At the heart of monastic life is opening oneself to listen for the voice of God. Central to the listening is an appreciation for God speaking to us in Revelation – in scripture – and cultivating an appreciation for the Word. Saint Benedict invites us to seek wisdom and be guided by God offering us this wisdom. The monks of Mepkin were most fortunate to have received classes offered by Andrew Davis, PhD, of Boston College via the internet on February 26, 27 and 28 inviting us to appreciate Wisdom in the Hebrew Bible as well as Wisdom in Ecclesiastes and Job.
Beginning with the question – What is Wisdom? Dr. Davis guided us through his presentations 1) wisdom is personified as a woman, 2) wisdom is practical, 3) wisdom is path and 4) wisdom begins with ‘fear of the Lord’, to grasp the ways in which the book of Proverbs makes an incredibly rich treasure available to us whom the Rule of Saint Benedict encourages to seek and find wisdom. Dr. Davis followed his classes on Proverbs with classes on wisdom in Job and Ecclesiastes to give us even more of a yearning to study these writings and understand how they set Saint Bernard and the monks before us on fire with a need to attend to all God is offering us in the body of wisdom literature found in the Hebrew texts. We are indebted to this gifted professor for taking us in three relatively brief classes on a wonderful ride through some very important areas of the wisdom tradition.