by Carla Schommer
St. Francis Convent Director
When the Lord told Solomon in a dream to ask Him for anything and it will be given, Solomon did not ask for riches, or a long life, or the life of his enemies. Solomon asked God for an understanding heart. He asked God for the wisdom of an understanding heart to judge God's people and to know right from wrong. Solomon asked God for wisdom to govern God's people well.
Our faith teaches us that wisdom is one of the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit (Catechism of the Catholic Church 1845). St. Paul refers to wisdom as a virtue in his letter to the Corinthians (1 Cor 12:8-10), and clarifies the difference between worldly wisdom and Godly wisdom (1 Cor 1:17-31). Wisdom is the ability to think and act using knowledge, experience, understanding, common sense, and insight. It involves an ability to control one's emotions and to understand people, things, events and situations.
Looking at the events of the world, the discourse in government, and even of our daily life, I wonder if any of us are asking for the gift of wisdom as did Solomon? I wonder if what we often want most is selfish and self-serving: possessions, security, power, pleasure, comfort?
In our Gospel Jesus likens the kingdom to a merchant who sells all he has in order to buy one really valuable pearl. What would our world be like if the one really valuable pearl would be the wisdom Solomon asks for? Perhaps we would understand our enemies, have world peace based on justice for all, care for the poor, be in communion with each other and learn to live in Christ Jesus. For Christ gives us something far greater than the wisdom God gave Solomon. For each of us open to Christ, Christ gives us the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and everlasting life with the Lord.
Thanks, Carla. Sounds like you got some of Solomon's!!
Carla, Well said and very insightful. If we all had an understanding of heart this world would be a very different place. Maybe Heaven is where everyone who has an understanding heart hangs out!?
Carla, thanks for a wonderful reflection. Within all of us is the wisdom of God if we would only use it for the purpose it was intended.
I like your thinking, Carla.
I used to think of the "seven gifts" as separate and individual, because that's how they were taught to us. I now see them as intertwined, inter-connected, giving life to the whole (and to the 'holy" :+) )
In fact, I see the gift of wonder & awe as being primary, the "root" of true spirituality, innately present within us. I "see" this beautiful presence in my grandchildren, as I did in my children. And I more and more feel certain that wonder & awe give birth to the other gifts - reverence, knowledge, wisdom, right judgment, understanding, and courage -- as well as to the fruits: patience, goodness, kindness, gentleness, self-control, peace, joy, love ....
I am convinced, too, of our world's growing need -- and responsibility -- to nurture and sustain our young children's sense of wonder and awe -- all the way into adulthood! How could we ever do violence or injustice, or oppression to that which we hold in the highest regard, with wonder and awe and reverence (for them) in our hearts?
Very beautiful thoughts!
Thanks, Carla, for your reflective thoughts. Your words are all-encompassing and provide much food for thought.