Tonight at Vespers the O Antiphons begin. Tonight, the first night, features holy Wisdom. Here is the text of the Antiphon from the Liturgy of the Hours:
O Wisdom, O holy Word of God, you govern all creation with your strong yet tender care. Come and show your people the way to salvation.
Wisdom is an oft-misunderstood notion, particularly in our modern age. The ancient Greeks considered wisdom among the greatest virtues to strive for. In fact, the word philosophy in Greek means “lover of wisdom.” But what is wisdom, and why should we seek it?
Wisdom is the combination of intelligence and discretion. It’s one thing to know facts and concepts and methods, that’s intelligence. But it’s equally important to know when to use those bits of information, and in what circumstances they are useful.
Wisdom is learned through experience, and typically, a trait associated with life experience. In Sacred Scripture we see the Holy Spirit associated with Wisdom, and a section of the Old Testament is called the Wisdom literature.
All the O Antiphons make reference to revealed truths of the Messiah, traits, characteristics, prefigurement, and titles of our Lord. All those who seek the King born in the city of bread should begin with wisdom.
The Psalmist teaches us “the fear of the Lord is the first stage of wisdom.” (Psalm 111:10) May we all advance in wisdom through adoration of the one true God.