Since 2000, Ottawa Archbishop Marcel Gervais has expressed his opinion on a variety of faith topics. These texts were initially published in the "Ask the Religion Experts" column which appears every Saturday in The Ottawa Citizen. As of June 2005, Msgr. Patrick Powers, Vicar General, will be taking on the responsibility of the weekly articles.

What is more important, love or wisdom, and why?

In the Book of Genesis (1:27, 28) we read that God, who is love, created human beings out of love. Consequently, as a fundamental and intimate vocation, he also calls each of us to love, as we have been created in his image and likeness. Jesus, in Johns Gospel (15:9, 12) said "As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love .... This is my commandment, love one another as I have loved you". In this sense, communion with one another and with the God, the Father of Jesus Christ is the heart of all Christian aspiration and achievement.

We are raised up in baptism to become a partakers of the divine life. Here, God endows the baptized with a new set of faculties which we call the gifts of the Spirit. Wisdom is one of the seven gifts of the Spirit. It completes and perfects the virtues of those who receive them and helps us to be attentive to divine inspiration. Wisdom is often referred to as the Gift of the Holy Spirit par excellence.

Because we have been created free to choose, it is through this gift we are made more receptive to the divine motion which moves in us, or in other words, to savour the things of God. Hence, we are guided by this gift to judge all things in terms of their relationship to God - thus elevating the rule of love above that of human reason to be the norm of all virtues.

So, it is impossible to imagine loves perfection in us, and its return to the Father, without the gift of wisdom. They are equally important. Just as the Father. Son and Holy Spirit are one, we might also say, so are wisdom and love!