A PSN Lenten retreat, Part 7

SOME OF YOU, people, delude yourselves thinking that with age comes wisdom.

You think that people necessarily get wiser as they grow older.

Well, I’m sorry to burst your bubble.

I’m here to tell you that as you get older, some of you just get wrinkles.

I mean, I know a lot of ancient people who are still full of sh*t, and don’t get their acts together.

No wisdom there.

No real sapientia.

*

I am not wise because I am smart or intelligent.

I am not wise because I have more experience of life, and the world, compared to most of you.

I am not even wiser because I have loved, and lost, many.

But I am wise because I have a heart that knows that there is a God.

And I am only wiser because I believe that such a God loves me.

And God wants me to be the best I could be.

*

True wisdom, or sapientia, is a gift.

I think it is the greatest gift of all.

True wisdom leads to loving.

Loving God, loving life, yourself, your neighbors, your enemies, and the whole of creation.

I’ve heard it said that love leads to wisdom.

That when you have loved truly, you become wise.

I do not disagree with that.

*

You see, Knowledge leads to Justice.

And in my experience, I need to know all the facts before I can make a sound judgment.

And sometimes, I am forced make value judgments—

You know, reward the good; punish the evil.

Choose which lover to take home.

What food to eat.

How much to pay for water in a desert.

How much to spend on a night in the town.

*

And then, there is Mercy.

It is when I withhold punishment because I see with my heart that punishment will not do the offender any good.

I mean, Why add insult to injury?

Why kick those who are already down on their knees?

Why not drive people crazy with kindness?

*

Then, there is forgiveness.

Just because they who have hurt my feelings have also shown me some love from way back.

Just because what is there to gain in harboring grudges?

Just because I have seen with my heart that there is no real happiness when I am angry at someone or something.

And my happiness is more important than for an offender to get the justice, and punishment, that such offender deserves.

*

Some people think that wisdom leads to happiness and contentment.

I will not argue with that.

I am happy, and very content, with my life.

There are still things that occasionally get into my nerves, and make me angry.

Like stupid people making stupid mistakes.

Or ignorant people trying to put me down.

But I always rise above my feelings.

*

Because I know.

I see with my heart.

I discern that they are pitiful ignorant creatures who do not have my sapientia.

And I know that it is right for me to look down on them, but never to stoop down to their level.

Smartness would tell me to simply ignore them.

Intelligence dictates that I turn my back on them.

But Wisdom, true sapientia, begs me to have mercy, and pity them.

Because that’s what my God would do.

*

I had wisdom at a very young age.

Because I was bullied and taunted as a gay boy, I became more sensitive than most people my age.

I sought comfort in books, and the library.

I learned lessons from history, and the Bible stories.

I understood, at age 10, the image of The Suffering Servant.

*

I mean, although I couldn’t quite explain it articulately then, I knew even as a young precocious child that I was always Cinderella.

The ugly ducking.

The stone that the builders rejected.

The dark horse.

The one less favored by the ignorant the crowd.

*

True, it would not seem like that if you look at my childhood achievements.

Because if you just look at the pictures, or listen to what the people in my town say about those times—

About how I was showing a lot of promise at a very young age.

About how I was showing enormous talent in dancing, acting, writing, directing, performing.

I mean, you would really think that I was hailed high above the people’s shoulders as a genius and prodigy.

But those people won’t tell you how they always thought, and spoke, of me as the queer one behind my back.

*

But even then, I was smarter than they were.

I knew the real deal in my mind, in my heart, in my soul.

And I knew that only God is my refuge.

And that was the birth of Wisdom for me at a very young age.

*

As I grew up, I learned and picked up other virtues.

Like knowledge, good counsel, understanding, fortitude, piety, and love of the Lord.

But Wisdom had always been with me.

I have always been blessed with sapientia.

But people wouldn’t recognize it because I was so young.

And as I said, most people think that wisdom only comes with age.

Well, that’s their curse.

*

As for me, I know what Wisdom is.

It is rooted in knowing, with my heart and soul, that God loves me.

So that I don’t really need the world’s approval.

So that I can be happy and content with my life.

So that I can forgive the world’s crimes of ignorance committed against me.

So that I can forgive.

So that I can love.

So that I become one with God.

So that I become God.

Be God! ([email protected]/PN)

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