THE THEOLOGY OF WISDOM: The Wise Way of Life According to St. Louis Mariae Grignion de Montfort

Egidius Sumarno, SMM


By nature, humans want to be wise. That is why man devotes all his mind and energy to acquiring wisdom. In his pilgrimage, humans find that being wise or being a wise person is not easy and one-time. Being wise is a daily process of living continuously. The process never ends. The process itself is an art of interpreting life well (the art of living well). Saint Louis Mariae Grignion de Montfort is one of the saints who tried to write about the art of living wisely and what one must do to become a wise man or wise person from a Christian perspective. This paper intends to look at the thoughts of St. Montfort on the theology of wisdom and its contribution to the Christian life.

Human Nature Becomes Wise

Wisdom is one of the four basic virtues (besides justice, courage, and self-control) in human beings. The virtue of wisdom pushes people firmly to decide and do something well.[1] The virtue of wisdom is closely related to the uniqueness of humans as intelligent beings. Humans are created with all the potential to think, speak and act wisely. This ability is attached to him as a person.[2] This is the original nature. This ability makes humans placed as truly special creatures, which distinguishes them from animals. Humans were created very well (Gen. 1:31). He is the image of God. His image with God places man in a very close relationship with God as a constitutive element of himself.[3] The image of Allah makes humans different from other creatures created by Allah. Quoting W. Zimmerli, Claus Westermann says:

"The Creator gave man the ability to find his way of life and understand himself, to distinguish between what is good and what is not and what is beneficial and what is detrimental to his life." [4]

His whole life is focused on the question of how he becomes meaningful. It means having the wisdom of life. A wise person is a person who understands the secrets of this life, then knows to give careful consideration, so that he knows how to live this life.[5] Referring to the idea of wisdom as the art of living life, W. Zimmerli said wisdom is a central part of the search for human life. The goal that the sages seek is to become a teacher of life by learning knowledge about the world and applying it to various life situations.[6] Wise people seek answers to life's problems. The answer to the quest determines the orientation of his life. He learns from his own life experiences, the experiences of those around him, and especially from God.

A philosophy that by its name means love (philia) of wisdom (Sophia) refers to a form of seeking truth. This truth is called wisdom. That wisdom is sought by philosophers, as well as theologians. We can also say, philosophy by nature is the natural child of the human yearning for wisdom. That longing is sought in the truth of the meaning of life.

St. Monfort lived in an era where modern philosophy pioneered by Rene Descartes was highly exalted. Modern rationalism carries two major influences. First, there is a shift in views from theocentrism to anthropocentrism.[ first, there is a shift in views from theocentrism to anthropocentrism.[7] God is not seen as the foundation, the guarantor of truth. The center of truth is now human consciousness, the thinking subject. I think therefore I exist (cogito ergo sum). Humans see themselves as free, autonomous subjects. That humans are free subjects wants to say that humans are not only present in the world but are present consciously, by thinking critically, by reflecting, and by taking a critical and free distance. Subjectivity is an essential element in anthropocentrism. That is the motto held by rationalism. This view excludes the truth of faith from human life.

Second, is the emergence of enlightenment and scientism. Enlightenment was meant to be the bright appearance of the human mind to dispel the darkness of superstition and irrational beliefs. Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) defined enlightenment as the exit of man from his self-caused immaturity. Immaturity is the inability to use reason without the guidance of others[8] Dare to use your reasoning (Sapere aude)! That is the motto of the era of enlightenment. Enlightenment rejects anything that cannot be reasoned about. A further consequence of this view is the emergence of empiricism.[9] Empiricism assumes something is true if it can be proven through experience. All scientific knowledge must be proven through experience. The peak of empiricism was in the 19th century when the benchmark for truth was science or what is commonly called scientism. One of the sparks of scientism is the philosophy of language which was introduced by Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951) when he said, language only expresses the factic world.[10] Beyond the factual, language has no role anymore.[10] That means language denies the possibility of talking about something that is beyond what is empirical and logical. The consequence is that they refuse to talk about God, theology, and talk about the meaning of life[11]

Apapun bentuk filsafat yang menjadi lahan perdebatan para filosof, yang jelas semuanya mengarah pada pencarian akan sebuah kebenaran tertinggi. Titik terakhir dari pencarian itu menghantar para filosof pada apa yang disebut  “Ada (Being, Sein), which in religions is called "The Divine" and is given the name God. Forest writes, that when the mind reaches its bottom, it naturally becomes religious, not as something inferred, but as something certain. The motion that brings us to Allah is the motion that brings us to Being (Being, Sein).[[12] Maurice Blondel (1861-1949) called this expression La Philosophie Orante Orante which means praying philosophy, to say the close relationship between philosophy (the search for truth with reason) and theology.

