Today you will hear the apostle Paul give some guiding principles. He embedded some of them in his letter to the Philippians, from which our second reading comes. He wrote this letter while imprisoned in Rome, and so it probably dates to near the end of his life. In the letter, he refers to some of the things that he has learned along the way, probably in the school of hard knocks. In fact, twice Paul uses the phrase "I have learned ...," which is a sure giveaway that whatever he says following those words are likely to be operating standards he relies on for how he goes about his life and work.
Here are Paul's pithy principles for the Philippians, the guiding principles he observes for his own life and recommends for his Philippian friends:
- Rejoice in the Lord always.
- Let your gentleness be known to everyone.
- Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
- Dwell on the highest things.
Not bad advice for today's times.