This chapter gives a glimpse into the life of the Fourth Mansions, which is at the realm of Holy Wisdom. From now on, there will be a particular help which will reveal that presence of God in the soul of which St. Teresa speaks. In the inner parts of the center of the crystal globe, the Fountain ever springing up whose living waters flow into all the apartments, the Holy Trinity of whom the soul is the temple. Wisdom that is Love, reigns there and orders all things with light and with love.
A. What is the Wisdom of Love?
Wisdom is as eternal as God because she is God. Wisdom is “the worker of all things”; (Wis. 7:22) she reaches therefore from end to end mightily and orders all things sweetly.” (Wis. 8:1) In her is the spirit of understanding; holy, one, manifold, eloquent, active, undefiled, sure, sweet, loving that which is good, quick, which nothing hinders, beneficent, gentle, kind, steadfast, assured, secure, having all power, overseeing all things, and containing all spirits, ineligible, pure, subtle. For wisdom is more active than all active things: and reaches everywhere by reason of her purity. She is a gift from God.
Wisdom was given to Solomon, bringing him every good. He saw that she was always very near to him and that to obtain her, it was sufficient to desire her. Wisdom is glorious, and never fades away, and is easily seen by them that love her, and is found by them that seek her.
In order to designate Wisdom as worker of love, we call her “Loving Wisdom”. Loving or Holy Wisdom unites the Old and the New Testaments. It is the divine name that expresses all that is worked by God in man and for man from the beginning of creation to the end of time.
B. What does Holy Wisdom do?
In saying that Wisdom gives light while causing darkness, we seem to be involved in a contradiction. Yet every spiritual experience attests to the co-existence of both. The work to be done in the soul is of so high and delicate a nature, that Wisdom must apply herself to it and direct it with her own lights and movements. The regions to which the reign of Wisdom extends are dark regions because the brilliance of her light and action shines forth upon them. The transcendence of the divine light it is that creates the darkness, not as a passing accident, but as an effect that is normal for our weak spiritual sight.
2. She Orders All With Love
This Wisdom is of love. She is at the service of God who is Love. Because she is entirely at the service of God, Wisdom uses all her resources to communicate love. If love ceases for one instant to communicate itself, it would be no longer love; for love that becomes static degenerates into egoism. God ceaselessly engenders His Son; from the Father and the Son, the Holy Ghost constantly proceeds; that is why God is eternal Love. The love which has been poured out on us cannot remain static in our souls. The Wisdom of Love introduces us into the inner current of the divine life in the bosom of the Trinity, making us channels of grace and instruments of her action. To think only of intimate union with God is to be ignorant of the nature of love, to arrest its movement. For it would be the destruction or at least the diminution of love to confine it within any kind of selfishness no matter how spiritual this might seem.
Holy Wisdom is concerned with souls less for themselves than for her own divine purpose. And this only purpose is the Church. We have to recall this frequently, so prompt is our egoism and our pride – encouraged by the feeling of our personal intimacy with God – to persuade us that we are an end in ourselves, the last end in the sanctifying work of divine Wisdom in our soul. An example of this divine purpose is found in the creation of the Blessed Virgin, with all her privileges, finds its justification in the divine maternity and the maternity of grace. Like Christ Jesus and His divine Mother, all the saints are for the Church. Holy Wisdom sanctifies them to bring them into unity with the Church and uses them for her works. This permanent union does not vow her to intimacy in solitude, but to action for Christ. The single end is the Church.
The masterpiece of Divine Wisdom is incontestably the sacred humanity of Christ. And this humanity, united to the Word by the bonds of the hypostatic union, marvelously adorned with all the gifts, in possession of the beatific vision even here below – Holy Wisdom delivers it up to suffer the Agony of Gethsemane, to die the death of the cross, and to be the bread of life for those she has made her own. The Incarnation, Calvary, the Eucharist: these are the most beautiful triumphs of the Wisdom that is Love. Christ on the cross is a model that she lifts up before us as the perfect exemplar of all her works here. She wants to immolate us too, to make us beautiful that we may become purified and magnificent temples. She wants to prepare an altar in us, to offer us up to the glory of God and cause to spring from our wounds, floods of light and of life for souls.
Wisdom built herself a dwelling and adorned it with seven pillars; there she has prepared an altar, she immolates her victims, and calls everyone to the feast that follows the sacrifice. This abode of Wisdom is Christ Jesus; it is the Virgin Mary… it is ourselves.
Our Lady of Mt. Carmel - Pray for us!
Blessed Fr. Marie-Eugene