Father Peter Clarke

From the Diocese of Bridgetown

The Spirit Is Blowing: Part 3: The Gift Of Knowledge

The Spirit Is Blowing: Part 3: The Gift Of Knowledge

'He knows the price of everything and the value of nothing!' Something's only precious to him if it's costly. It's impossible for him to appreciate beauty, love and unselfishness because no-one can put a price tag on them. He values a work of art because it cost a fortune, not because it's beautiful.Success is measured by his wealth and the costly status symbols he can amass. Something is worthwhile in so far as it's profitable.Such people have got their priorities very wrong.

The Holy Spirit's Gift of Knowledge enables us to get them right.If the gift of understanding enables us to penetrate the Mysteries of Faith and gives us an instinctive insight into the divine, the Gift of Knowledge helps us to identify with God's approach to His creation. Quite simply He 'saw that it was good, very good.'He delighted in His handiwork –and so should we.

Any prayer urging us 'to despise the things of this world' is an insult to the Creator of Heaven Earth.Instead, we should see them as reflecting the glory of God.

Through the Gift of Knowledge we instinctively share God's perspective on His creation.On the one hand we mustn't so glorify created things that they become what is most important in our lives. Instead of leading us to their creator we would then remain satisfied with what His creatures have to offer.That's idolatry.The Gift of Knowledge helps us to avoid that pitfall.

It also keeps us aware of the dignity of the created world, brought into existence out of God's exuberant love.He has made us its custodians, responsible for treating it with respect, protecting it, developing it and sharing its fruits, which belong to the whole of humanity.The gift of knowledge should make us sensitive to the dignity of the whole of creation and prevent us exploiting and damaging it.

Above all, through this gift we instinctively share God's love for our fellow human beings – made in His image and likeness.They are His children, our brothers and sisters, made in His in image and likeness.The Gift of Knowledge helps us to treat people with God's love, respect and compassion. It causes us to recognize their dignity as persons, and never as sex objects to be exploited!

This gift enables us to value and protect even the most insignificant part of God's creation.That is very much the theme of Pope Francis's encyclical on the Environment - 'Laudato Si.'

Fr Peter Clarke, O.P.

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