Pope Francis has started a new cycle of general audience catecheses on the the gifts of the Holy Spirit. At the audience this morning, he discussed what is traditionally numbered as the first gift of the Holy Spirit, wisdom.

The Holy Father started by discussing the Holy Spirit, saying he “is the soul, the lifeblood of the Church and of every Christian: He is God’s love, who makes our hearts his home and enters into communion with us. The Holy Spirit is always with us, always in us, in our hearts.”

Francis explained that the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit are traditionally: wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of God. 

The Holy Father told the faithful not to confuse “merely” human wisdom with the wisdom of God. The wisdom of God, the wisdom that Solomon had asked for, is different.

“This is wisdom: It is the grace of being able to see everything with the eyes of God," he explained. This means seeing the world, situations and problems with God’s eyes, rather than as “we want to see them.”

The Pope emphasized that wisdom’s source is "intimacy with God": Our intimate relationship as children of the Father gives us wisdom.

The Holy Father explained that when we are in communion with God, the Holy Spirit “transfigures our heart.” The Holy Spirit makes us wise.

Pope Francis added that a wise person can discern when something is of God and when something is not.

“If we listen to the Holy Spirit, it teaches us this path of wisdom, he gifts us wisdom which is seeing with God’s eyes, hearing with God’s ears, loving with God’s heart, judging things with God’s judgment. These are the things that the Holy Spirit  gifts us and we can all have this. We just have to ask the Holy Spirit.”

Daily life

The Holy Father gave two examples to clarify what is and what is not wisdom.

In the first example he described a mother communicating how to behave to her children. He asked: “When the mother is tired and shouts at her children, is that wisdom? I ask you is that wisdom -- what do you say? No! Instead when the mother takes her child to one side and gently rebukes him.” Francis said this, instead, is God’s wisdom.

In the next example, Pope Francis described a married couple who argue, won’t look at each other, and, if they do, it is with anger. Francis asked those present whether that is God’s wisdom. “No!” responded the Pope. He then volunteers that wisdom rather is when they say: “Let the storm pass. Let’s make peace!”

The Holy Father continued by inviting the faithful to ask the Lord to give them the Holy Spirit and the gift of wisdom, noting it specifically as “the gift of wisdom that teaches us to see with God’s eyes, to feel with God’s heart, to speak with God’s words.” He continued by saying “with this wisdom, we can move forward, build the family, the Church and we can all be sanctified.” He said that today we should ask Our Lady, the Seat of Wisdom, for this gift.

Concluding his address,  the Holy Father led the faithful in praying the Our Father in Latin. (D.C.L.)


On ZENIT’s Web page:

Full Translation: http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/on-wisdom