Young Solomon prayed, “Lord, you have made me the king, but I do not know how to act… Give your servant, therefore, an understanding heart, so that I can judge right from wrong.”
St. Paul declared: “All things work for the good of those who love God.” Romans 8:28.
The treasure buried in the field, the pearl of great price: Wisdom. Sharing the divine mind. Understanding life. Knowing what to do and what not to do. Standing firm in the truth. The peace that passes all understanding. Union with God.
The wise person prays. The wise person begs God for help all the time. As Socrates had it, to be wise is to know that I don’t know anything. Compared to God, I don’t know much. I don’t understand much at all, compared to God. So let me pray like a madman.
By the same token: The praying person demonstrates great wisdom already, because to believe in God is the wisest act of the human mind. No thought, no knowledge, no Sherlock-Holmesian deduction can touch a more solid, a more sublime truth than the Truth we touch by simple faith.
And this all-encompassing Truth which we touch by faith: He became man to show us how good, and how kind, and how loving He is.
The other day, beads of sweat dripped from my elbow when I finished my morning run. The sheer joy of it moved me to compose this little rhapsody:
Come, long hot Washington summer!
Come and enfold your people in your torrid embrace.
We will take every sweaty minute of your grimy kiss.
We hardly know ourselves without your bleary fog surrounding us.
Come and wrap us in your dank blanket!
…Here is a Trinity Sunday homily for you:
Lord, what is man that you care for him? Mortal man, that you keep him in mind? Yet You have made him little less than a god. (Psalm Eight)
In Sacred Scripture, the Wisdom of God testifies that He brought about the making of all things with the Almighty Father:
When the Lord established the heavens I was there, when he marked out the vault over the face of the deep; when he made firm the skies above, when he fixed fast the foundations of the earth; when he set for the sea its limit, so that the waters should not transgress his command; then was I beside him as his craftsman. (Proverbs 8:27-30)
This is the Word of God speaking, the second Person of the Blessed Trinity. All three Persons of the Trinity brought about creation. Of all the works of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, the greatest is man. Divine Wisdom says, “I found delight in the human race.” The Lord crowned the world by making us “with glory and honor, putting all things under our feet” (Psalm Eight).
This is my prayer, that your love may increase more and more, in knowledge and every kind of perception. –Philippians 1:9
These were St. Paul’s words to the Christians in Philippi, when he wrote to them from prison.
The church in Philippi was the first that St. Paul founded in Europe. It was the community that was most dear to him. The purpose of his letter was to beg the Philippians to comfort him by persevering in faith and love.
Let’s pay careful attention to what the Apostle wrote: “This is my prayer…that you may increase in knowledge and every kind of perception.”
St. Paul did not write to the Philippians to correct them. They had not abandoned the true faith, nor gotten confused, nor slipped back into paganism or into Judaism. The Philippians were on the right track, and St. Paul rejoiced in it.
But he prayed that they might increase in knowledge and discernment. A few moments ago, we made a similar prayer for ourselves. At the beginning of Mass, we prayed: “Father, let us share the wisdom of Christ.” Let us share the wisdom of Christ.