Michelangelo – The Creation of Adam, Sistine Chapel
In the last blogpost, I included a reading from the Book of Wisdom:
She is a breath of the power of God, pure emanation of the glory of the Almighty; so nothing impure can find its way into her.
26 For she is a reflection of the eternal light, untarnished mirror of God’s active power, and image of his goodness.
27 Although she is alone, she can do everything; herself unchanging, she renews the world, and, generation after generation, passing into holy souls, she makes them into God’s friends and prophets;
28 for God loves only those who dwell with Wisdom.
29 She is indeed more splendid than the sun, she outshines all the constellations; compared with light, she takes first place,
30 for light must yield to night, but against Wisdom evil cannot prevail.
Some have said that in the painting of the Creation, above, that God the Father, in the act of creation, has Wisdom in the crook of his left arm. One has to read quite a lot about the ‘innate’ wisdom of the sacred feminine Goddess, or something, to find out any facts. But I am persevering. It is interesting that Wisdom, or Sophia, or Sapientia, is always feminine, that so many great churches are named after Santa Sophia – the Holy Wisdom – even a whole capital city, named after the Church of the Holy Wisdom, but that is about as far as I would go. What the verses in the reading make clear is that Wisdom is part of the very being of the Godhead, the untarnished mirror of God’s active power.
And, of course, Our Lady is not only the Mirror of Justice, but also the Sedes Sapientiae, The Seat of Wisdom. The Idle Speculations blog has a beautiful post about this here.
In the Orthodox Church, and in some of the works of the Patristic writers, the Holy Wisdom, Haghia Sophia, is equated with the Logos, or the Second Person of the Trinity, Christ.
Here is an article about Pope Francis’ homily today; ‘Let us allow the Spirit to lead us forward in that wisdom, which is like a soft breeze’.
Ukrainian Icon – Sophia, the Holy Wisdom, 1812
Sapientia humana, stultitia est apud Deum – Human wisdom is folly before the Lord.