St. Montfort was not too bothered by all the philosophical descriptions and also did not fall into a philosophical understanding that was flourishing at that time. St. Montfort himself is good at making categories of wisdom debated by philosophers[13] With it, he does not allow himself to be immersed in endless philosophical debates without having an impact on real life. At least he believes, all forms of our search for the truth must lead us to an encounter with Eternal Wisdom or supernatural wisdom. That Eternal Wisdom is none other than Jesus Christ Himself. That Eternal Wisdom is the highest science. And that encounter must lead us to self-transformation, namely his likeness. Otherwise, all the philosophical debates stop in the head, becoming mere imaginative monuments.

St. Montfort made three categories of wisdom; false wisdom, natural wisdom, and Supernatural Wisdom/Eternal Wisdom. Philosophical ideas that are generally discussed by philosophers are categorized in the category of natural wisdom (LEW 13, LEW 84). However, St. Montfort was only interested in supernatural wisdom, which is the end of all intellectual pursuits, as a certainty. What did St. Montfort be a new breakthrough, from a theological point of view he reconciles the ideas of wisdom in the Old Testament with the New Testament and also raises the theme of wisdom debated by philosophers at the last point of his search. That wisdom as logos is none other than Christ himself. St. Montfort made the same synthesis as that made by Paul when giving a public lecture before the Areopagus congregation, before the Greek philosophers (Acts 17:16-34). Paul says that the unknown God who is worshiped is Jesus Christ who has risen from the dead. While St. Montfort says; the wisdom that man labors for is Eternal Wisdom, which is none other than Jesus Christ himself. What all human beings seek from their nature is Jesus Christ. For this part, we can also relate to the transcendental anthropology of Karl Rahner, who saw Christ as the answer and fulfillment of human self-realization.

Jesus Christ: The Eternal Wisdom

Discourse on wisdom led St. Montfort to the belief that Jesus Christ is the Eternal Wisdom itself or the Supernatural Wisdom. The use of the word supernatural to make a clear distinction between worldly wisdom and natural wisdom. Regarding supernatural wisdom, he explains it well in several aspects.

  1. Wisdom is a Person; Christological Approach

St. ideas Montfort on Wisdom as a person is very rich. About this, we can see the comments of M. Gilbert quoted by Barbara Moore, who views the book "Love of Wisdom Eternal" as the only spiritual treasure of the Catholic Church which refers directly to the mysticism of ancient wisdom after the early writings of the Greek and Latin Church fathers. Barbara Moore says it is clear that no commentary on the Wisdom Books of the Church Fathers would dare to synthesize as St. Montfort.[14] Perhaps this is what prompted St. Montfort to try to synthesize the Old and New Testaments from a wisdom point of view. Moreover, after the seventeenth century, no spiritual writer has firmly and frankly identified the pre-Christian personification of the Wise Woman with the Word of God, the Son of Man, namely Jesus Christ[15] King Rao also said that it is rare for spiritual writers to use the wisdom point of view as the key to understanding Christ and use it as a guide on a spiritual journey. Montfort dared to do so, without deviating from Christian revelation.[16]

For St. Montfort, Wisdom as a person is none other than Jesus Christ the Son of God who came from God from eternity. He took the human form in the womb of the Virgin Mary in the event of the incarnation. Montfort makes excellent use of the literature of the Wisdom tradition and places it upon Jesus Christ.[[17] This is in line with what was said by Wim van der Weiden who saw functional similarities between Jesus and God in the Old Testament when viewed from the point of view of wisdom.[18] This functional similarity seems to confirm what St. Montfort that Jesus is the Wisdom who from the beginning existed in eternity. This is where St. Montfort boldly charted the Christology of Wisdom. Quoting J. Hemery, Prevost said, this is the Montfort charism, having a special conviction that introduces the Wisdom of God[19]

Who is Jesus Christ the Wisdom? Montfort answers this question in four aspects. first, Jesus Christ is Eternal Wisdom, incarnate as the fullness of God. To quote St. John Chrysostom, St. Montfort said: “Our Lord is a compendium of all of God's works, a painting that encapsulates all of God's perfections and the perfections that exist in all creation” (LEW 9). Jesus was in him fullness both as God and as a man. Second, Christ is a partaker of the Word in creation. Montfort identifies Christ with the Wisdom in his function which has existed since creation and partakes of creation. The Divine Wisdom is the Word in eternity and in time, it has always spoken.

