“Listen to advice and accept discipline, and at the end you will be counted among the wise.” (Proverbs 19:20)
Franciscan Father Richard Rohr says this about wisdom; “[It] is not the result of mental effort; it is a way of being – a way of being whole and fully open to a knowing that is more than rational thought alone.” That statement can sound a bit out there! However it holds a lot of truth; there are a lot of very intelligent people who lack it and many uneducated people who abound in wisdom. Fr. Richard is contorting ‘understanding’ with ‘knowing’, implying that wisdom is not an individual pursuit, we can’t simply think ourselves wise. Both this and the verse above which talks about ‘listening’ and ‘accepting’ point towards the necessity of humility in gaining wisdom. This is quite countercultural as we are challenged to acknowledge that we don’t have all the answers. There is a mystery attached to this idea of ‘a knowing that is more than rational thought’ I believe this is because wisdom, is the work of God and by putting our pride aside and being open to and listening to others we might just hear the voice of God speaking through them.
God of wisdom, your ways are not our ways and your thoughts are not our thoughts, but you do communicate your wisdom to us through the people around us. Help us to slow down, put our pride on hold and humble ourselves to listen that we might hear your voice. Amen