Wisdom is radiant and unfading, and she is easily discerned by those who love her, and is found by those who seek her. She hastens to make herself known to those who desire her. He who rises early to seek her will have no difficulty, for he will find her sitting at his gates. To fix one’s thought on her is perfect understanding, and he who is vigilant on her account will soon be free from care, because she goes about seeking those worthy of her, and she graciously appears to them in their paths, and meets them in every thought.
Wisdom is one of the seven gifts of the Spirit. It could be described as a “delightful knowledge” that gladdens the heart and spirit like a gentle light. Perhaps we have met a wise person in whom this gift of the Holy Spirit is at work. Such a person sees all things and circumstances from God’s perspective, and his or her dealings with others are marked by goodness.
It is not so difficult to know wisdom because, as the reading suggests, it is already waiting for us – we just have to long for it! So where can we find it?
Scripture teaches us that in Jesus Christ is every treasure of wisdom and knowledge (Col 2:3). Therefore, if we know Him and live in Him, the gifts of the Holy Spirit, including the gift of wisdom, will unfold in us. The encounter with Jesus does not require much effort, because His love seeks us and goes before us: “He first loved us” (1 Jn 4:19), even before we began to return His love. If we only call on His name and ask Him for the grace to know Him, our plea will not fall on deaf ears, but He will answer us, because it was God Himself who sowed in our hearts the desire to know Him.
Early in the morning we find wisdom without effort. As the saying goes, “The early bird catches the worm”. This is certainly true of wisdom: we find it when, early in the morning, we immerse ourselves in prayer and meditation on Sacred Scripture.
We act wisely when we consecrate the beginning of the day to the Lord and remember Him again and again until evening; when we go through the day holding His hand and obeying His instructions. Wisdom comes to those who accept the Lord’s invitation to meet Him in the sacraments of the Eucharist and Confession. Likewise, he becomes wise who pays attention to all that God does every day to show us His love.
It is also wise to seek the Lord at night, for example, when we cannot sleep, and to use this time for prayer and reading the Bible, instead of tormenting ourselves with the hours that pass without being able to sleep.
The one who does not close his eyes to the needs of his neighbour, but meets them with compassion, is also wise today, because every work of compassion is done in God’s gentle light, it is done in His way.
We become wise when we learn to restrain our disordered passions and examine our natural impulses in the light of God. For not all our spontaneous ideas, passing thoughts and feelings are valuable enough to be heeded.
As we follow Christ, we learn to put our “inner house” in order. We learn to discern whether what we are thinking or doing is God’s will. We also learn to question whether the goals we pursue are selfish or truly in the service of God and neighbour.
It is about gaining a supernatural vision of our lives and knowing that we are completely in God’s hands. It is His wisdom that wants to lead us and all others to the goal for which we were created. God can include human resistance, mistakes and sins in His plan of salvation. To know that we are loved by Him is the great wisdom that urges us to do our utmost to become worthy of that love.
The supernatural vision of our lives, that is, learning to see everything in the light of God, brings us closer to eternity. Then we will not be swallowed up by the worries, needs or pleasures of this world. Instead, we learn to long for that which lasts forever, that which truly fills our soul, and we leave behind all that leads us to the periphery or to superficiality.
With the Spirit of God we learn to overcome the world and move in it with divine wisdom. But this requires a truly spiritual life, not a life in which we think of God only sporadically and let ourselves be led by our natural impulses. It requires a life of daily discipleship of Christ, in constant dialogue with God, immersed in His presence.