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45. The Gift of Wisdom

1. To be wise is to know the deepest causes in thatdepartment of knowledge and conduct in which one is said to bewise. A wise physician must know the fundamental principles ofmedicine. The term wisdom, taken simply, means theknowledge of the highest cause of all, that is, God. Out of thisknowledge comes clear judgment about all things, judgment made inthe divine light of the knowledge. Now, man attains this judgmentthrough the Holy Ghost. Wisdom is, therefore, a gift of the HolyGhost.

2. Wisdom, notwithstanding it has the power to directman's life according to the charity which resides in his will,is itself in the intellect as in its proper subject.

3. Wisdom is in the practical intellect as well as in thespeculative intellect. For it is not merely abstractknowing; it is a directing of human conduct, and hence isa doing.

4. Wisdom, as a gift of the Holy Ghost, enables a personto judge rightly of divine things, and to judge of other thingsaccording to the divine law of charity which is in him. Wisdompresupposes charity. Since charity is expelled by mortal sin, soalso is wisdom.

5. Whoever is free from mortal sin and is in the state ofsanctifying grace has charity, and also has wisdom.

6. St. Augustine says that there is a special agreement orcorrespondence of wisdom with peacemakers. For he says (DeSerm. Dom. in Mont., i): "Wisdom is becoming topeacemakers, in whom there is no movement of rebellion, but onlyobedience to reason." Hence the seventh beatitude,"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called thechildren of God," corresponds to the gift of wisdom.

"The more you know and the better you understand, the more severely will you be judged, unless your life is also the more holy. Do not be proud, therefore, because of your learning or skill. Rather, fear because of the talent given you."
Thomas á Kempis

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"The supreme perfection of man in this life is to be so united to God that all his soul with all its faculties and powers are so gathered into the Lord God that he becomes one spirit with him, and remembers nothing except God, is aware of and recognises nothing but God, but with all his desires unified by the joy of love, he rests contentedly in the enjoyment of his Maker alone."
St Albert the Great

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"Every man naturally desires knowledge; but what good is knowledge without fear of God? Indeed a humble rustic who serves God is better than a proud intellectual who neglects his soul to study the course of the stars."
Thomas á Kempis

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