We learn wisdom in and through Holy Mother Church, especially in and through the Mass wherein we encounter the word of God, and by embracing the teachings of the Doctors of the Church and the wisdom of the saints. The Catechism of the Catholic Church is a profoundly rich source of wisdom.
We prepare our minds by first considering that we do not know all there is to know: Scio me nihil scire. I know that I know nothing [cf. Socratic Paradox].
We do not see as God sees or know as God knows. God, however, can grant man a share in His wisdom and thus man's faculties, aided by grace, attain to a higher (or deeper) level of reason and a more profound grasp of reality.
Proverbs 1:7The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.
Proverbs 9:10The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.
['Fear of the Lord' is an expression that is not readily accepted nowadays. Whenever the phrase comes up during the Liturgy of the Word, homiletic explanations seeking to soften the text really do a disservice to the potential of man to humble himself before God in order to receive God's life, love and true joy. The common retort to the phrase is that a religion of fear is no religion at all. There's truth in that statement, but it is a misplaced modifier of the phrase in question. 'Fear of the Lord' is a gift of the Holy Spirit. SEE FOOTNOTE.]
We prepare our minds by listening to God in prayer, meditating on Holy Scripture and on the writings of orthodox authors, especially the Doctors of the Church, and examining our consciences for ways to improve humility and deference to legitimate authority in the Church. It helps to remember that our agenda is no agenda if not the agenda of Jesus Christ and His Church.3. What kinds of devotional practices aid us in recovering and maintaining a sense of humility and a need for ongoing discernment?
The Liturgy of the Hours (Divine Office, the Breviary) and The Holy Rosary, also known as Our Lady’s Psalter, offer us sublime avenues into the word of God. The Rosary has us meditating on scenes from the life of Jesus and Mary so that we may enter into the Gospel and more fully embrace the life Christ offers us.
The fear of the Lord: gift of the Holy Spirit. This gift enables a person “to avoid sin and attachment to created things out of reverence and love of God.” Primarily, this gift entails a profound respect for the majesty of God who is the supreme being. Here, a person realizes his “creatureliness” and dependency upon God, has a true “poverty of spirit,” and never would want to be separated from God, who is love. As such, this gift arouses in the soul a vibrant sense of adoration and reverence for God and a sense of horror and sorrow for sin.
This gift of fear of the Lord is sometimes misunderstood because of the word “fear.” “Fear of the Lord” is not a servile fear whereby a person serves God simply because he fears punishment, whether some sort of temporal punishment in this life or the eternal punishment of hell. A genuine relationship with God is based on love, not fear. Therefore, this “fear of the Lord” is a filial or reverential fear that moves a person to do God’s will and avoid sin because of love for God, who is all good and deserving of all of our love.—Fr. William Saunders.