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Wisdom, Gift of


Often called the gift of the Holy Spirit par excellence. By this gift, one is made receptive to the divine motion that moves him to savor the things of God. Through a knowledge of God that is experimental rather than conceptuala loving knowledge of Godthe soul, under the influence of wisdom, is prompted to judge all things in their relationship to God. This operation of the gift perfects the theological virtue of charity by elevating it above the rule of reason that is the norm of all the virtues. Because of the divine modality, which replaces the human modality of reason, wisdom develops in the soul a kind of connaturality, or sympathy, for the divine. Thus, wisdom becomes both speculative and practical; it contemplates the divine truth and then directs human actions according to that truth. For a fuller explanation of this as compared with the other gifts, and for additional bibliography, see holy spirit, gifts of.

Bibliography: a. royo, The Theology of Christian Perfection, ed. and tr. j. aumann (Dubuque, Iowa 1962) 418421. r. cessario, Christian Faith and the Theological Life (Washington, D.C.1996). s. pinckaers, The Sources of Christian Ethics, tr. m. t. noble (3d rev. ed.; Washington, D.C. 1995). thomas aquinas, Summa theologiae 2a2ae, q.45.

[p. mulhern]

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