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Sunday, 19 August 2012

St. Bernard on Using Knowledge as Charity and Wisdom

“There are people who only wish to know for the sake of knowing: this is base curiosity. Others wish to know in order that they themselves may be known: this is shameful vanity, and such people cannot escape the mockery of the satirical poet who said about their likes: ‘For you, knowing is nothing unless someone else knows that you know.’ Then there are those who acquire knowledge in order to re-sell it, and for example to make money or gain honours from it: their motive is distasteful. But some wish to know in order to edify: this is charity. Others in order to be edified: this is wisdom. Only those who belong to these last two categories do not misuse knowledge, since they only seek to understand in order to do good.” (St. Bernardus, Sermo XXXVI in Cantica, PL, CLXXXIII, 968.)


2 comments:

Alan Aversa said...

Fr. Garrigou-Lagrange, O.P. discusses this in his "Ch 26: The Active Purification of the Intellect" (fn 32) of his The Three Ages of the Interior Life.

Supertradmum said...

Alan, there are over 500 posts on this blog which reference Garrigou Lagrange, part of the perfection and perfection again series. However, I was using St.Bernard directly when I wrote this....

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