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September 1994

The wisdom that comes down from above is essentially something pure; it also makes for peace, and is kindly and considerate; it is full of compassion and shows itself by doing good; nor is there any trace of partiality or hypocrisy in it. (Jas. 3:17)

The apostle James describes the fruits that the Word of God produces in those who live it. It is a 'collection' of the most beautiful Christian virtues which reminds us of others in the New Testament - the beatitudes (Matt. 5:3-11), the hymn to charity (1 Cor. 13:4-7), the fruits of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22), the range of qualities that make up Christian virtue (Col. 3:12-14; Eph. 6:14-17; Rom. 12:9-21) - where the words and images seem insufficient to express the whole richness of the new life in Christ.

The wisdom that comes down from above is essentially something pure; it also makes for peace, and is kindly and considerate; it is full of compassion and shows itself by doing good; nor is there any trace of partiality or hypocrisy in it.

Here the fruits of the Word are presented so as to highlight the two essential aspects of Christian love. First of all, there is its purity: purity of mind (that is, the absence of any error or doctrinal defect) and purity of heart (that is, the absence of any attachment to sin or shadow of evil). Then there is its practicality and fruitfulness in building peace and unity among all.

The wisdom that comes down from above is essentially something pure; it also makes for peace, and is kindly and considerate; it is full of compassion and shows itself by doing good; nor is there any trace of partiality or hypocrisy in it.

The Word of God is called 'wisdom from above'.

'Wisdom' in the Bible, when it refers to the Word of God, means the divine vision of things, the divine truth which is the friend of humanity, something to be experienced and which gives spiritual joy (Ps. 19:7-11). It is the Word of God which, penetrating and transforming our life, becomes in us the source of light and love, the origin and inspiration of all our thoughts and actions.

The wisdom that comes down from above is essentially something pure; it also makes for peace, and is kindly and considerate; it is full of compassion and shows itself by doing good; nor is there any trace of partiality or hypocrisy in it.

How shall we live the Word of Life this month?

By proposing that we too acquire true wisdom.

Since it is a question of 'wisdom from above', let's try first of all to ask God for it through humble and insistent prayer, being sure we shall obtain it (Wis. 7:7; Luke 11:9-13). At the same time, bearing in mind that it is a question of wisdom that is acquired by living the Word of God, let's make an effort to put this Word into practice with ever greater readiness and generosity.

During this month, among the various Christian virtues listed by James, let's give particular consideration to the ones we are most aware we lack.

'Wisdom' will grow in us according to how much we are nourished by the Word of God. Our life, then, will become like the house built on rock that Jesus speaks of in the Gospel (Mt. 7: 24), the house that can resist all the storms of error and all the floods of immorality that might hurl themselves against it.

Chiara Lubich

 

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