New Insights on the Gospels

March for Life 2012

Evil triumphs when good men do nothing - Edmund Burke

Monday, August 25, 2008

St. Louis IX, King of France, August 25

Today we also celebrate the Feast of St Louis IX King of France. A true indication that Church and State can work together. Let us contemplate the life of this great saint.

St. Louis IX, King of France, August 25

Prof. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira

Biographical selection:

The following text from the Book of Wisdom is habitually applied to St. Louis:
“Hear, therefore, ye kings, and understand; learn, ye that are judges of the ends of the earth. Give ear, you that rule the people, and that please yourself in the multitude of nations: For power is given you by the Lord, and strength by the Most High, who will examine your works, and search out your thoughts ...

“To you, therefore, O kings, these are my words, that you may learn wisdom, and not fall from it. For they that have kept just things justly, shall be justified: and they that have learned these things, shall find what to answer.

"Covet ye, therefore, my words, and love them, and you shall have instruction. Wisdom is glorious, and never fadeth away, and is easily seen by them that love her, and is found by them that seek her” (6:2-4; 10-12).

St. Louis was a wise King in the full sense of the word, because the truly wise one is not the scientist who knows many facts, but the saint.

What is wisdom? It is the fundamental virtue by which man knows the most profound aspect of things, the ultimate reality of things. It is the virtue that allows one to penetrate and understand not only this or that subject, but the whole universe, the cosmos. It is wisdom that permits one to understand the meaning of one’s own existence, the meaning of human life in general, and the meaning of the ensemble of other created things.

How does one understand the ultimate reality of things? It is to know what the things are, what they represent, what they exist for. But wisdom is not just to understand. It is to understand in order to lead one’s life and order one’s actions in accordance with the answer one finds to these questions.

There is, then, an opposition between the wise and the foolish spirits. The foolish man is the one who is not concerned about these things. He only wants to enjoy himself. He doesn’t want to know the ultimate reason of things, the reality that is behind appearances. He doesn’t want to adapt his life to principles. He just wants to enjoy a good life. Not necessarily an immoral life, but a life where he doesn’t have to think about anything profound. To live a life like this is a complete absence of wisdom.

How many good ladies do you know who take reasonable care of their family duties, assist at Mass, go to confession, receive Holy Communion, but do not have wisdom? Certainly there are many. They do all these good things, but afterwards they are immersed in their little mediocre lives without any deep thought.

In his Treatise on Eternal Wisdom St. Louis de Montfort explains that wisdom is a presupposition for the Faith. Without wisdom the Faith can exist, but it lacks a foundation. Our Lady was the Seat of the Wisdom and was always seeking to increase her knowledge, love and service of God.

This virtue is demanded of kings, governors, and anyone who exercises some form of power. A king without wisdom loses his people. When he has wisdom, he saves his people, and is the glory of his people. For a man without wisdom, power becomes an instrument of his perdition.

Hence, we can understand the magnificent eulogy Scriptures made of the wise king. He leads peoples and things to their last end, which is God. This is the ultimate meaning of his kingship.

What we admire in St. Louis, King of France, is the model of a wise man placed on the throne to govern his kingdom.

We should ask him to give us the precious virtue of wisdom.

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