February 16, 2020
Society spends a lot of resources and billions of dollars in education – so much learning. But how much time and resources goes into cultivating wisdom, Divine Wisdom? We have a crisis of wisdom and we need to realize that Divine Wisdom is the only thing which will make a difference for all eternity.
- God’s wisdom is different from the world’s wisdom. God’s Divine Wisdom is mysterious and a path to glory for those who love Him.
- Divine Wisdom is uncreated, but there is a created wisdom given to us by the Holy Spirit and received through Baptism.
- John Paul said the gift of wisdom is an awareness permeated by divine love in which the soul becomes familiar with divine things and taste them.
- There is so much toxic forces that try to dissolve marriage and families. To live a Christian marriage and raise a Christian family needs true formation and wisdom.
- God Year: a year of formation and Divine Wisdom, a year dedicated to God in prayer and spiritual formation.
- The purpose of a “God Year” is to hear God’s call, respond to God’s call and prepare for God’s mission for you.
We live in a society, which is very scientifically advanced. Yet, perhaps more than any other time in human history, there’s confusion about some of the most fundamental of human realities of love, relationships, intimacy, marriage, sexual orientation, and gender. And this confusion is causing a lot of pain, and damage.
What seems to be lacking in our society is not information, but wisdom. The verse we heard before the gospel today, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that what you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned.” This is not a wisdom that comes from our own abilities, but is a gift that’s given to the humble and the little. It’s a knowledge in which the soul, because of love, comes into contact with divine things, love for God. This is the great, mysterious divine wisdom that all of us received at Baptism, but it’s up to us to cooperate with that gift, so that gift can grow in us.
Mass is an opportunity to grow in wisdom, to grow in this mysterious, hidden divine wisdom which comes through the gift of the Holy Spirit, uniting us to the Lord. During Mass, with our Blessed Mother, we can make a humble prayer, asking for wisdom.
We live in a society, which is perhaps more than any other society or time in history has very scientifically advanced, all sorts of amazing technology, all sorts of academic studies. And all of this is accessible to almost anyone through the internet. Yet, perhaps more than any other time in human history, there’s confusion about some of the most fundamental of human realities of love, relationships, intimacy, marriage, sexual orientation, and gender. And this confusion is causing a lot of pain, and damage. What seems to be lacking in our society is not information, but wisdom. We spoke about wisdom a couple months ago, but the passage from St. Paul today is an invitation to return in this first letter of the Corinthians that we’ve been reading. He’s been speaking a lot of wisdom, and today we heard, “brothers and sisters, we speak of wisdom, to those who are mature.” That is to those who are able to hear this, “not a wisdom of this age, no other rulers of this age, are passing away. Rather, we speak God’s wisdom, mysterious, hidden, which God predetermined before the ages for our glory, and which none of the rulers of this age knew. For if they had known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of Glory.” So this is a different wisdom, from the world wisdom, from the wisdom of our time. He says, “It’s God’s wisdom.” So it’s mysterious, it’s hidden, but he says it’s for our glory, “This wisdom is the path to glory.” It goes on to say, “what eye has not seen, nor ear has heard, nor the heart of man even conceived.” So it’s beyond anything that we could see, that we could hear, that we could even understand, that we could even imagine, what God has prepared for those who love Him. This is God’s gift to those who love Him. He says, “God has revealed this to us,” because how could we know this mysterious hidden Divine Wisdom that’s completely beyond what we can understand. He says God has revealed to us through the Holy Spirit, “for the spirit scrutinizes everything, even the depths of God.” St. Louis De Montfort distinguishes between these two senses of this divine wisdom, one, the Divine Wisdom, which is uncreated. That is, St. Paul says, in this very letter, “Christ, the power of God, and the wisdom of God, Jesus Christ, the Son, the Eternal Word, is the uncreated divine wisdom.” But there’s also the created wisdom, which is the gift of the Holy Spirit, a gift that we receive by the Holy Spirit that comes from Jesus, and that we received through Baptism. The verse we heard before the gospel today, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that what you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned.” “You have hidden this from the wise and the learned” that is the wise and the learned of this world, and, “you have revealed them to the little children.” This is not a wisdom that comes from our own abilities but is a gift that’s given to the humble in the little. Saint John Paul said that this gift of wisdom is a new awareness, a knowledge, permeated by divine love a knowledge of the knowledge, with Divine Love, by means of which the soul becomes familiar with divine things and tastes them. So it’s a knowledge in which the soul, because of love, becomes into contact with divine things. St. Thomas Aquinas says, “This was this gift of wisdom is the kind of union of the soul with God.” So this Divine Wisdom is a friendship, a loving union or communion, this wisdom is love for God.” So this is this great, mysterious divine wisdom that all of us have received at baptism, but it’s up to all of us to cooperate with that gift, so that gift can grow, in us. And so the gospel today, that we have is full of examples, concrete examples, of what are the implications of this divine wisdom in our world. And so that’s why it’s very different from the worldly way of thinking. And I’ll just take a few examples from some of the most countercultural examples from the Gospel today, where Jesus said, “You have heard that it was said, You shall not commit adultery, but I say to you, everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” So first of all, we need to distinguish because that can be misunderstood when Jesus says, look, with lust, to distinguish what is a temptation, and what is sin. To say an example is given here for a man to see a woman and feel an inclination and lustful attraction is not a sin. It’s a temptation. It only becomes a sin, when that person accepts that, and continues along that path of lust. But if, on the contrary, when they see that and sense that temptation, they turn to the Lord, turn away from the temptation, turn to the Lord, then it’s not only not a sin, but it’s a victory, a victory for the Lord. And this concerns this, what has traditionally been called custody of the eyes, being careful what we look at, because it has a big effect on us. Hollywood knows that has a big effect. That’s why the TV commercials are so carefully planned. I remember one person said, There’s