Charity & Wisdom

Started by ·, January 09, 2023, 07:11:42 PM

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Science and Wisdom and the virtues and vices related to them are not as significant to understand as the importance of possessing Charity and Wisdom. We are taught:

  • Charity is a supernatural virtue, infused into our soul by God, by which we love God above all for His own sake, and our neighbour as ourselves for the love of God. (Catechism of Pius X, On Charity, Q 42)
  • Wisdom is a gift by which the mind is lifted up from earthly and transitory things, enabling us to contemplate things eternal, that is to say, God Himself, the eternal truth, and to relish and love Him, in which consists all our good. (Ibid., The Gifts of the Holy Ghost, Q 3)

We receive the virtue of Charity through Baptism, and it can be lost through mortal sin (Ibid., On Charity, Q 54) and regained through Sacramental Confession. (Ibid, Q 55) These teachings are easy to grasp and they are simply taught for all to know.

The implications of them may be worth considering more however. Do any of us feel wise? Are any of us acclaimed as wise by the world? No, the wisdom of the world is not the wisdom of God. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. (1 Corinthians 3:19) The wise of the world are recognized easily: they can impress many with their knowledge and abilities. But this is not Wisdom. It is vain in itself.

That false wisdom is valued by the proud, but the the Wisdom of God is focused on God, not on creation or self.

Charity and Wisdom are connected: those who have Charity must have Wisdom. For what is Wisdom? The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. (Psalms 110:10) Those who love God, keep the commandments, and this is true Wisdom. (ST II-II Q 45 A 5)

Mortal sin not only removes Charity, but Wisdom too. (ST II-II Q 45 A 4) How can a soul which violated a commandment of God with full consciousness of the gravity of the matter and the deliberate will to commit the act be Wise? What fear of the Lord is there? What Love of God is there?

This is why the Sacrament of Penance is necessary. It would take a perfect sorrow of contrition for us to obtain pardon for our sins, and this can only happen as a result of Charity. Perfect sorrow is a grief of soul for having offended God because He is infinitely good and worthy of being loved for His own sake. (Catechism of Pius X, The Sacrament of Penance, Q 38) Perfect sorrow or contrition enables us at once to obtain pardon for sins, because it proceeds from charity which cannot exist in the soul together with sin. (Ibid., Q 41)

It is not Wisdom to mind the affairs of the world and progress in the wisdoms of the world and gain personal acclaim and material wealth and greater Pride. How much of a waste is it to squander one's time on matters that are far from oneself and outside of one's control? How much of a benefit is it to spend one's time contemplating God and His commandments and actively seeking to use whatever we have in this world for a good end that does not serve self, but God and neighbours in Charity? How much time acquiring knowledge should be devoted to the Sacred Science compared to the worldly sciences and temporal affairs?

The vain seek to be wise and think themselves good, but God is Love. God is Wisdom. God is Goodness. (ST II-II Q 23 A 2) God is our Final End, and we cannot attain eternal satisfaction on our own. ST I-II Q 5 A 5)

It may be easy to gloss over the reality of Wisdom and the importance of Charity, but the real eternal value of this Wisdom and the supremacy of Charity should be clear: it is truly superior, not something we can have through our own powers, and it is not something the world will value. It is where true happiness can be found.

But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, a wisdom which is hidden, which God ordained before the world, unto our glory: Which none of the princes of this world knew; for if they had known it, they would never have crucified the Lord of glory. But, as it is written: That eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man, what things God hath prepared for them that love him. But to us God hath revealed them, by his Spirit. For the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. (1 Corinthians 2:7-10)

The world despises Wisdom because it is not something that leads to pride or sates greed. One does not feel powerful in one's own deeds if one seeks the Wisdom that concerns matters that reveal the mysteries that we cannot understand and which make us feel small and the things around us vain.

O the depth of the riches of the wisdom and of the knowledge of God! How incomprehensible are his judgments, and how unsearchable his ways! (Romans 11:33)

But Wisdom knows better. It knows that the vanities of this world and the false temporal satisfactions people endlessly seek are nothing, and that true Wisdom is eternal and beautiful and we can indeed possess it, if we accept what is offered.

Again, Wisdom is not in wisdom of the world or in learning from books but in learning from God first. One need not be literate at all to be most Wise.

My mouth shall shew forth thy justice; thy salvation all the day long. Because I have not known learning, I will enter into the powers of the Lord: O Lord, I will be mindful of thy justice alone. (Psalm 70:15-16)