Wisdom And Understanding
There are some subtly profound differences between wisdom and understanding. Along with knowledge, they are all gifts of the Holy Spirit. However, knowledge and understanding has more to do with having certain facts and having an intellectual grasp of those facts. Wisdom on the other hand has more to do with knowing what to do with our knowledge and understanding and then going out and doing it. Scripture tells us: "For wisdom will enter your heart, knowledge will please your soul, discretion will watch over you, understanding will guard you." (Proverbs 2: 8~11)
St Thomas Aquinas, whose feast we celebrate today, knew and lived this. It is often said of Thomas that he realized, in all its fullness, the Dominican ideal: to contemplate and then give to others the fruit of this contemplation. He knew that all of his knowledge and understanding could not be fruitful with out prayer. St Thomas certainly knew much, but more importantly he prayed much.
While Aquinas is one of those saints I have not had much experience in reading, I can take this little bit from him. All of us, as Christians are called to bear fruit for God's Kingdom; we cannot do that without beginning with prayer. Whether it be our blogs, ministries in which we serve, or simply sharing our faith with another in conversation, we need to begin with prayer. We cannot give what we do not have, as the saying goes.
So if nothing else, let us at least take this little lesson from this giant of a saint. Let us ask St Thomas for his intercession in praying for the grace and gifts of knowledge and understanding of our faith and the wisdom of practicing it in a way that will bear fruit for God's Kingdom here on earth.
St Thomas Aquinas, pray for us.Fr.Robert Barron has a good post and video on this saint and Doctor of the Church.