As some of you are aware, in addition to music and liturgy I also teach middle school religion. Last week, in my 8th grade class we were discussing the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Several students were confused about the difference between knowledge and wisdom.

When I was younger, and thought I knew it all, got into a debate with a co-worker over the phrase, “With age comes wisdom”. I insisted that age didn’t necessarily bring wisdom, age brings age. She insisted that age brought experience and from experience came wisdom.

Wisdom is a true gift of the Holy Spirit. I know some young people who are very wise and some older people who are dumber than a box of rocks. Age brings experience, but if one does not apply what they learned from those experiences then they do not obtain wisdom. Like all the gifts, wisdom must be cultivated. We recieve the gift in baptism and confirmation, then what do we do with it? A young person is equally capable of attaining wisdom as an older person if he applies what he learns.

Wisdom is different from knowledge. Wisdom is the ability to use one’s knowledge.

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