Pearls of the Word

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Therefore, be wise and sober...

by Jean-Louis Coraboeuf

"The fulfilment of all things is near. Conduct yourselves wisely [sophroneo] and be serious [nepho] and watchful in your prayers" (1 Peter 4:7 Interlinear).

The Greek verb sophroneo (which gave birth to the French word 'sophrologie', meaning 'relaxation therapy') means having a soul at peace, being restrained, untroubled by passions, and the Greek verb nepho is translated as being serious, meaning also to be temperate, to remain calm. Temperance is the restraint of one’s desires, whether passionate or epicurean.

In fact, it is difficult to pray when the soul is troubled; and this can be the cause of dissension among people in the same House, preventing brotherly acceptance (1 Peter 4:9) and the exercise of spiritual gifts (1 Peter 4:10). The answer is not in present day 'sophrologie', but in the exercise of 'agape' love which covers a multitude of sins (1 Peter 4:8), and thus frees the soul who thus becomes calm and restored.