Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Ten Virtues of Mary: Divine Wisdom

This post is part of a series on the Ten Virtues of Mary, hosted by To the Heights and running every Tuesday until the middle of December. So if you need some help in the virtue department, here's a great place to start ;)

Well, it's my turn.  To be quite honest, I am not the perfect person for this post. In fact, I'm lacking in each of these virtues, but Divine Wisdom?  Gosh, I pray for it.  But I don't think I will ever feel "there."  However, I don't believe we should.  Breaking down this virtue, Webster tells us this:

Divine: 1) relating to, or coming from God or a god. 2) very good.

Wisdom: 1) knowledge that is gained by having many experiences in life.  2) the natural ability to understand things that most other people cannot understand.  3) knowledge of what is proper or reasonable; good sense or judgement.

Mary was the mother of Wisdom.  Truly, she carried and gave birth to the Son of Man, sometimes referred to as Eternal Wisdom.  God prepared her from her conception to carry His Son, and in doing so, she was blessed with a gift of wisdom that none but Jesus will ever truly know.  But being Mary shouldn't be our goal.  We will never be.  Our goal, however, should be to imitate her in every way we can, every second of the day.

What strikes me most about the definition of wisdom is the idea that it comes only from experience.  Mary experienced it all.  She was an unwed, pregnant teen in a time when that typically called for death.  She planned to marry Joseph, yet I don't know that she ever planned to be the Mother of God.  From the moment of Gabriel's announcement (and truly, long before) her life was no longer her own.  Before Jesus was even born, there were threats against His life.  And that life...it was a short one.  Mary thought she lost him once.  She knew that her heart would be pierced because she had said yes to God.  In the end, she watched - only watched - as her son was betrayed, ostracized, and brutally beaten.  She watched as he carried his own instrument of death.  She watched as he was nailed to a cross, knowing he was guilty of no crime.  And, she watched as her only son struggled to breathe and finally asked for the forgiveness of his perpetrators before he took his final breath.  She could not comfort Him.  She could not take his place.  She could not take any of His pain on her shoulders.  She could only watch as He bore it all...for you and for me.

She could not do it because she knew - in her wisdom - that God had a plan.  In that plan instead of sparing her grief as a mother watching her only son suffer and die, God used her, and her experience, to save us from a pit of unending pain and suffering.

She gave up her life in order to live one through Him.  In her "yes" to God, she became a living example of His will.  In her divine wisdom, she gave to God what was rightfully His for His doing...her very life.

How much do we do this?  Do we give ourselves completely to God?  How often are our wills aligned directly with His?  If I'm answering, I think my true answer is this: some times.  There are days when I'd like to think my will is His will.  But, it's during those times when I also typically convince myself that I need a lot more things that I really do...that I'm not truly doing something for any prideful affirmation but because I feel called to...that God would surely justify my unloving actions as I categorized them: justice (not mercy).  Wrong.  This isn't allowing God's will to work through me.  It is forcing my will on Him and calling it His.

I remember vividly making specific decisions when I was younger.  They were important ones to me at the time such as which college I would attend, which career path I would take, which job I would accept, etc.  In each of these decisions, I remember fretting immensely.  I would call everyone I knew that might have knowledgeable input.  I would make a list of the pros and cons.  I would cry.  I would lose sleep.  I would go back and forth and finally, in the case of college, overnight a decision on the day before my answer was due.  Then, I would worry some more.  I would even play the "what if" game after a decision had been made.  Finally, my mom asked if I had prayed.  Yes.  She then said, "Trust in His will.  He opened this door and led you here for a reason.  It is His plan."

My problem was when the first mishap would arise.  That mishap was seen as a "sign I had made the wrong decision."  I had no true trust in Him.  Had I, I would have known that wisdom comes from experience, and His will for us does not always mean sunshine and roses.  Sometimes it means learning lessons.

This is where Mary and her divine wisdom comes in.  She simply said, "yes."  And, she lived it.  To the joys, the sufferings, the responsibility and the agony, she said, "yes."  God has given her to us as Our Mother to help us say, "yes" too!

When experiences come our way that we don't feel we deserve, let us say yes.  When God takes something from us and we question that taking with every fiber of our being, let us say yes.  When we feel unloved, unwanted, and even uncool, let us say yes.  When the weight of the cross He has asked us to bear seems like it will take our very life, let us say yes.

And let us remember that if in Her place, we would have probably cried out that our Son was innocent, ripped the cross from our Son's shoulders, and given our own life to take away the slightest pain in Him.  In those moments, instead, she was silent, and in her silence she said, "Yes."

Mary, Mother of God, in your wisdom, mother us.  Help us understand that our crosses are for our gain, and pray that we receive these experiences in life with open arms, understanding that we will only grow closer to Him if we let Him have complete control of every minute of our lives.

Lord, give us wisdom.

For the rest of the series, please visit these blogs:

October 7 - An Introduction to the Ten Virtues of Mary - Olivia of To the Heights
October 14 - Lively Faith - Molly of Molly Makes Do
October 21 - Blind Obedience - Kendra of Catholic All Year
October 28 - Constant Mental Prayer - Jenna of Call Her Happy
November 4 - Heroic Patience - Kelly of This Ain't the Lyceum
November 11 - Profound Humility - Carolyn of Svellerella
November 18 - Angelic Sweetness - Regina of Good One God
November 25 - Divine Wisdom - Britt of The Fisk Files
December 2 - Universal Mortification - Abbey of Surviving Our Blessings
December 9 - Divine Purity - Gina of Someday Saints
December 16 - Ardent Charity - Christy of Fountains of Home
December 17 - Massive GIVEAWAY at To the Heights - Just in time for Christmas


  1. Love it! Just what I needed to hear this morning!
    Julia B.

  2. Oh, Britt. Absolutely beautiful.

  3. Wow, Divine Wisdom is saying, "Yes," to God's Will for us. If we trust in Him, pray for guidance and rest in His Will, He will give us Divine Wisdom for His Plan to be accomplished in our lives.

  4. This is so beautiful...I know I'll be pondering it all day today! Thank you.

    1. Thank you, Ashley. That is so sweet of you to say!

  5. Britt this is just breath taking...I really relate to what you said about wisdom comes from experience. I see that to be so true for me in my own life. And though we'll never be like Mary in that department, we can know she relates and understand us through her own experiences

  6. Oh, I just now saw this! How lovely!