The years teach much which the days never knew. –Ralph Waldo Emerson
In the Book of Proverbs, we are instructed to “get wisdom.” Wisdom, in other words, is not a free gift.
We are told to develop it. We are, then, required to seek meaning in life, to understand that life is not
a series of events. Life is a series of learnings. Wisdom is what we are meant to cull from every event in
Wisdom is the depth of soul that enables us to understand what must remain in our lives when
everything else—the job, the health, the security, the excitement—goes, as all those things someday,
inevitable, will. Lin Tang says, “The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of the nonessentials.”
It is what we believe spiritually that carries us through life. It is the well of wisdom from which we are
meant to draw. We must be careful as we seek wisdom not to confuse the spiritual with the religious.
Religious rigidity and self-righteousness have destroyed a great deal in life. Only that which nurtures
the truly spiritual in us, the search for the presence of God in every small dimension of life, is real
If, by the time we die, beauty has moved the silent center of us, love has wracked our hearts, and the
word of God has seeped into our heart, we will be as wise as any human being can ever hope to be.
–from Aspects of the Heart: The Many Paths to a Good Life
by Joan Chittister (Twenty-Third Publications)
New book by Joan Chittister