Monday, June 11, 2012

Wisdom versus Knowledge

The Cliché Monster is after me.  It’s the monster that taunts writers that their writing is becoming predictable.  So I’m trying on another voice, a more sober, respectable one and deliberately picking an issue that isn’t even funny.
Thomas Kempis in the Imitation of Christ writes: “There is a vast difference between the wisdom of an enlightened and devout soul and the knowledge of a learned and studious scholar.  The knowledge which is poured into the soul by the influence of God’s grace is far nobler than that which is acquired by human labor and study.”
Consider these cases for an illustration in contrast.

                 Case 1: Edwards versus Finlay
            Dr. Robert Edwards, a British doctor, pioneered in-vitro fertilization, the process of taking and egg and fertilizing it with a sperm in a petri-dish.  It creates a baby outside of the sacred marital act and outside of the Catholic Church’s ethical teachings.  The Nobel Prize of Medicine was awarded to him in 2010, affirming the modern world's propensity to make  new gods out of science and medicine.

Dr. Carlos Finlay, a Cuban physician, prayed his nightly rosary after an exhausting day’s work with his patients but was distracted by the buzzing of a mosquito circling his bowed head.   An idea, inspired by Our Lady no doubt, ignited in his mind that it may be the mosquito which transmits yellow fever and malaria.   A series of experiments proved his theory, which contributed to the scientific research and control of this disease in the early 1900s.  

           Case 2:  Sanger versus Mother Teresa
         Margaret Sanger, a nurse, opened the first birth control clinic in the United States and founded the American Birth Control League, which later became Planned Parenthood.  Planned Parenthood is the largest provider of abortions in America.  In 1992, Planned Parenthood filed a lawsuit to strike down the Pennsylvania Abortion Control Act as unconstitutional under Roe v Wade.  Majority of the learned justices of the Supreme Court, some of the US’s best legal minds, affirmed Roe, that a woman’s right to her body overruled her child’s right to life.  Essentially, one woman’s choice led a feminist movement that denied God’s authority to bestow life and undermined a woman’s vocation to be a mother.
            Mother Teresa of Calucutta, saw the unwanted children of God dying in the streets of Calcutta.  In answer to a “call within a call,” she founded the Missionaries of Charity, a religious order that serves the sick, the dying, the poor and neglected of India.  The Missionaries rapidly became a worldwide order and Mother was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979.  Initially, Mother did not want to accept the prize, but did so using her speech to emphasize, “Today the greatest destroyer of peace is abortion because it is a direct war, a direct killing, direct murder by the mother herself… We [Missionaries] are fighting abortion by adoption, we have saved thousands of lives, we have sent words to all the clinics, to the hospitals, police stations - please don't destroy the child, we will take the child.…Let us make that one point, that no child will be unwanted.
Just so we’re clear: I’m not weighing these people in the scale of God’s mercy and justice.  I’m not the Judge.  I’m just saying that if I were a lawyer asked to pick sides to represent, I would choose the parties whose choices exhibited wisdom and acted nobly.   And if I were a Catholic looking for role models, Mother Teresa and Dr. Finlay are whom I want to emulate.
           And since I am a mother and home-educator looking for a motto, I have found it is this: To seek and pray for wisdom, model it and to teach my children knowledge that glorifies God and equip them for labor that does not violate God’s Commandments.    


Nancy Shuman said...

I love this post, and I reeally like the way you write. The story about Dr. Carlos Finlay is wonderful and new to me... wow.

Anabelle Hazard said...

Thanks. Feel free to come back. I'll be posting more "serious" stuff soon.