Sunday, 13 April 2014
The Doctors Speak
St. Robert Bellarmine
''Now it is the time for us to go up as well as we can to the fountain of wisdom. Ecclesiasticus says, 'the word of God on high is the fountain of wisdom'' (Sir 1:5). He rightly says ''on high'', because the fountain of wisdom richly and profusely flows out not only to the holy angels and to the souls of the blessed who live in heaven, but to us who are engaged as pilgrims in this desert, there comes not wisdom but a certain mist or scent of wisdom.
For this reason, my soul, do not for now seek higher than you should. Do not be a 'searcher of majesty'' lest you ''shall be overwhelmed by glory'' (Prv 25:27). Wonder at his wisdom about which the Apostle Paul says, ''God who alone is wise'' (Rom 16:27). Congratulate the blessed spirits who drink from the fountain of wisdom, and although they cannot fully grasp God, which is a property restricted to the very fountain of wisdom itself, still they look into the face of God, the first cause, not covered by any veil, and understand aright all things in the flashes of his splendor. In that noonday light of wisdom they do not fear the darkness of error nor the obscurity of ignorance nor the fog of opinions.
Aspire after this happiness: to obtain it with certainty, love with your whole heart the Lord Jesus Christ, ''in whom are hidden all the treasures of the wisdom and knowledge'' of God (Col 2:3). He himself said in his Gospel, ''He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him'' (Jn 14:21). What does ''I will manifest myself to him'' mean except that ''I will manifest all the treasures of the wisdom and knowledge of God which lie within me?'' Certainly every man by nature desires to know, and although in many people fleshly concupiscence now in a way puts this desire to sleep, still when we shall have put aside our body which decays and which now weighs down the soul, then the fire of this desire will blaze out beyond all other desires. How great will be your happiness, O soul, when Christ your beloved and lover shows you all the treasures of the knowledge and wisdom of God? Strive to keep the commandments of Christ so that you do not cheat yourself of this great hope. He said, ''If anyone love me, he will keep my word'' (Jn 14:23, 24). Meantime, let your wisdom be that which holy Job describes when he says, ''The fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, and to depart from evil is understanding;; (Jb 28:28). Recognise that any good you see in creatures flows from God, who is the fountain of goodness, so that you can learn with Blessed Francis to taste that fountain of goodness as it flows in individual creatures as in streamlets'' - ''God is the Fountain of Wisdom'', in ''The Mind's Ascent to God by the Ladder of Created Things''