no time on TV that is as carefully orchestrated as a commercial, because it’s so important to know how they pay millions of dollars, because it has such a big impact on us. You know, I was thinking of say, imagine you’re in a friend’s house and a friend says I’m going to be gone, but you help yourself to the kitchen. Say, yeah, you’re hungry, so you go in, you open a refrigerator, there’s something in a Tupperware, you open up to see what it is and you’re not quite sure what it is. And so you take it out, you look at it in the light, to see it more clearly. Maybe you look at it more closely, is sniff it a little bit, maybe tastes a little bit to see, you’re careful, because you don’t want to get sick. You’re careful about what you eat, because it can affect you. So custody of the eyes is realizing that we should be careful about what we put in our minds, what we allow in our mind. Not just anything some Hollywood media executive determine all the junk that they’re going to shovel through our ears and an eyes, into our mind, but to be careful about what is really good for me and what is junk and what is poison. So this is custody of the eyes and our society, which ridicules purity, and attacks constantly attacks, this immense plague, for instance of pornography. And our society then is horrified by some of the results and so tries to invent all sorts of complex sexual harassment rules and so forth for workplace and all of this, to try to handle this demon that has been unleashed. And so this passage from the Gospel is an example of wisdom, that the battle for purity begins in our hearts and souls, the battle to respect others instead of using others. Jesus goes on to say, “if your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one of your members than to have your whole body thrown into gehenna,” into hell. “And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one of your members than for you to have your whole body go into gehenna.” And so this is another example of wisdom, wisdom realizing that what is most important in my life is union with God. Looking at what causes me to sin, what separates me from God, there’s nothing that’s worth separation from God. It’s better even to lose our whole body than to lose union with God. And so this is a very challenging message, it needs formation, it needs formation and wisdom. Then Jesus goes on to say, “it was also said, whoever divorces his wife must give her a bill of divorce. But I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, unless the marriage is unlawful, causes her to commit adultery. And whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.” And so this is another example of wisdom of God’s light on marriage. Marriage and family is under very heavy attack today, it’s like there’s so much toxic forces that try to dissolve marriage and families. To live a Christian marriage to raise a Christian family is extremely challenging. And so it also needs true formation and wisdom. So many marriages fail today, because of the lack of wisdom that was necessary for the marriage to succeed. Just last Tuesday, all the priests of the diocese, we were at a diocesan meeting and I was focused on vocations, or creating a culture of vocations, you’re tossing out all sorts of ideas, to try to create a culture of vocations. Because today, in our society, what is a vocation? It’s a call from God. But today, it’s very hard to hear a call from God, there’s so much noise and so much distraction from the devil, who’s doing all he can, so that we can’t hear, our soul, our heart can’t hear that call. And even if we do hear it, it’s also hard not just to hear it, but also to respond to it. Even when we do hear, it’s easy to just kind of try to ignore it. And so, as I was at this talk, I was thinking of something I’ve thought about a lot over the years. You know, it’s becoming more and more popular for young people, after high school, to take what they call a gap year, a year to not just rush off, but to set aside to do something different, that may be service work, and or travel. And I think it’d be good for the Church to promote not just a gap year, but a God year, a year, which would be a formation in wisdom and divine wisdom, a time, a year dedicated to Him. Dedicated to prayer and spiritual formation, union with the Lord, but also involving community life, and service work. What would be the purpose of this year? It would be three things, to hear God’s call, because I hear some people think, well, we don’t have time for that. We don’t have time to set aside a year like that. You know, preparing for a career is very important. But there’s nothing more important than hearing God’s call. So many times I meet people who have 20 or 30 years later, think, reflect on their marriage, on their career, or their vocation, say, you know, I should have done this or done that. But it’s pretty late. And so to take time, to listen to what the Lord is saying, in an environment that is favorable to that, because it’s very difficult today. So that’s the first step to hear it. The second step then, is to respond. And so that’s why I think the advantage of a year like this, because it’s very difficult to say, Okay, I’m going to dedicate my life to this call, it’s much easier to say I’m going to give a year to the Lord. But during that year, we can be strengthened, we can grow, to be able to make a deeper commitment. So not just hear the call but respond to the call. And then not just respond to the call, but also prepare for that, for that mission. Say like, for instance, during that time a person senses a call to start a Christian marriage, a Christian family. That’s very challenging. And so this year would also be a time to deepen their relationship with God, because that’s what it all depends on. That’s the key, that’s wisdom. The key ingredient needed for this success is union with God, the wisdom, which is union with God. So, I think that would be one of the most beneficial things our society our Church could do, would be encouraged people to take this God year. And as we seek this wisdom, our Blessed Mother has been recognized as the Seat of Wisdom, so we can ask her help right now, as we celebrate this Mass. That’s why it’s not bad, you know, we don’t want to rush through Mass. We want to take the time, because the Mass is an opportunity to grow in wisdom, to grow in this mysterious, hidden divine wisdom, which comes through the gift of the Holy Spirit, uniting us, to the Lord. And so right now, during this Mass, with our Blessed Mother, we can make this humble prayer, asking for wisdom. You know, our society spends lots of resources, billions of dollars in education. And people spend much time, eight years of grade school, four years of high school then other advanced education, all this learning. How much time and resources go into the most essential, which is wisdom, divine wisdom. That’s the only thing which will make a difference for eternity. And our society doesn’t, we’re lacking, severely lacking, we have a crisis of wisdom. So this is an opportunity for us to pray for wisdom, humbly asking for wisdom. “What eye has not seen, nor ear has heard, nor the heart of man, even conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him.”