Wisdom is Learning, Listening and Loving
An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life.
- “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy.
- “It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego. The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”
- The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”
- The Native Elder simply replied, “The one you feed the most.”
Today as we listened to the Parable of 10 Virgins, I would like to reflect with you one of the seven most beautiful gifts of the Holy Spirit. Wisdom. I would like to reflect on Wisdom as Learning, Listening and Loving. All these 3 words are in present continuous tense.
A wise teacher is a lifelong student. In this world, we can never stop learning. So the author of the book of Wisdom presents Wisdom as radiant and unfading, no bored dull moment for those who seek wisdom. When we compare to the parable we heard, the wise virgins “took flasks of oil with their lamps.” Because they want their lamps to keep burning. On the other hand, the foolish virgins did not bother, or careless, or lazy to take oil with them. People who read, study and learn are like the Running Rivers with fresh water flowing within them where life grows. If not, people who stopped learning and think that they know everything become stagnant water filled with muck of ego and waste of selfishness.
Let us reflect on our life: Have I stopped learning and gaining wisdom of life? Am I like a running river or stagnant water?
Wisdom begins with learning to listen: Listening is the first steps of learning. Who can forget our teachers always reminded us: Listen Students! In this world of loud noise, listening a discipline. Today we heard the word of God being read, how many of us do we take time to listen. Sometimes we hear but not listen, because we get sleepy, lazy, distracted or disoriented in the task given to us. In our distraction, we become foolish in not preparing, taking things for granted, and “not taking extra oil” and so miss the celebration of the Wedding Feast.
Listening requires Silence, patience, openness and understanding. Today the readings invite us to be attentive listeners: “Keep awake, and be ready, you do not know when the Son of Man is coming.” I always believe that in the silence of the heart, we listen to God’s voice the loudest.
Let us reflect on our life: Do I know how to keep silence and listen to my body, my mind, my soul? Do I send time silent prayer and in meditation reflecting upon God’s call to Love in my life?
The Goal of Wisdom for us is Loving. Psalmist proclaims: My soul is thirsts for you, O Lord, my God. St. John says that God is Love. We seek God’s love in our life.
Everything we say, think and act is to experience God’s love. We thirst, long to be loved by God. Wisdom is attentive to God’s loving presence. Wise person awaits patiently, prepared and keep the flame of God’s love alive with extra flask of oil of mercy, joy and peace. Let fill our flasks of oil through prayer, listening to the Word of God and participating in the Eucharist and acts of Charity so we are ready to enter the Wedding hall with Jesus, Incarnate of God’s love.
Grant me, O Lord my God, a mind to know you, a heart to seek you, wisdom to find you, conduct pleasing to you, faithful perseverance in waiting for you, and a hope of finally embracing you.
- St. Thomas Aquinas-
Author: Fr. Wilson Andrade, C.S.C
Photo source: KingdomNomics.com