Sunday's first reading from 1 Kings spoke to us of King Solomon who in a dream prayed for wisdom and received it.
That night the
Lord appeared to him in a dream. O Lord God, you have let me succeed my father as king, even though I am very young and don't know how to rule. Here I am among the people you have chosen to be your own, a people who are so many that they cannot be counted. So give me the wisdom I need to rule your people with justice and to know the difference between good and evil. Otherwise, how would I ever be able to rule this great people of yours? ... I, God will give you what you asked for. I will make you wise and intelligent.
(1 Kings 3:5-9, 12)
The Wisdom of Solomon, written several hundred years after the death of Solomon recalls his prayer and experience of wisdom.
Realizing that I was only human, I prayed and was given understanding. The spirit of wisdom came to me. I regarded her more highly than any throne or crown. Wealth was nothing compared to her. Precious jewels could not equal her worth; beside wisdom all the gold in the world is a handful of sand, and silver is nothing more than clay. I valued her more than health and good looks. Hers is a brightness that never grows dim, and I preferred it to any other light. For wisdom, the fashioner of all good things taught me. For in her is a spirit that is intelligent, holy, unique, manifold, subtle, mobile, clear, unpolluted, distinct, invulnerable, loving the good, keen, irresistible, beneficent, humane, steadfast, sure, free from anxiety, all-powerful, overseeing all, and penetrating through all.
(Wisdom 7:7-10, 22-27)
These words from the wisdom literature of ancient Israel were written thousands of years ago and yet the longing and cry of the human heart for such direction, spiritual guidance and understanding has never ceased.
How desperately we all need a deeper guidance than Google and a more solid foundation than Facebook to build our lives and relationships on. Our hearts have been fashioned for so much more.
How can we hear wisdom's voice (also known by the name Sophia the Greek word for wisdom) in the busyness of our days? How can this powerful source of inner light and guidance be discovered and nurtured?
Joyce Rupp, in The Star in My Heart writes, "I can know and experience many things, but they remain only knowledge until I allow them to sink into the depths of my heart, there to toss and turn, weep and wail, to leap and to dance. Sophia helps me to take the facts, data, events, experiences, down into my spiritual womb. There they sit in me, gestate, and are transformed into truths which are eventually brought up into the light of my consciousness."
What is the difference between knowledge and wisdom?
What is it that prompts Solomon to seek the wisdom of God?
What limitations was Solomon willing to admit? How did this help him to lean on God?
What do you have in common with Solomon?