In the afterglow of the Solemnity of Pentecost, many of us are still contemplating the gifts of the third Person of the Trinity. As children in Catechism class, we dutifully chanted aloud the seven gifts in unison: wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord. How contented we felt in completing the list! And yet, as the years pass by we find ourselves desiring to know them more fully, so as to truly embody them.
The “first and highest of the gifts of the Holy Spirit,” as Fr. John Hardon, S.J. describes it, is wisdom. In the New Testament Scriptures, there are numerous “wise” men and women: the three Wise Men (cf. Mt 2:1-12), the wise man who built his house on rock (cf. Mt 7:24-27), the five wise virgins who kept their lamps trimmed and full of oil (cf. Mt 25:1-13). We may gain a better understanding of this virtue by looking at what these biblical examples have in common: a search for and faith in God.
As Benedictine nuns, our purpose is twofold: to seek God and to be witnesses of his existence and presence in the world. We hope to be led as well as to lead others into a greater sense of wisdom—the wisdom that perceives the purpose of human life in light of the spiritual reality and pursues it!