By His word, all things were made and all things restored. He has spoken through the prophets, through the apostles, and He will continue to speak until the end of time through the mouths of those to whom He gave Himself (LEW 95).

Third, Christ is called Wisdom in relation to the Cross. The greatest secret of the Wisdom to St. Montfort is located in the Cross. Wisdom is the Cross and the Cross is Wisdom (LEW 180). The relationship between the two is very close as if one is a condition for the other. In LEW chapter XIV he powerfully describes the majesty of the Eternal Wisdom in and through the Cross (180). With Saint Paul, Montfort praised the majesty of the Cross and said;

Oh! How deep and how different are the thoughts and ways of the Eternal Wisdom from the thoughts and ways of men, let even the wisest of men (LEW 167) Ah! How deep are God's Wisdom and knowledge (Rom. 11:33)! How astonishing His choice is and how profound and incomprehensible His designs and judgments are! But how indescribable His love for the Cross (LEW 168).

The cross briefly describes the revelation of the mystery of God's great love for man. For St. Montfort, the events of the Cross had already begun when the Word was incarnated in Mary's womb. The event of Golgotha is the climax.

My God, my Father, I have chosen this Cross in Your arms, I have chosen it in My mother's womb. I love her with all my strength and I place her in the center of my heart as my bride and leader (LEW 169).

The cross has a central place in the teachings of St. Montfort. He also wrote letters to the friends of the Cross. Its content is an invitation to embrace the Cross with all my heart because it is an essential part of the Christian life. In one of his letters to the companions of the Cross he said:

If only Christians knew the values of the Cross…For in the Cross, which is worthy of love, contained the True Wisdom which I seek day and night with ever-increasing zeal.[20]

  1. Wisdom as a gift of the Holy Spirit in the soul

Eternal Wisdom is understood by Montfort in terms of the communication of Christ's self in souls or the grace bestowed upon a person (LEW 13). This wisdom was given by God to Moses, Solomon, the apostles, and many other saints (LEW 90-102).[21] This Gift of Wisdom is bestowed into the soul to enable man; first, mengenal kebenaran (CKA 92-94).  Ia mengatakan:

And you notice that the light and knowledge given by the Wisdom is not dry, barren without spiritual zeal, but the bright knowledge, anointed, empowered, and godly; which touches and satisfies the heart and illuminates the mind (LEW 93).

This spirit of knowledge was given by God which Solomon received so that he was considered the wisest person.[22] Through this gift, man is enabled to, like Solomon, be a judge of all things with deep judgment and unmatched discernment (LEW 92). This grace was received by St. Thomas Aquinas so well that he explained the truth of faith. Thomas Aquinas, the great mystic distinguishes two types of knowledge, namely knowledge obtained through scientific investigation and knowledge through the supernatural, He said;

Nah, ketetapan penilaian ada dua macam; pertama karena penggunaan akal budi secara sempurna, dan kedua, karena adanya kesekodratan dengan hal yang harus dinilai. Adapun mengenai kemurnian, seseorang setelah menyelidiki dengan akal budi, membentuk penilaian yang benar, jika ia telah mempelajari ilmu moral, sedangkan orang yang mempunyai kebiasaan hidup murni menilai hal seperti itu semacam melalui kesekodratan. [23]

He further argues that naturalness with divine things is the result of the love that unites us with God.[24] Knowledge of the supernatural is important to know God. Because God is love Those who love to know God, those who do not love God do not know God (1 John 4:8).[25] ] It is through love that Wisdom descends into our hearts. That is why later mystical traditions speak of mystical prayer as infusion contemplation (infusa contemplation). To quote St. John of the Cross, W. Johnston saw the communication of Wisdom into the human heart when people empty themselves. This communication is not brought about by any means but through a contact of the soul with the Divine.[26] Authentic Christian mysticism is based on love. Because love is the basis. We love because He first loved us (1 John 4:19).[27]

Second, Sang Kebijaksanaan Abadi memberikan daya untuk membagikan kebenaran kepada orang lain dengan kata-kata yang meluap dari hati (CKA 97-98). Karunia ini diberikan kepada Musa, para rasul  dan orang-orang kudus dalam pewartaan Kerajaan Allah. Kata-kata mereka penuh kebenaran dan kuasa yang membuat setiap orang yang mendengarnya terkagum-kagum.

