Friday, June 16, 2017

the eternal pursuit of wisdom

St Cyril of Alexandria tells us about studying today in A Year with the Church Fathers. It's interesting to note that he is from Alexandria, where perhaps the greatest library of the ancient world was located.

He tells us that wisdom is of far greater value than jewels. And so we should pursue that wisdom through reading good books, especially Scripture, so that when the truths of the church are presented to us, we recognize them as true and embrace them with joy. I can tell you that this actually does happen, because I read a great deal growing up, and especially read the Bible every year. I used the One Year Bible for about eight years, and through that program was able to read the entire Bible through several times. And so when I read the teachings of the church, I recognized in them the same wisdom that I found in the Bible.

But this brings us to the take home lesson. See, when we think of Jesus's words about storing up treasure in heaven where moths don't cause damage and rust doesn't destroy, we generally think of other people. And that's definitely true. But one other thing that we WILL take with us into eternity is wisdom. We will meet wisdom itself in the person of God, but we will also appreciate Him far more based on the wisdom and reading that we've done in our lifetime.

This is a corollary to what St Therese of Liseux was taught about suffering. She was sad one day that some people will enjoy heaven more than others. And a wise person in her life got two containers, one very small and one very large, and filled them both with water. Then they asked, "Which container is fuller?" And of course, the answer was they were both completely full. So the little container will be just as joyful in heaven as the big one. But the big one (the one that has suffered) will contain much more. So it is with wisdom. The more we learn and the more we suffer, the bigger He makes our container. And so the more joy we can contain one day.

But we'll all be full.

God, thank You for giving us wisdom. Please make us bigger so we can contain more of it.