Wednesday, December 17, 2014

No Wise Answers On This Day of Wisdom

Greetings on this first of the final days of Advent. O Sapientia; O Wisdom.

"O Wisdom, who came from the mouth of the Most High, reaching from end to end and ordering all things mightily and sweetly: come, and teach us the way of prudence."

Sometimes I think that I am a fairly wise man; I can solve crossword puzzles; I successfully complete the Chicago Tribune's word jumble every morning; I can usually pick up enough words in a foreign language to make my way through that foreign country with relative ease. Jerry, the "wise man."

But recent events show me that this brain of mine lacks the kind of wisdom that we hOnor today, the wisdom that supposedly orders "all things mightily and sweetly."

I was at Starbuck's this morning with a colleague here at WLP. He has three kids and as he waited for his coffee, the front page of the New York Times caught his eye. This was the disturbing photo on the cover page, showing the body of one of the students killed in the Taliban attack in Pakistan yesterday.

We both kind of just looked at each other. The faces of his three kids flashed across my mind. As someone with no children of my own, I often wonder what it feels like when parents see other parents' children murdered. My heart just ached for this colleague as we both wondered allowed about God's presence - or absence - in all of this. My mind wandered as I thought about two of his kids sitting in a classroom in their Catholic school, just like these kids were yesterday in Pakistan. I forced myself to stop thinking about it.

And then, arriving at work, I started to think about what to say about today's O antiphon. The wise man, Jerry, searches for wisdom and finds emptiness. Wisdom? Really? Orders all things mightily and sweetly? Really? Come on, God, where are you in all of this? What kind of sweet order is this?

No wise answers today from this wise man.

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.


Peg L said...

No wise answers for those who love. After reading your post, I am thinking about my grandchildren, who are growing up in circumstances we didn't face. More importantly, however, I pray for the children who are at risk of being impacted by violence every day. Dear Lord, hold the children in your loving embrace.

Robert Giguere said...

Jerry as a parent our hearts ache. As the father of a young police officer, well you can imagine. As we learned in seminary, "evil is the absence, privation, or negation of the good that is due." (Mm the pericopes of wisdom one remembers". You ask where God is in a of this? In the hearts and minds of all who love him.

Paul Colloton said...

The beginning of wisdom is a lack of answers. As Robert notes, God is still in the hearts and minds of those who hurt, who grieve, who pray, who seek, and who do what we can to lessen the violence in our own lives and our world. Your post has helped me reflect on the Divine emptiness that creates the space for the Divine presence so many spiritual writers experienced and wrote about for us to learn.