” or “folly” is personified as a woman. But note that the opposite of “foolishness,” that is, “wisdom,” is also personified as a woman in the beginning of this same chapter, – to put our p.c.-sensitivities to rest. “Foolishness” can also be defined as “sin” in general, because sin calls us, when we are “going straight on our way,” to “turn in,” and off of, our way, to drink and eat sweetly and pleasantly with a complete stranger, of her “stolen” food and in her strange “house.”

But I shouldn’t accept sweets from strangers, as my parents told me a long time ago. I am already nourished by “my own”; by the specific circumstances, blessings and challenges of God’s “place” for me. And that “place” is my own specific vocation, which is not seated “on the high places of the town,” as is foolishness, but on “the low places” of honesty and the gentle realism that is humility.

So let me stick to my “straight way” today, even as it has become narrower this 3rd week of Lent, because of restrictions connected to the Coronavirus. Let me be renewed, and grow, through fasting with the wise, rather than feast with the foolish. Lord, “give to me, Your servant, a spirit of whole-mindedness, humility, patience, and love,” on this third Wednesday of Lent. Amen! Happy Wednesday of the 3rd Week of Lent, dear friends! Tune in to our daily, weekday “Morning Coffee” audio-podcasts, for some daily inspiration on your Lenten journey, and through this Coronavirus epidemic! Sign up at: Love from Vienna, Sister Vassa