It began the survey of the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit in Catholic Life magazine with the Gift of Wisdom. Wisdom, as we have come to see, opens a person and his immortal soul to see things from God’s perspective. The Gift of Knowledge, which we consider in this issue, enlightens our human perspective, allowing us to see God in creation—in action in our daily lives. We come to know, as we grow older and gain more experience, that knowledge of any sort can open our minds and hearts to new, different and challenging directions. From our Catholic perspective, of course, we come to see the world in a brighter view because we come to see more and more from God’s point of view. That, of course, is one of the great advantages of Catholic schools. In such environments, we can see all sorts of activity from God’s perspective. Mathematics, literature, language and art all flow better for us when we understand them from the perspective of their Creator—we gain knowledge about life and its intricacies from God’s point of view. We discover a more amazing world.
The Gift of Knowledge helps us appreciate and become better stewards of God’s creation. Sacred Scripture reminds us that God delights in His creation—“God saw that it was good.” (Gn1:10) The Gift of Knowledge helps us to recognize the goodness of God and reflect that goodness every day in our lives by prayer and attentiveness to the things of God.
The Gift of Knowledge lifts us to see the things of God in a much purer light. In such a way, we start to understand that there is a proper sense of priority to those things in our lives that pertain to God and the more mundane things that are focused on this world. In this way of thinking, we are able to choose pathways for our lives and discover ways that are better for us to follow on our journey to heaven. We formulate a philosophy of life and the character and will to follow through choosing God as a center and virtue as our compass.
By prioritizing the things of God in our lives we start to choose the course for our lives’ journey—professions and occupations. We even start to listen to the voice of God in our lives and respond to vocation—the call or invitation from God to serve Him exclusively, by serving His people and His Church.
It is at this point that we start to consider a Church vocation to the priesthood, the diaconate, religious life or consecrated virginity. We also consider marriage and family life as a way in which we will respond to God’s action in our lives. This, of course, is where we start to reflect most deeply on God’s creation and our participation in it in a most extraordinary way. We start to exercise our participation in God’s creative genius—God allows us to share His goodness, His creativity and His generosity by extending ourselves into God’s pattern of holiness for our lives. It is an amazing awakening to the knowledge and the love of God working through us in the world. The Gift of Knowledge is a beautiful way of becoming aware of God in our lives and the way in which we are gifted to respond to it.
Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Your faithful, and enkindle in them the fire of Your Love!
Most Reverend William Patrick Callahan
is the bishop of the Catholic Diocese of La Crosse.
Published September/October 2019 issue