Yesterday evening the Holy Father met with professors and students from the Roman pontifical universities to kick off the academic year. In his remarks, the Pope clarified how to avoid pride by becoming “truly wise before God.”
Pope Benedict XVI began his address to the audience by distinguishing between the wisdom of God and the “wisdom of the world.” The Pontiff affirmed that the latter “is a way of living and seeing things divorced from God, following dominant opinions according to the criteria of success and power.” However, he continued, “‘Divine wisdom' consists in following the mind of Christ; it is Christ who opens the eyes of the heart to follow the path of truth and love.”
Tying in the Apostle to the Gentiles, Pope Benedict went on to say that “St. Paul exhorts those who consider themselves wise according to the criteria of the world to 'become fools' in order to become truly wise before God.” He continued, “Paul - following Jesus - opposes a type of intellectual pride in which human beings, even though knowing much, lose the sensibility of truth and the ability to open themselves to the newness of divine action."
The Pope recalled that St. Paul "denounced the poison of false wisdom, which is human pride.”
“What is harmful is not knowledge in itself but rather the presumption, the ‘boastfulness’ of what we have come to - or believe we have come to – know,” Benedict explained. “It is precisely in this that revolts and discord have come from within the Church and, analogously, in society.”
“Therefore,” he continued, we must “cultivate the wisdom, not of the flesh, but of the Spirit."
"The 'thinking of Christ' that we have received through grace purifies us of false wisdom. We come to this 'wisdom of Christ' through the Church and in the Church, letting ourselves be carried on the river of its living tradition."
The Holy Father concluded by sharing his desire that the professors and students fervently dedicate themselves “to intellectual work, free of the temptation of pride, and boast always and only in the Lord."