Benedict XVI Offers Word to the Wise

Notes That True Wisdom Is Peaceful

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this Entry

CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy, SEPT. 20, 2009 ( According to Benedict XVI, every once in a while it’s good and necessary to stop and contemplate the beauty of true wisdom.

The Pope said this today before praying the midday Angelus with the pilgrims gathered at Castel Gandolfo. He took as his point of departure the Letter of James that contrasts «true wisdom» with «false wisdom.»

Quoting James, the Pope noted that false wisdom is «worldly, material and diabolical, and is recognized by the fact that it provokes jealousies, arguments, disorder and every kind of evil deed,» whereas «[true] wisdom, which comes from above is first of all pure, then peaceful, meek, docile, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.»

The Pope noted that James lists «seven qualities, according to the biblical custom, from which perfection of authentic wisdom comes, along with the positive effects that it produces.»

«As first and principal quality, almost the premise for the others, St. James sets down ‘purity,’ that is, sanctity, the transparent reflection — so to say — of God in the human soul,» he continued. «And, like God, from whom it comes, wisdom does not need to impose itself by force, because it has the invincible vigor of truth and love, that affirms itself.

«That is why it is peaceful, meek and docile; it does not need to be partial, nor does it need to lie; it is indulgent and generous, it is recognized by the good fruits that it bears in abundance.»

Benedict XVI then asked, «Why not stop every once in a while to contemplate the beauty of this wisdom? Why not draw from this unpolluted source of God’s love the wisdom of the heart, which cleanses us from the filth of lies and egoism?»

«This holds true for everyone,» he answered, «but, in the first place, for those who are called to be promoters and ‘weavers’ of peace in religious and civil communities, in social and political relations and in international relations.»

«To ‘do’ works of peace we need to ‘be’ men of peace,» the Pope continued. «If everyone, in his own circle, succeeds in rejecting the lie and violence in intentions, in words and in actions, carefully cultivating sentiments of respect, understanding and esteem for others, perhaps it would not resolve every daily problem, but we could face them more serenely and effectively.»

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this Entry


Support ZENIT

If you liked this article, support ZENIT now with a donation