“Wisdom, the fashioner of all things taught me.”
So, how do we get taught this wisdom? It is not by “osmosis,” but “theosis.” Theosis is the process of becoming Christ (Galatians 2:20), i.e., becoming divine as images and likenesses of God. So I concentrate on how and where, and when, God is “working on my image of God.”
To understand, then, transference of wisdom is to act on a certain dimension of prayer, i.e. the ability to “reflect” (reflectare, to look back) and talk over the past and where the Lord has led me. The best pictorial image is that of rowing a boat. So which way do you sit, when rowing a boat? Backwards. You are looking back on where you have been, and the focus gives you direction as to where you are going. We have all done this. It is a method of contemplation, reflectare.
That action of contemplation can be misunderstood as to looking for results, outcomes. The outcome is in the future over which we have no control. Consider the question put to Jesus by the members of the Pharisees, namely, “when is the kingdom of God coming?” as if all of this would unfold apart from them, rather than through, with and in them.
Please, re-read the wisdom meditation. Let the multifaceted reality within you, be a reminder of how wonderful and grace-filled a prayer life is if it is the fruit of your activity for God today. Your activity for God is, basically, the willingness to be an instrument of “theosis” the divination of life.
Wisdom is a gift to be given away. Parents, spouses, grandparents, siblings, friends, classmates, fellow-workers, even strangers can be recipients of the wisdom with which we have been entrusted.
The advice to the disciples helps us to understand the nature of wisdom and the process of theosis.
The “fruits” or the results of our passing on wisdom are not for us to measure or ascertain. “The kingdom of God is not coming with things that can be observed; nor will they say, ‘Look here it is!’ or ’There it is !’”
For in fact the kingdom of God is among us. It is, rather, in the building of “communion” among all, in the activity that brings about, equity, equality, and justice for all. Where will I reveal God’s presence today? Who knows, unless I row that boat of my prayer life today.
Fr. Alex Steinmiller, C.P. is President Emeritus of Holy Family Cristo Rey Catholic High School in Birmingham, Alabama.