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Tapped into the River of Wisdom

by Father Robert J. Carr

The Bible teaches us about the tree planted near the running water. Its roots connected to this source, it blooms while other trees further from the river die. The lesson is that the closer we stay to God, the more we have a source of strength that even the strongest inland do not know. (Psalm 1:3)

We can see an example of this in the account of the Apostles in the storm. Jesus restfully sleeps while the Apostles are in panic. He has a source of strength and confidence that his disciples have yet to find. Hence his calm and his ability to calm the storm itself to the awe of the fearful men. (Mk 4:35-41)

If Jesus calls us to follow him, then we must allow him to tap us into that source, otherwise we cannot as he warns us do anything for him. What is that source? It is no less than the wisdom of the Father.

As a tree flourishes near water, so we flourish when we are tapped into the living water of the Father's wisdom. Yet, this is not about us flourishing. A tree exists not to live by the river, but to give fruit, to shelter from the heat and the sun and to filter the air. So, as we tap into the wisdom of God, we will find more and more our call to serve others. Yet, this service does not mean arbitrarily doing good things, but doing the good things God wants done.

Many well-intentioned do what they consider good, yet, not being tapped into the wisdom of God they actually may do more harm than good. The more we root ourselves in the wisdom of God and act on the wisdom, the more good we do in accordance with God's will.

Yet, this wisdom shows us other things as well. The more we tap ourselves into the wisdom of God, the more we see the foolishness of those who do not know God. The more we can discern that every teaching, every action rooted in human wisdom is rooted in foolishness as well.

When people mock our faith because 'We are educated now, we are smart enough to understand the bible our way, and not the way of the writers.' They speak foolishness, for they do not know God. They, acting on the wisdom of humanity, not divinity, act in ways that are foolishness. Yet, the true fool does not understand that he or she is indeed a fool. Even the most learned of men and women may be nothing but fools if they do not understand that dynamic.

St. Teresa of Avila teaches that with humility we can draw God into hearts by a thread. Equally, the quickest way to drive God from your heart is to be a person of pride not humility. This is the difference between the wise and the fool. Even Socrates discovered that the wisest is the one who knows that there is much he does not know. The truly wise, will humble themselves before the Lord and allow him to tap them into the living water of wisdom. They then can discern truth from lies, wisdom from folly, and true good from well-intentioned but evil.

Let us humble pray for the Wisdom of the Father through our Precious Lord. We will then be able to serve our world better in the wisdom that comes from spirit and truth.

Father, make us docile to your grace, humble to your power and open to your wisdom that we may serve you as faithfully and as powerfully as does a tree planted near running water. We ask this through Jesus Christ, Your Son and Our Lord.


Catholicism Anew MA, US
Fr. Robert J. Carr - Parochial Vicar Cathedral of the Holy Cross, Boston, 617 542-5682



Wisdom, Faith, Action, Holiness, Humility, Pride

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