Advent Reflections – Carolyn Carlins


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

(From the Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World)

By Carolyn Carlins

Carolyn Carlins

During this third week of advent, which means “coming,” we continue to prepare for Christmas in expectant anticipation of the coming Christ, who is the power and wisdom of God (1 Cor. 1:24). We wait to celebrate and be reminded of the infusion of such love and wisdom, which not only mechanizes our intellect and humanizes knowledge, but is a perfection that strengthens our understanding. Like a good cup of tea, wisdom infuses itself in the human person, forming an abiding relationship that grows stronger as it steeps.

Just as tea leaves engage hot water, we too engage our own intellect by exploring its curiosity alongside the pursuits of others. Such curiosity and confluence of human intellect procure immeasurable knowledge with the potential for infinite possibilities. From our inquiry we recognize that wisdom allows intellect to be deeply personal. Often what is gained from wisdom is not confined to observable data alone, but also inspires matters of the soul. Wisdom provides the capacity for discernment and right judgment. It is not contingent, but rather necessary for knowledge and intellect.

Consequently, we search to know more because as we learn we find that “love talks with better knowledge and knowledge greater love.” We grow in appreciation the more we seek to fill our cups with the discovery of that which is unknown, the penetrating truths of human nature. Perhaps what we find is that such truths are more intrinsic than they seem, for in our intellect we uncover an inherent affinity for knowledge, love and wisdom. Like tea and water infusing, it is impossible to separate and “those who hold it fast are called happy” (Prov. 3:18).

Carolyn Carlins is a senior public history major with minors in English and music. You may often hear her playing violin for Sunday Masses at Mercyhurst.

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