True wisdom doesn't go stale. On my good days, I begin the day with meditative reading. This morning I read from "The Tao of Jesus: A Book of Days of the Natural Year". Today's reading was from the homilies of Saint John Chrysostom (347-407 A.D.) on Matthew's Gospel. I hope you find the spiritual support I found in the following passage to help you navigate these difficult times (please pardon the dated gender pronouns).
"So long as we continue to behave like sheep, we are victorious. Even if ten thousand wolves surround us, we conquer and are victorious. But the moment we become wolves, we are conquered, for we lose the help of the shepherd. He is the shepherd of sheep not of wolves. If he leaves you and goes away, it is because you do not allow him to show his power."
"These are his words: Do not be troubled that I send you out in the midst of wolves and tell you to be like sheep and doves. I could have done just the opposite, and not have allowed you to suffer any hurt. I could have prevented you from being the victims of wolves and made you fiercer than lions. But I chose a better way. My Way makes you more glorious and proclaims my power. These were his words to Paul: "My grace is sufficent for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." That is why I made you. When he says: "I send you out as sheep," he implies: "Do not despair, for I know very well that in this way you will be invincible against all your enemies."
"Next he wants them to make some contribution on their own, so that everything will not seem to come from grace. He does not want it thought that their crown was not earned, and so he says, "So be as wise as serpents and innocent as doves." What power, he asks, does our wisdom have in such perils? How can we have wisdom at all when we are deluged by such billows? However wise the sheep may be when in the midst of wolves, and the wolves are as numerous as they are, what more will wisdom be able to achieve? However inncovent the dove may be, what advantage will its innocence be when it is beset by so many hawks? So long as you are talking about irrational beasts, of course, the answer is none, but when you are delaing with people like you, the answer is, the greatest possible advantage."
"But let us see what sort of wisdom he then demands. He calls it the wisdom "of the serpent". The serpent abandons everything, even if its body has to be cut off, and does not resist much, provided only it can save its head. In the same way, he says, abandon everything except your trust, even it means giving up your wealth, your body, your life itself. Your trust is your head and roots. If you preserve that, you will get everything back again in greater glory..."
"A man should have the wisdom of the serpent, so as not to receive mortal wounds. He should have the innocence of a dove, so as not to take vengeance on those who do him injury, not bear a grudge against those who plot against him. Wisdom is no use by itself unless there is innocence as well."
"No one should think these demands are impossible to fulfill. More than anyone else he knows the nature of things. Violence he knows is not overcome by violence, but by forbearance."
When the world focuses on the wolves, may we instead come to know and develop the serpent, the dove, the sheep as God-given parts of ourselves.