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DEFENDING  THE  BRIDE

 

 
 

Wisdom  and  Age

 

A person will grow in wisdom as he advances with age when he follows God.

Luke 2:52
“And Jesus advanced (in) wisdom and age and favor before God and man.”

Job 12:12
“Wisdom is with the aged, and understanding in length of days.”

Sirach 25:5-6
“How attractive is wisdom in the aged, and understanding and counsel in honorable men! 6 Rich experience is the crown of the aged, and their boast is the fear of the Lord.”

2 Maccabees 6:21-31
“Those who were in charge of that unlawful sacrifice took the man aside, because of their long acquaintance with him, and privately urged him to bring meat of his own providing, proper for him to use, and pretend that he was eating the flesh of the sacrificial meal which had been commanded by the king, 22 so that by doing this he might be saved from death, and be treated kindly on account of his old friendship with them. 23 But making a high resolve, worthy of his years and the dignity of his old age and the gray hairs which he had reached with distinction and his excellent life even from childhood, and moreover according to the holy God-given law, he declared himself quickly, telling them to send him to Hades.

 24 “Such pretense is not worthy of our time of life, he said, “lest many of the young should suppose that Eleazar in his ninetieth year has gone over to an alien religion, 25 and through my pretense, for the sake of living a brief moment longer, they should be led astray because of me, while I defile and disgrace my old age. 26 For even if for the present I should avoid the punishment of men, yet whether I live or die I shall not escape the hands of the Almighty. 27 Therefore, by manfully giving up my life now, I will show myself worthy of my old age 28 and leave to the young a noble example of how to die a good death willingly and nobly for the revered and holy laws.”

When he had said this, he went at once to the rack. 29 And those who a little before had acted toward him with good will now changed to ill will, because the words he had uttered were in their opinion sheer madness. 30 When he was about to die under the blows, he groaned aloud and said: “It is clear to the Lord in his holy knowledge that, though I might have been saved from death, I am enduring terrible sufferings in my body under this beating, but in my soul I am glad to suffer these things because I fear him.”

 31 So in this way he died, leaving in his death an example of nobility and a memorial of courage, not only to the young but to the great body of his nation.”

Of course, there is not an exact parallel between age and wisdom as seen below, but a wise child is the exception to the expected norm of a faithful adult Christian.

CCC 1308
"Although Confirmation is sometimes called the “sacrament of Christian maturity,” we must not confuse adult faith with the adult age of natural growth, nor forget that the baptismal grace is a grace of free, unmerited election and does not need “ratification” to become effective. St. Thomas reminds us of this:

Age of body does not determine age of soul. Even in childhood man can attain spiritual maturity: as the book of Wisdom says: “For old age is not honored for length of time, or measured by number of years.” Many children, through the strength of the Holy Spirit they have received, have bravely fought for Christ even to the shedding of their blood.  126
(126 St. Thomas Aquinas, STh III, 72, 8, ad 2; cf. Wisdom 4:8.)

 

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