Thirty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time

For taking thought of wisdom is the perfection of prudence, and whoever for her sake keeps vigil shall quickly be free from care; because she makes her own rounds, seeking those worthy of her, and graciously appears to them in the ways, and meets them with all solicitude.

Langdon Gilkey, a Protestant American theologian of the mid-20th century, described the quest for wisdom as a kind of eroticism. Just as the human body craves certain pleasures, the mind craves knowledge, understanding and wisdom. Just as the body finds delight in carnal satisfaction, so does the mind delight in discovery and deeper insight.
Neglect of that erotic passion can only be foolishness. Willful ignorance, the decision to act without adequate knowledge or understanding, must be sinful.
The Divine Authors of the Old Testament were well aware of foolishness; they equated it with sin. The wise appreciate what they do not know, seek knowledge and cultivate habits and manners that conform to Wisdom. They worship the God who gives wisdom to his beloved.
In the New Testament we discover Jesus is "the word made flesh;" that is, Wisdom Incarnate. Today's gospel describes a severe penalty for the foolish; they are shut out of the Heavenly Wedding Banquet.
During the latter half of the first millennium, after the Roman Empire had collapsed and before the rise of medieval Christendom, young people from all over Europe travelled to Ireland to study. Christian missionaries had established the religion there; it took root in monasteries of men and women. They copied the ancient texts, secular and religious, philosophical, literary and scientific; and knew what they were reading. Fleeing the continual violence of barbarian Europe, young people worked and studied with the monks and nuns, and began the labor of restoring civilization.
Americans too have a passion for knowledge; we see it in our universities and research institutions. They are sponsored by government, business and church.
We have to wonder what kind of evil spirit suppresses that erotic impulse. Why would intelligent human beings disavow learning? Why would anyone spend two hours a day -- that is, one month a year -- watching television? Isn't that how we punish criminals in jail cells and prisons?
Desperate to maintain American dominance, the government demands that our children learn STEM -- science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Those are fine things but we must also teach them history, art, literature, philosophy and religion -- beginning at home. We must cultivate an erotic passion for that most desirable and beautiful Lady Wisdom,


For taking thought of wisdom is the perfection of prudence, and whoever for her sake keeps vigil shall quickly be free from care; because she makes her own rounds, seeking those worthy of her, and graciously appears to them in the ways, and meets them with all solicitude.






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I love to write. This blog helps me to meditate on the Word of God, and I hope to make some contribution to our contemplations of God's Mighty Works.

Ordinarily, I write these reflections two or three weeks in advance of their publication. I do not intend to comment on current events.

I understand many people prefer gender-neutral references to "God." I don't disagree with them but find that language impersonal, unappealing and tasteless. When I refer to "God" I think of the One whom Jesus called "Abba" and "Father", and I would not attempt to improve on Jesus' language.

You're welcome to add a thought or raise a question.