January 11, 2013

Grace Imbued Reason in the Womb of Wisdom

Reason in the womb of wisdom, this is how William of St. Thierry's Golden Epistle describes the intellectual life of a Christian who disciplines his mind according to the Gospel of Christ.  Such a disciple strains to see, to behold the wonder of what God is doing in the world, so that he might live with the freedom of the sons and daughters of God.  

This pursuit of reason can take many forms. The pursuit of reason can also take up the Holy Bible and all that God has revealed in the life of the Church.  It might also seek meaning in the beauty of nature through any number of sciences, as long as in which ever science it is reason seeks out what in fact exists.  The pursuit of reason can also take up the Holy Bible and all that God has revealed in the life of the Church.  Yet, even the most natural forms of such study are open to flashes of a higher contemplation.  Dedicated study of the truth whereever it leads, as one of the highest exercises of human freedom, disposes those who genuinely love the truth to even more marvelous moments of liberty.

Yet the truth that is sought in this way is opposed to all forms of vain curiosity or the desire to manipulate for selfish purpose or any other effort to selfishly attain power or wealth or influence.  When reason seeks out of the brutality of such human wisdom, it remains out of harmony with reality and in a state of self-contradiction - such enslaving wisdom cannot attain any real freedom.

Reality, what is, does not admit of manipulation because it is endowed with so much meaning a created mind limited to its own resources not only is not able to exhaust its mystery -- such limited reason is barely able to scratch its surface.  This is why a prideful and arrogant glance at reality never really sees true beauty and, as a result of this superficial observation, is incapable of wonder or adoration.  The only reason such servile reason ever attains is a futile grasping of what can never fully satisfy.  In the end, though it decorate itself in all kinds of data and the production of all kinds of results, such a pursuit never finds the firm ground on which alone humanity is able to be rectified, to stand tall.

God sent His Wisdom into the World so that human reason might be born in truth.  When reason pursues the truth with the first movements of humility, of faith, of love, of service to neighbor, of reverence to God, it is as if an embryo, the conception of a new form of life.  Striving to implant itself, to find the nourishment it needs to grow, grace moves such new embryonic reason to grace and from glory to glory: leaving behind what is safe and familiar, dying to old judgments that only hold it back, the converted mind seeks a new nourishment of which it is not yet familiar.  Such movements of graced reason find a place to rest only in the womb God has fashioned for it, the womb of His own Wisdom - a sacred place meant for life and love.    In the womb of Wisdom, human reason, like a fetus, is nourished for explosive growth in maturity and freedom.

Baptised in such wisdom, the Christian is born, the mind is renewed, and one discovers the confidence to offer bodily sacrifices which give true spiritual worship to God.   The Womb of Divine Wisdom, the womb where men and women learn by love and for love to see God's vision of things, this is where reason imbued with grace begins to delight in the truth for which it was made, the spiritual life is born, and the dignity of humanity is raised up.