Knowledge is both a gift from the Holy Spirit and a virtue. Knowledge ensures a sound and right judgment on what is to be believed. Therefore, to gain knowledge about God and His creation, we must first have faith; a belief in God that He exists and that He is the master of creation of all that is good. That is why this gift and acquired virtue falls under the auspices of the theological virtue of Faith.
As a gift, knowledge “places us in profound harmony with the Creator and allows us to participate in the clarity of his vision and judgment. And it is from this perspective that we are able to perceive … the fulfillment of a plan of love that is inherent in each one of us, and enables us to recognize each other as brothers and sisters” (Pope Francis Weekly Audience 5/21/14).
We participate in the clarity of God’s vision and judgment by following His two greatest commandments to love Him with all our hearts, souls and minds, and by loving our neighbor as ourselves. It is through this gift of Knowledge, that we are able to acknowledge the existence of God as our Creator. As humans, we were created by God to be drawn to the good. Everything that God creates is good. Therefore, we as humans come to realize that everyone is connected to God and to each other for God created each one of us. This makes us brothers and sisters of the same Father. We are all meant to share in His love for Him and each other.
As a virtue, knowledge provides us with the means for us to know God better. The only way to get to know Him is to open our minds and hearts to Him, as we would with anyone whom we wanted to know better. Through prayer and the reading of Scripture we come to know and love God more. We learn what is required of us to be considered a child of God and a brother or sister to our neighbor.
How does one embrace knowledge? We’ll address the answer to that question in our next reflection on the virtue of knowledge. Don’t miss it!