LORD, GRANT ME WISDOM—a discerning heart!

The seven gifts of  the Holy Spirit

When chosen by God to be the King of Israel to replace his father, King David, King Solomon was inspired to ask God for anything.  Solomon did not ask for riches, fame, nor honor; rather, he asked God for wisdom, for a discerning heart so that he could rule the people with justice.

Through the Sacrament of Baptism we have receive the seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit: Wisdom, Knowledge, Understanding, Counsel, Piety, Fortitude and Fear of the Lord. With Confirmation these seven Gifts are fortified. According to the Angelic Doctor, Saint Thomas Aquinas, the greatest of the seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit is that of Wisdom.

In imitation of the intention and decision of King Solomon we should also beg for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit in our lives and that the seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit become powerfully manifest in our lives, as was clearly evident in the lives of the saints.  Blessed Pope John XXIII called the saints, “The Masterpieces of the Holy Spirit.”  We are called to be the modern “Masterpieces of the Holy Spirit.”  Jesus commanded this with these clear but challenging words:  “Be holy as your heavenly Father is holy.” (Mt. 5:48)

The saints were filled with Wisdom
In this short essay we will strive to explain the first and greatest Gift of the Holy Spirit: the Gift of Wisdom.  “Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and enkindle in us the fire of your divine love.” Lord, breathe forth your spirit of Wisdom upon us!

Of the many sublime and beautiful titles given to Mary she has been called and invoked as “Seat of Wisdom”. May her powerful prayers of intercession attain for us Heavenly Wisdom. May the Mystical Spouse of the Holy Spirit, rush to our aid!

DEFINITION.  A short and “easy to memorize” definition of Wisdom is the following:  “To relish the things of God.”   As a child, entering Baskin Robbins on a hot day, sits licking bit by bit his triple-scoop ice-cream cone, relishing every lick of the cone until it is gone, so those filled and enamored with the Gift of Wisdom relish all that pertains to God.


“Taste and see the goodness of the Lord….”  From the Sermon on the Mount: “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and everything else will be given to you beside.”  Finally, the disciples on the Road to Emmaus commented, “Did not our hearts burn within us as He explained to us the word of God…?”(Lk. 24: 13-35)

MANIFESTATIONS OF THE GIFT OF WISDOM.    If one is  filled  with the Gifts of the Holy Spirit these Gifts must become operative, active, and manifest in one’s life. Jesus Himself said that we can tell the tree by the fruits.   What then are clear signs of the operation of Wisdom in life?  Following are a list of manifestations of a truly “Wise”person!   He desires to pray and does not get tired or bored with prayer but hungers and thirsts for it all the more.  “As the deer yearns for the running streams so my soul yearns for you, O Lord.” LEARNING!  He has a great desire to learn and grow in his faith.  In this “Year of Faith” (October11, 2012- November 24, 2013) the desire is all the more ardent to make leaps and bounds in his faith.  Furthermore, he manifests an insatiable desire to drink in the most abundant source of graces through assistance, participation and reception of the Most Blessed sacrament of the Altar in Holy Mass.  There is no greater desire in his heart than to receive the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  Spiritual Congresses, Spiritual Retreats, Spiritual Conferences, TV. and Radio programs that are spiritually enriching, Mass homilies--- all of these elicit in his heart great consolation, peace, and joy!

The Wisdom Of St. Teresa of Avila and the Holy Spirit
OPPOSITE OF WISDOM: FOLLY!  In one of His short but powerful Parables, Jesus teaches clearly what “Wisdom” is  not!  (Luke 12: 16-21)   It is the Parable of the Rich Fool!  An abundant harvest resulted in tearing down the barns to build more spacious ones.  Then the attitude of the “Rich fool” is expressed:  “Now as for you, you have many good things stored up for many years, rest, eat, drink and be merry.”   But God said to Him, “You fool  this night your life will be demanded of you; and the things you have prepared, to whom  will they belong? Thus will it be for the one who stores us treasure for himself but is not rich in what matters to God.”   What Jesus is clearly saying is that to live only for the passing pleasures of this world is the heights of folly. Also, we know neither the day, nor the hour, nor the manner that the Lord will call us from this life to the next for Judgment which will determine our destiny for all eternity, either salvation or condemnation.   St. Ignatius challenged Francis Xavier with these words of wisdom, words of Jesus Himself:  “What would it profit a man if he were to gain the whole world and lose his life in the process. What can a man give in exchange for his immortal soul?

Wisdom-- eyes fixed on heaven!
1.    TIME AND ETERNITY.  Wisdom can be attained by meditating often on the transitory, ephemeral, and fleeting character of our life.  The Psalmist expresses it concisely: Our life is like the flower of the field that rises in the morning and withers and dies in the evening!  A wise person has his feet on earth, but his eyes fixed on eternity!

2.    HEAVEN. Also, with respect to eternity, a person imbued with the Gift of Wisdom, constantly reminds himself that Heaven is his ultimate goal. This thought motivates him to put all the means at his disposition to attain to such a lofty goal--- nothing less than union with God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Saint Dominic Savio
3.    DEATH TO SIN.  At times we meet old fools and wise youth!  St Dominic Savio, who died, not even fifteen years of age, was filled with Wisdom at a very tender age.  His motto for his First Communion, and he had not even turned eight, was  death rather than sin!!!    True Wisdom is loving what God loves and hating what God hates. God hates one thing: sin!

4.    SHARING WISDOM.   A truly wise person does not keep his “Pearl of infinite price” to himself. Rather, following the exhortation of Saint Paul, what we have received freely we are called to give freely!  A truly wise person shares his treasure--- God and His treasures—with others!  By sharing heavenly treasures and wisdom one is not impoverished but enriched all the more!  Remember the words of Saint Paul:  “There is more joy in giving than in receiving.”
Savio's love for Mary!
5.    MARY SEAT OF WISDOM.   Bring others to Jesus though the Blessed Virgin Mary.  MEETING OF SAINTS!   After the death of St. Dominic Savio—14 years and 11 months of age--- the teenager appeared to St. John Bosco.  St. Dominic Savio told St. John Bosco that the greatest joy he experienced in life was his love for Mary, his devotion towards her and his promoting devotion towards her. Savio told St. John Bosco to do the same!  True Wisdom can be attained by cultivating a deep and tender devotion to Our Lady, “Seat of Wisdom”.

Like King Solomon let us all beg for a great gift this very day.  “Lord, grant me wisdom, a truly discerning heart.” Let us always look to the Lord and be radiant with joy. This is true Wisdom!