However, the words they spoke were not ordinary, natural, and human words were spoken by Divine Wisdom, but truly divine words. They were powerful words, touching, sharp, and sharper than any double-edged sword. It overflows from the hearts of those through whom He speaks and enters into the hearts of those who hear (LEW 96).

The wisdom that is poured into a person enables him to proclaim the wisdom of God as Paul had received. St. Montfort testifies that thanks to the Wisdom that God bestowed on Paul, he was able to proclaim the truth, the wisdom of God to his opponents (LEW 98).

The truth that is preached by those who receive this gift of wisdom is not the same as what one receives through the light of reason, or through the books, they read (LEW 97). He completely followed Paul who believed in God's wisdom which prompted them to proclaim the gospel. For St. Montfort, preaching is primarily to proclaim the wisdom of God. Here he gives reasons why there is a lack of repentance after people hear the sermons. The reason is they do not have the wisdom that makes their words authoritative, and powerful and makes others unable to argue with them (LEW 97).[28]

I will give you words of wisdom so that your adversaries cannot challenge or contradict you (Luke 21:15). Ah, how few preachers today have this special gift of speech, and these can, with Saint Paul, say: we proclaim the wisdom of God (1 Cor 2:7)! Most preachers speak according to the natural light of their minds, or according to what they read through books, but not according to the inspiration of the Divine Wisdom (Ex. 7:15) or spoken by the mouth overflowing from the heart (Matt 12:34). ), according to the divine abundance which the Wisdom imparted to Them... If a preacher had indeed received from Wisdom the gift of speech, then his hearers, barely able to resist his words, as of old; they could not resist his wisdom and the Spirit that compelled him to speak (Acts 6:10). Such a preacher speaks simultaneously in a very soft and very authoritative way, as a man of power, so that the words that come out of his mouth will not return to him in vain (Isa 55:11) (LEW 97).

The wisdom that God pours into a person's heart is prophetic. In particular, St. Montfort speaks of the good homily. A good homily must be born of the wisdom of God. To get that wisdom one must ask for it with longing. A good preacher speaks the Word not in his own words, but with wisdom that comes from God. Through him God spoke, preaching the word to the people. The homily must be prophetic, biblical, and homiletic.[29]

Third, Wisdom is a source of joy. Wisdom is present in the soul as a source of joy or spiritual comfort that exceeds the comfort that other creatures in this world bring. This pleasure is pure and genuine. Painting St. Montfort about it is very beautiful.

Karena Sang Kebijaksanaan Abadi adalah pokok kegembiraan dan kesenangan Bapa yang kekal, kegembiraan para malaikat, maka Dia menjadi sumber sukacita dan hiburan yang paling murni bagi manusia. Ia memberikan kepada orang itu kecapan akan kemanisan, yang berasal dari Allah, dan menghilangkan selera untuk mengecap hal-hal yang berasal dari ciptaan. Ia menggembirakan akal budi orang itu dengan kecemerlangan cahayaNya. Ia menuangkan di dalam hatinya suatu kegembiraan, suatu rasa manis dan damai yang tak terkatakan, bahkan di tengah kepahitan dan penderitaan  yang paling kasar seperti kesaksian Paulus yang berseru: dalam segala penderitaan kami akui sangat terhibur (2 Kor. 7:4). (CKA 98).

The gift of joy that St. Montfort is similar to what mystics like Aquinas, John of the Cross, and Teresa of Jesus describe when they experience ecstasy.[30] The gift of Wisdom inwardly brings great joy, a spiritual joy. Firmly he said:

If we know the pleasures tasted by a soul who knows the beauty of the Wisdom, who sucks the milk from this "Father's breast," we must surely cry out with the bride in the Song of Songs; the milk of your breasts is more delicious than fine wine, and than all the pleasures of creation (LEW 10).[31]

For St. Montfort, this joy is very different from the joy evoked by sense perception or reason. This joy is a spiritual joy that overflows within. This is joy in its truest sense. This joy is not the same as the outward pleasure brought about by achievement, power, and bodily pleasure.

