Sedes Sapientiae: Seat of Wisdom
Marian Therese Horvat, Ph.D.
A recent article in the LA Times quotes a Labor Council leader as saying “Everybody is a knowledge worker in the new economy. Knowledge is the basis for wealth (Oct. 10, 1999). The Internet Revolution has drowned modern man in facts and knowledge in order to achieve wealth. It is the century of books, facts, science, and information. It is an age sadly in lack of Wisdom.|
How many sincere Catholics have been fooled into thinking that the best education can be gained at a prep school, which strives to impress parents with how much information can be crammed into a head in the shortest amount of time. A child who is a classroom eight hours of the day and then studies three to four hours at night has no time for the marvelous. St John Bosco, the wise educator said, “To cultivate only the intellect, abandoning all the other human faculties, is to deform man.”
Statue of Sedes Sapientiae
Pouring over equations and computers till midnight, he has no time to contemplate the stars. Man needs to contemplate the bonum, pulchrum and verum of the universe around him, so that he might form an idea of the goodness, beauty and truth of God, so that he can come to love God with his whole heart, soul and mind. It is wisdom that allows man to know and love the Universe created by God.
Therefore, the truly intelligent man is the man who seeks Wisdom. Whoever wishes to acquire the great treasure of Wisdom, must, after the example of Solomon seek for that treasure: “I have loved and sought out Wisdom from my youth, and have desired to take her for my spouse.”
In his magnificent book The Love of Eternal Wisdom, St. Louis de Montfort says:
He defines its marvelous fruits and effects in man:
“If we really wish to obtain life everlasting let us acquire knowledge of Divine Wisdom; if we wish to reach perfect sanctity on earth, let us know Eternal Wisdom. If we wish to possess the root of immortality in our heart, let us have in our mind knowledge of Eternal Wisdom. To know Jesus Christ, Eternal Wisdom, is to know enough; to know everything and not to know him is to know nothing?”
St. Louis de Montfort then gives the means to attain divine wisdom:
- Wisdom gives man light to know the truth but a wonderful capacity to make truth known to others.
- Wisdom gives man a relish for things of God.
- Wisdom pours into his heart ineffable joy, sweetness and peace even in midst of hardest trials and tribulations.
- Wisdom sets men on fire and makes them do great things for the glory of God and the salvation of souls.
Our Lady is the Seat of Wisdom because She was the creature who knew and loved God most, contemplating Him in the universe. The Gospel tells us: She observed all things and kept them in Her Heart. Our Lady is the Seat of Wisdom because She is the Universal Mediatrix that God established between Himself and men in order to be known and loved.
- Ardent desire, fostered by keeping of the Commandments;
- Persevering prayer;
- Universal mortification;
- The last and greatest means of all, the most wonderful of all secrets for obtaining and keeping of Divine Wisdom, a tender and true devotion to the Blessed Mary.
Here, then, is the admirable secret to possess Divine Wisdom: “Mary is,” St. Louis says, “the secret magnet.
“Wherever she is, she draws Eternal Wisdom so powerfully that He cannot resist. …Once we possess Mary we shall easily and in a short time possess Divine Wisdom through her intercession. Of all the means to possess Jesus Christ, Mary is the surest, the easiest, the shortest way and the holiest.
For the only creature found worthy to conceive and give birth to Eternal Wisdom was Our Lady. And when we go to her, justly called the Seat of Wisdom, she will lead us to this Treasure.
“And the best way to belong entirely to Mary is, so to speak, to take Mary into our house by consecrating ourselves unreservedly to her as her servants and slaves. To surrender into her hands all we possess. And then, this good Mistress, who never allows herself to be outdone in liberality, will give herself to us, in an incomprehensible but real manner, and then Eternal Wisdom will come to dwell in her as in His glorious throne room.”
As an antidote to the false worship of knowledge so prevalent in our days, it would be an admirable practice to include this invocation often in our daily routine:
Sedes Sapientiae, Ora Pro Nobis.
Our Lady, Seat of Wisdom, pray for us.
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