Holy Spirit and the Gift of Wisdom

Father Gregory Gaston, Manila

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VATICAN CITY, AUG. 30, 2002 (Zenit.org).- ZENIT presents another text from the June videoconference of theologians entitled "Pneumatology from the Second Vatican Council to Our Times." It was 11th such videoconference sponsored by the Congregation for the Clergy.



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The Gift of Wisdom
Father Gregory D. Gaston, Manila, Philippines

Wisdom, like the other Gifts of the Holy Spirit, accompanies sanctifying grace, makes a person well disposed to receive the inspirations and movements of the Holy Spirit, and completes and perfects the virtues of those who receive them.

What is specific to wisdom is that it makes the soul responsive to the Holy Spirit in the contemplation of divine things and in the use of God's ideas to judge both created and divine matters. It effects a filial fear of God, as well as a welcome peace in the heart of man.

For a concrete example in priestly formation, one may turn to "Pastores Dabo Vobis," No. 10. There the Holy Father, Pope John Paul II, after presenting today's complex situation in the formation of priests, asks how we can form priests who are truly able to respond to the demands of our times and capable of evangelizing the world of today.

He says that it is not enough to simply provide data on the situation and to make a "scientific" inquiry to come up with a picture of today's sociocultural and ecclesial circumstances. An interpretation of the situation is even more important, though it is not always easy to do so; such interpretation has to be done within the context of a Gospel discernment.

"This discernment is nourished by the light and strength of the Holy Spirit who evokes everywhere and in all circumstances, obedience to the faith, the joyous courage of following Jesus, and the gift of wisdom, which judges all things and is judged by no one (see 1 Corinthians 2:15). It rests on the fidelity of the Father to his promises."

The formation of priests indeed goes beyond mere human capacities and judgments; the gift of wisdom makes the seminary formators responsive to the divine movements that would allow them to guide the seminarians properly.

We ask for the gift of wisdom not only for special undertakings, but to follow God's will, which is a continuous task for the Christian. The words of "Vita Consecrata," No. 71, may very well be applied not only to those called to the religious life, but to secular diocesan priests and even the laity as well: The whole person is "called to seek and love God 'with all one's heart, and with all one's soul, and with all one's might' (see Deuteronomy 6:5), and one's neighbor as oneself (see Leviticus 19:18; Matthew 22:37-39)." To do so, we should "never cease to ask the Almighty for the gift of wisdom in the struggles of everyday life (see Wisdom 9:10)."

With this gift we constantly use God's standards and not ours. Or better still, we try to make our standards conform (cum-foma) to God's. We aim for a sort of "connaturality" with God, in such a way that a prior conformity to God's will makes us always will what is good.