Fourth, wisdom is a power that helps humans to grow in virtue. A man by nature has the ability within him to grow in virtue.[32] This is possible because humans are endowed with a permanent mind and will. Through his mind, he can distinguish what is good and evil. That is why humans always long for what is called fullness, truth, and perfection. But the fullness of man is not completed only by the activity of the mind. The fullness of man is found in relation to the ultimate truth. The ultimate goal of a virtuous life is to be like God (Gregorius of Nisa).[33] St. Montfort shares the belief that the purpose of all virtues is basically for people to have perfection in God. That perfection lies in Jesus Christ, the Eternal Wisdom (LEW 8). To get Him, everyone had to sell everything (Mark 10:21).

St. Montfort himself is a person who has great virtue in himself. The testimony of Leschassier, his spiritual director in a letter dated May 3, 1701[34] confirmed this. J. Morinay found at least 80 hymns that speak of the virtues of the 164 surviving hymns written by St. Montfort.[35] This illustrates how St. Montfort deeply understands the basic calling of every person to have virtue in him. We can say that virtue as an essential thing that human beings yearn for is not merely a personal effort. St. Montfort has shown that. Virtue is primarily a gift of God. In order to grow in virtue, man cannot rely on his strength. He needs God.

Fifthis the gift of Wisdom as a tester and purifier of faith. This purification aims to lead people to progress in spiritual life, increasingly advanced in holiness. Being holy is not something that is finished, but something that is fought for continuously until the end of life. St. Montfort says;

Finally, because nothing is more active than Wisdom, Wisdom is more agile than all movement (Genesis 7:24). He does not allow those with whom He has friendship to be lukewarm or negligent…after they have been tormented, the Holy Spirit says, they receive a great gift, for God only tests them and finds them worthy of Him. As gold in their fiery furnace is examined by Him, then accepted as a burnt offering, so at the time of vengeance, they shine (LEW 100).

St. Montfort saw the gift of Wisdom bestowed upon a person ultimately purifying the soul. The gift is not just given as something that is already done, then stays in someone's heart as something permanent. The picture that St. Montfort on the purification of the soul is coupled with the Cross. The journey of purification is a journey of carrying the Cross of the Lord. The Wisdom provided the Cross to bear.

The Art of Cultivating Life Into Wisdom

  1. Passionate Longing

The first necessary means of becoming wise is a passionate yearning. Jordan Aumann says that the most important psychological factor in spiritual life is the constant yearning to be perfect.[36] The longing to be perfect is an act of the will influenced by grace that prompts us to continually grow in holiness. Since the goal is to attain holiness, naturally this longing cannot be achieved by mere human effort. To be holy requires the grace of God. The longing for God is thus first of all due to the grace bestowed by God.

For St. Montfort, a passionate longing born of love. The two are intertwined with each other as an important part of the mystical life.[37] St. Montfort even sometimes uses the words "craving longing" and "love" in the same sense. Its use is interchangeable with one another.[38] Example are;

How long will you “love” vanity and seek lies? Why don't you turn your eyes to the Divine Wisdom? Of all the things that can be "missed" by a person, He is the one who deserves to be "missed". To make Himself loved by men, He Himself revealed His origins, demonstrated His beauty, exposed His treasures, and proved to them in many ways, the longing He had to “miss” Him and seek Him (LEW 181).

Cinta dan kerinduan lahir dari perjumpaan dengan Sang Kebijaksanaan. Sang Kebijaksanaan yang mengambil inisiatif pertama kali mencintai kita (CKA 181). Tentang hal ini dapat kita lihat pada bagian pertama struktur dari buku CKA (CKA bab I-XIV) yang berbicara tentang bagaimana Sang Kebijaksanaan sejak awal mula aktif  memperkenalkan diri kepada manusia (CKA 181).

