Today’s first Mass reading is from the Book of Wisdom. The passage describes Wisdom as pervading all things and having “an aura of the might of God and a pure effusion of the glory of the Almighty.” She is “the refulgence of eternal light, the spotless mirror of the power of God, the image of his goodness.”
The manifestation of God that is Wisdom is always presented as feminine and the Greek word for Wisdom is Sophia. Thomas Merton speaks of Wisdom as both the “Mother of all” and as “my sister.” He calls Sophia “God’s sharing of Himself with creatures.” He writes that Sophia’s
delights are to be with the children of men. She is their sister. The core of life that exists in all things is tgenderness, mercy, virginity, the Light, the Life considered as passive, as received, as given, as taken, as inexhaustibly renewed by the Gift of God. Sophis is Gift, is Spirit, Donum Dei. She is God-given and God Himself as Gift.
One of Joyce Rupp’s many wonderful books is one titled, Prayers to Sophia. Rupp explains in the introduction to that book that when she “prayerfully dwelt” in the widsom literature of the Bible, she came to a personal relationship with Sophia. That relationship is beautifully revealed in the prayers in her book.
Guidance is one of the prayers in Rupp’s book that I come back to again and again. One of the stanzas of the prayer reads:
Please gather your wisdom around me.
Guide me carefully as I make choices
about how to use my energy positively.
Place your discerning touch on my mind
so that I will think clearly.
Place your loving fingers on my heart
so that I will be more fully attentive
to what is really of value.
A useful prayer with which to begin our day.