Tuesday, May 17, 2011

WATER INTO WINE

Learned [people] and great scholars have devoted great effort and prolonged study to the Holy Scriptures... employing the gifts which God gives to every person who has the use of reason. This knowledge is good... but it does not bring with it any spiritual experience of God, for these graces are granted only to those who have a great love for Him. This fountain of love issues from our Lord alone, and no stranger may approach it. But knowledge of this kind is common to good and bad alike, since it can be acquired without love, ... and men of a worldly life are sometimes more knowledgeable than many true Christians although they do not possess this love. St. Paul describes this kind of knowledge: "If I had full knowledge of all things and knew all secrets, but had no love, I should be nothing." Some people who possess this knowledge become proud and misuse it in order to increase their personal reputation, worldly rank, honors and riches, when they should use it humbly to the praise of God and for the benefit of their fellow Christians in true charity. St. Paul says of this kind of knowledge: "Knowledge by itself stirs the heart with pride, but united to love it turns to edification." By itself this knowledge is like water, tasteless and cold. But if those who have it will offer it humbly to our Lord and ask for His grace, He will turn the water into wine with His blessing.
-- Walter Hilton in The Scale of Perfection

 
#2771

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