This longing for wisdom is a great gift from God (LEW 182). But longing is not a gift that is simply given to everyone. This gift is given because people live righteously in the eyes of God. Wisdom does not enter into a cloudy heart nor does it remain in a body ruled by sin (LEW 182). ). With this, St. Montfort wants to emphasize that longing and love are not something that can just arise in the mind as a mere human effort.[39]  Wisdom has given gifts to humans in dynamic interactions. The basis of that longing and love is the experience of the Wisdom which awakens in his heart a growing longing and love for the Wisdom. This is in line with what John said: “We love because God first loved us” (1 John 4:19).[40]

St. Montfort shows that there is a close relationship between love and knowledge. He asked: “Why is the Incarnate Eternal Wisdom, the worthy of worship Jesus Christ, so little loved? That is because it turns out that He is unknown or less known (LEW 8). St. Montfort sees a close relationship between love and knowledge. St. Montfort Questions above leads us to what John Paul II said: "Faith and reason are two wings, because of which the human soul ascends to the contemplation of truth".[41] Recognition is an activity of the mind. The human mind works to know the difference between good and right. St. Montfort realized the importance of the activity of the mind, as a reflective power to see the truth from God. In this regard, we hear what Teresia Avila has to say:

I think we can never know ourselves if we don't try to know God. By contemplating His majesty, we can see our shame. By contemplating His purity we realize our impurity. By contemplating His humility we realize how lacking in humility we are.[42]

St. Teresa's knowledge of God helps people to know themselves better before God. The purpose of this recognition according to Teresa is for us to praise Him in His creatures.[43] In the same light, we can say that knowing God leads people to love Him more and more. In the light of St. Montfort, the purpose of knowing the Wisdom is for us to love Him more, to yearn for Him as the only most precious treasure and as the only true knowledge. A passionate longing is the means to that end.

There is no contradiction between knowledge and faith. The two of them have a very close bond. Faith opens the way to knowledge. Even the knowledge of Wisdom is the noblest, sweet, necessary, useful, perfection, and also the root of immortality. Knowing Jesus Christ, the Wisdom means knowing everything we need. Knowing everything and not knowing Him means knowing nothing (LEW 11). What does this word mean? These words can be understood if you look at the purpose of human search. If what man seeks is wisdom as "the only treasure precious to live and as the ultimate truth" then St. Montfort dares to say that it is found in Christ the Eternal Wisdom. Here he also laid the foundation of the theology of knowledge. Knowledge comes from the Wisdom. The Eternal Wisdom itself is true knowledge itself (LEW 8-13). This is in line with the words of the wise; ; the beginning of knowledge is the fear of the Lord, but fools despise wisdom and education (Prov 1:7). Commenting on this verse, Fr. Pareira argues, that this text is a theology of knowledge. Knowledge comes from God[44] He is the one who gave it to man. Therefore one needs to ask for it humbly.

On the other hand, St. Montfort reminds us that our longing must be pure and sincere.[45] The model he showed was Solomon. Solomon set the example because he only asked God for wisdom in deciding matters (1 Kings 3:9). He did not ask God for long life, wealth, or the lives of his enemies (1 Kings 3:11). This longing is meant by St. Montfort. Elsewhere we have seen how he rejects worldly wisdom (materialism, hedonism, love of power) which he regards as a taste for lies (LEW 80-83). A pure and sincere longing leads people to leave their sins. (LEW 182). He then quotes Keb. 7:7, 8:2,18 as a picture of those who have a holy longing, which is to seek without ceasing, to make him the lover of the soul.

  1. Constant Prayer

The second means indicated by St. The Montfort to be wise is constant prayer. Prayer is an integral part of the passionate longing as indicated in the previous point. Prayer and longing influence each other. Sr. Barbara Moor and King Rao even saw the two as one. The comments on these two sections are put together by them. This is true because prayer is always born of deep longing. People who pray are people who long for God. Whereas people who do not pray are like paralyzed bodies. Even though the body has arms and legs, it cannot use it.”[46] Only those who long for God pray. The longing for the Wisdom is expressed through constant prayer. The explanation of the first step in the previous point also applies to the second part. However, in this section, the emphasis of St. Montfort looks at the explanation of what prayer is and the conditions for good prayer.

