Gaudium et Spes 15

The fifteenth section of Gaudium et Spes begins:

(Human beings judge) rightly that by (their) intellect (they surpass) the material universe, for (they share) in the light of the divine mind. By relentlessly employing (their) talents through the ages (they have) indeed made progress in the practical sciences and in technology and the liberal arts. In our times (they have) won superlative victories, especially in (their) probing of the material world and in subjecting it to (themselves).

Despite our accomplishments in the material world, we also seek for something deeper. It is part of our God-given intelligence that we are able to probe and begin to perceive aspects of the universe that transcend “data alone,” or science, if you will:

Still (they have) always searched for more penetrating truths, and find them. For (their) intelligence is not confined to observable data alone, but can with genuine certitude attain to reality itself as knowable, though in consequence of sin that certitude is partly obscured and weakened.

Sin is acknowledged as an aspect that thwarts not only our moral make-up, but impedes our ability to engage our intellect. Sin is a given for us, but the solution is the search for wisdom:

The intellectual nature of the human person is perfected by wisdom and needs to be, for wisdom gently attracts the mind of (a person) to a quest and a love for what is true and good. Steeped in wisdom, (a person) passes through visible realities to those which are unseen.

The Church recognizes the need for wisdom. Note that it is defined above as a human quality, not necessarily a religious one.

Our era needs such wisdom more than bygone ages if the discoveries made by (humankind) are to be further humanized. For the future of the world stands in peril unless wiser (people) are forthcoming. It should also be pointed out that many nations, poorer in economic goods, are quite rich in wisdom and can offer noteworthy advantages to others.

In addition to the fruits of wisdom, Christians recognize that God inspires an awareness of the “divine plan.”

It is, finally, through the gift of the Holy Spirit that (humankind) comes by faith to the contemplation and appreciation of the divine plan.(Cf. Sir. 17:7-8)



About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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