Seat of wisdom

Seat of Wisdom

It’s a title applied to Mary, the mother of God because she is the mother of Christ. She also is our mother, because Christ himself gave her to us through St. John. “Behold your mother,” Christ told the youthful apostle just before dying on the cross.

Mary is the seat of wisdom simply for being the mother of Christ himself, who is wisdom himself, who has all the truth in its immediate and ultimate dimensions. Christ is the very personification of all the truth and love that there is in the whole world.

And Mary was not the mother of Christ in name alone. She did not only conceive him in her womb, and give birth to him. She took care of him, and knowing who he really was, continued to identify herself with him. Her ‘fiat,’ her willingness to obey God’s will, was a continuing affair all the way to the cross and all throughout her lifetime.

We cannot overemphasize the strategic role of Mary in our search for truth and ultimately for wisdom which is “a gift which perfects the virtue of charity by enabling us to discern God and divine things in their ultimate principles, and by giving us a relish for them.”

In the Book of Revelation, wisdom is the light that abides in a person, such that “night shall be no more, and they shall not need the light of the lamp, nor the light of the sun, because the Lord God shall enlighten them.” (22,5)

Wisdom can be had by anyone, anytime, anywhere. Everything can be made use of to find, develop and exercise wisdom. The poet and the farmer, with God’s grace received with the proper disposition, can have it. They can arrive at the same truth even if pursued through different ways.

Our predicament is that our natural tendency for truth, and everything that truth stands for—joy, peace, beauty, harmony, etc.—is almost always abducted and frustrated by an endless number of causes and factors.

We tend to get stuck at a certain point, or at a certain level. We don’t want to go on, since we tend to be held captive perhaps by comfort, laziness, ignorance, lack of faith, pride, greed, attachments to worldly things, anger and the unruly movements of our passions, etc.

In short, we use our powerful faculties not to seek and love God, who is the ultimate and constant truth for all of us, but to seek and love ourselves.

And so we fall into the predicament spelled out in the Letter of St. James: “Who is wise and instructed among you? Let him by his good behavior show his work in the meekness of wisdom.

“But if you have bitter jealousy and contentions in your hearts, do not glory and be liars against the truth. This is not the wisdom that descends from above. It is earthly, sensual, devilish. For where there is envy and contentiousness, there is instability and every wicked deed.

“But the wisdom that is from above is first of all chaste, then peaceable, moderate, docile, in harmony with good things, full of mercy and good fruits, without judging, without dissimulation.” (3,13- 18) Mary, by always pondering the things she observed in Christ and completely identifying herself with her son, earned that title of Seat of Wisdom.