St. Montfort was a great prayer. Since childhood, the virtue of prayer grew in him. He studied at the Seminary of St. Sulpice and places great emphasis on prayer life so that future priests will become pious, educated priests and have an apostolic spirit. Olier, founder of St. Sulpice says;

The main aim of this institute is to educate aspiring priests to live fully for God, in Jesus Christ our Lord, and therefore the Son to live in the depths of our hearts to be like Paul; “I live, but now it is not I but Christ who lives in me” (Gal 2:20).[47]

Therefore to understand this passage, it is worth looking at how the French School has shaped it. R. Devil lists seven characteristics that are highly emphasized in the French School. One that has received great attention is the emphasis on mystical experience, union with Christ.[48] Berulle says, only in union with Christ, the incarnate Word, can we praise God with humility and love.[49]  What Berulle is trying to say is that union with Christ is the foundation and goal of everything. It is only possible through prayer. Because the experience of union with God is essentially an experience of prayer. St. Montfort is exactly in this stream.

St. Montfort says prayer is is “the ordinary channel, by which God distributes His graces, especially the Wisdom” (CKA 184). Lewat doalah Allah mengkomunikasikan diriNya kepada manusia, dan juga doa dipakai Allah sebagai sarana agar manusia sampai padaNya. St. Montfort mengutip apa yang dikatakan oleh Yesus dalam Injil, Marilah mendengar apa yang dikatakan oleh Sang Kebijaksanaan sendiri; carilah maka kamu akan mendapat, ketoklah maka pintu akan dibukakan bagimu, mintalah maka akan diberikan kepadamu (Mat 7:7, Luk 11:19). Seakan-akan ia mengatakan; jika kamu ingin mendapat Aku, kamu harus mencari Aku… (CKA 184).

Through this text, St. Montfort emphasizes that what we ask for in prayer is first of all Wisdom which is the greatest treasure and highest truth for man. By asking for the grace of Wisdom, we automatically ask for all the virtues possessed by Jesus Christ the Wisdom. That means we ask Jesus to live in us. We allow Him to rule over us, to do what He wills in us.

After explaining the definition of prayer, St. Montfort then gives some good prayer conditions for obtaining the Wisdom. He needed to explain this because the understanding of prayer is often wrong. About this Berulle once advised this;

We are not to be inspired or concentrated on seeking our own spiritual opportunities and advantages, but only for the glory of God, without our own judgment or our own satisfaction; because in the end, we must tell ourselves the purpose of the prayer, to honor, know and worship the great God, as he himself is, more than what he is to us, and to love his goodness because he himself is more than what he is. maybe it can do for us.[50]

What Berulle said shows there is a misunderstanding about prayer among so many people. Many people see prayer as a means to ask God for all their wishes to be granted. God to such people is nothing more than one who ministers to their needs, desires, and passions. It was opposed by St. Montfort. For him, the right prayer is; first, First, pray with faith. He said we must ask for this gift with a living and firm faith, without hesitation. Those who doubt their faith should not think that they will receive something from God (LEW 185)[51]Faith holds a firm belief in God. That firm belief must be manifested in prayer. The church teaches how to make our prayers effective. The condition is a deep belief, especially that which was aroused by His work in the tribulation and resurrection of His Son.[52]

Second, ask for it with pure faith. Pure faith is the foundation stone for all our prayers and works, said St. Montfort (LEW 87). In prayer, “We must ask Him in pure faith, not basing our prayers on sensual pleasures, on visions or special revelations” (LEW 186). For him, the hallmark of pure faith is that it does not depend on mere outward sensations or sensual amusements, nor special revelation. We pray not for self-gratification. Prayer is the firstborn of longing for Wisdom, not a longing for the fulfillment of personal desires. We pray because of our longing to have Wisdom in our hearts. On this point, we can compare the words of Mother Teresa of Calcutta in a letter to Archbishop Perier in February 1956;[53]

“…I longed with a very painful desire to surrender myself completely to God to be so holy that Jesus could live fully in me. The greater my desire to have Him the stronger the feeling that I am not needed. I wanted to love Him in a way that He had never experienced before, but the separation persisted, the terrible emptiness, the feeling of God's absence…”

Mother Teresa of Calcutta experienced a deep soul darkness experience. But he realized that it was the result of his love for God. He realized that the spiritual journey was a journey through a narrow door. The soul in general must tread this path to attain a sublime and joyful union with God. This is what is called the dark night by St. John of the Cross.[54] Teresa of Jesus said;

Seeking spiritual consolation is a terrible way to begin such beautiful and vast building work. Seeking spiritual comfort is like building on sand. All will fall, where discontent and temptation are endless.[55]

Emphasizing praying with pure faith, St. Montfort wanted to show that the experience of the dark night will be passed by all to reach union with the Wisdom. While seeking sensory solace is the opposite of the experience of a dark night.

