Wisdom says, “I was there” (Month of Proverbs)

Personification of wisdom (in Greek, "Σοφ...
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I, Wisdom, dwell with experience,
and judicious knowledge I attain.
Mine are counsel and advice;
Mine is strength; I am understanding.
(Proverbs 8:12,14)

Chapter 8 of Proverbs is filled with beautiful and lofty images, many of which are often quoted by people aspiring to speak or work from the Wisdom tradition.   Rarely have I seen people consider the implications of this passage.

Wisdom’s claim to dwell with experience is no small thing: she speaks of the experience of being at the creation of the universe, working as God’s craftsman in creation.  She names the phases and steps, saying I was there.

This takes us beyond what we know from Genesis, where we know that God made all things.  Here, we find that Wisdom was the craftsmen, that God’s laws and commandments are woven through the texture of all that is created.  Written in the structure of all creation is a logic, a pattern, a way of being, which is “plain to the man of intelligence” especially those who seek wisdom.

It is Wisdom calling that has been at the heart of philosophy from its inception, as people try to find and understand this inner logic of creation.  It is Wisdom calling that is also at the heart of the natural and social sciences, as people gained new methods for uncovering the patterns in all created reality.  It is Wisdom who is the link of human reason with faith, because both are aspects of the same reality.

The Wisdom written in the structure of all creation is the Natural Law that we find at work in our world – no matter whether we acknowledge it or not.  Humanity has run after dozens of intellectual fads throughout history, but the law of Wisdom that is inscribed in the matter of our being always holds sway.

He who finds me finds life,
and wins favor from the Lord;
But he who misses me harms himself;
all who  hate me love death.
(Proverbs 8:35-36)

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About Sister Edith

Benedictine sister of St. Scholastica Monastery in Duluth, Minnesota, serving in vocation and oblate ministry. Also a social scientist, reader, lover of nature and travel, and dabbler in many things. +UIOGD
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