What is Greater than the Wisdom of Solomon?

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. . . apparently the power of women.

Upon giving the throne to his son, David told Solomon, “Take courage and be a man. Keep the mandate of the Lord, your God, following his ways and observing his statutes, commands, ordinances, and decrees as they are written in the law of Moses, that you may succeed in whatever you do, wherever you turn.” (1 Kings 2-3)

Solomon, a smart young man understanding the immense responsibility his father has just bestowed on him, asks God, “O Lord, my God, you have made me, your servant, king to succeed my father David; but I am a mere youth, not knowing at all how to act. I serve you in the midst of the people whom you have chosen, a people so vast that it cannot be numbered or counted. Give your servant, therefore, an understanding heart to judge your people and to distinguish right from wrong.” (1 Kings 3:7-9)

God was so thrilled with this prayer that He did in fact give Solomon ‘A heart so wise and understanding that there has never been anyone like you up to now, and after you there will come no one to equal you.” (1 Kings 3:12) To this day, we speak of the wisdom of Solomon and how clever and astute he was in his judgments.

Unfortunately in his later years, Solomon was not so wise. So just how did Solomon go from being the smartest guy ever, enjoying great success and riches, to losing favor with God and causing the loss of his kingdom?

‘When Solomon was old his wives had turned his heart to strange gods, and his heart was not entirely with the Lord, his God.’ (1 Kings 11:4)

It is understandable that Solomon’s wives, taken from tribes outside his Hebrew faith, would naturally want to steer their husband to their beliefs. What is curious though, is why did Solomon listen to them? Why did he turn from the God he knew all his life, the Source of his wisdom, to these new and strange gods?

Could it be that the influence of woman is greater than the intelligence of man?

What may surprise you is that the Catholic Church has always professed this feminine influence and directly addressed women concerning their power on December 8, 1965, in the closing of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, when Pope Paul VI wrote:

“And now it is to you that we address ourselves, women of all states—girls, wives, mothers and widows, to you also, consecrated virgins and women living alone—you constitute half of the immense human family. As you know, the Church is proud to have glorified and liberated woman, and in the course of the centuries, in diversity of characters, to have brought into relief her basic equality with man. But the hour is coming, in fact has come, when the vocation of woman is being achieved in its fullness, the hour in which woman acquires in the world an influence, an effect and a power never hitherto achieved. That is why, at this moment when the human race is under-going so deep a transformation, women impregnated with the spirit of the Gospel can do so much to aid mankind in not falling.”

So, what does the discovery of this feminine power, an influence so great we can bring down kingdoms, mean for us women?

As I see it, we have three choices:

1)    We can deny this power and continue to believe the culture’s mantra that women are victims with no voice (even though more women than men graduate with a college degree these days; and women have reached the top-echelon in all areas including industry, education, medicine and politics.)

2)    We can accept it and choose to wield this power for our own interests.

3)    We can embrace this gift and use our influence to give glory to the One who gave it us.

Assuming you are as wise as our ‘younger’ brother, Solomon, and chose number 3, here are some ways we can respond to the Church’s call to ‘acquire in the world an influence, an effect and a power never hitherto achieved so as to aid mankind in not falling:’

  • We can become ‘impregnated with the Gospel’ by taking Catholic faith/bible studies on a consistent basis.
  • We can pray daily for wisdom to live a life of virtue and ask for the intercession of the woman most powerful, our Blessed Mother, in living out our vocation to womanhood.
  • We can frequent the Sacraments of Eucharist and Reconciliation and humbly ask Jesus to remove all obstacles that prevent us from influencing our family, friends, co-workers, etc. and turning their hearts to God.
  • We can transform the world! . . . . by simply being the woman God has created us to be.

Choose wisely, Sister!

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About Nan Balfour

Coordinator for the annual Catholic Women's Conference, an apostolate of the Pilgrim Center of Hope - Catholic evangelization ministry in San Antonio, Texas. The Pilgrim Log is the blog of the Pilgrim Center of Hope, a Catholic evangelization ministry, providing weekly spiritual reflections to help you journey toward a deeper relationship with Christ. Learn more about the Pilgrim Center of Hope by visiting www.pilgrimcenterofhope.org.

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