Third, ask for it diligently“We have to ask diligently for this Wisdom (LEW 188)… need to ask Him day and night without getting tired and without becoming discouraged (LEW 188)”. St. Montfort spoke of the prayer life experiences of most people in his time who stopped praying because they were disappointed that their prayers were never answered. They even insulted God. A good prayer for him is a friend who knocks on the door non-stop in the middle of the night to lend it to him, even in a rather forceful way (LEW 189-190).[56] Good prayer is thus like “forcing the Wisdom” until He Himself is willing to allow Himself to dwell in the heart. Finally, he cites Solomon's prayer (Keb 9:1-6, 9-18) as a good example of prayer.[57]

  1. Complete Mortification

The third essential means of becoming a sage is thorough mortification. The basic principle that must be kept in mind is that to be wise one must have within oneself the Eternal Wisdom which is Jesus Christ. “Let us abide in Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Wisdom. Apart from Him there is only error, lies and death, I am the way, the truth, and the life” (LEW 89). But man's weakness, because of his fall into sin, prevented him from coming to that union. Matiraga is one way to arrive at that union. That's the main motive. Another motive is to overcome human nature which is weak and sinful by nature, to bear the Cross with Jesus, imitating Jesus who emptied himself (LEW 194). We see the understanding of St. Montfort's Christocentric mortification. Penance is placed in relation to Christ the Wisdom who emptied himself. Therefore, to understand this, it is necessary to see how Jesus lived the events of kenosis, self-emptying in his life. The starting point is the longing, the love of God to save mankind. Man who has fallen into sin cannot heal himself. Only God can save him. That's why God wants to empty himself to be like humans (LEW 45-46).

St. Montfort saw penance as a gift from God. But the gift is not given to people who are lazy, people who do not long for it with all their hearts, people who do not please God. Grace is only given to those who miss it. It says;

The Wisdom, says the Holy Spirit, is not found in a man whose life is relaxed, who fulfills the desires of his passions and five senses. For those who live according to the desires of the flesh cannot please God, and the wisdom of the flesh is enmity against God (LEW 104).

What does St. Montfort do in this? For him, mortification is an integral part of the practice of living to become a wise person. Mantraga is not an additional element to obtain the perfection of life, but an important thing that cannot be separated from life. Christian mortification must be placed within the framework of the paschal mystery, namely the suffering, death, and resurrection of the Lord.[58] Thus, the most important thing in mortification is not our actions to kill ourselves but God's actions.[59]

The practice of mortification involves two things. First, is outward practice. The outward practice consists of self-denial that is practiced every day of daily life. Self-denial consists of; the self-denial of worldly wisdom (LEW 13), such as pleasure (LEW 198), wealth (LEW 197), lust (LEW 81), and power (82, 199).

The inner practice consists in emptying oneself of all that is bad and dying to oneself. First, is related to self-emptying. To become wise by obtaining Wisdom one must empty oneself. What should be emptied from within? Everything is bad in us (TD 78). To understand this we recall how he himself was shaped by Platonic-Augustinian thought which was very pessimistic in viewing humans. Man has been polluted by sin. Therefore man first of all leaves himself.[60] The ugliness of man is manifest in his nature. Man has an inherent desire for worldly things, all passions, and the activity of the dark powers that dwell in one's soul (cf. TD 79).[61]

Pierre Humblet sees chapters XVI (LEW 194-202)-and XVII (LEW 103-122) as a unified pattern that describes the mystical death of “our old man” and the birth of a “new man” through devotion to Our Lady.[62] In the mystical tradition, prayer, contemplation is a self-refining exercise to return to the original state, the pure state, before humans fell into sin.[63] Pierre Humblet says, St. Montfort at this point followed the religious and Church traditions that developed at that time.

Second, die to yourself. The second form of inner mortification is death to oneself. To die to oneself is to die to self-gratifying pleasures. Die to everything that does not come from God. Why should we die to ourselves? Man himself has been corrupted by sin. There is only evil in him. St. Montfort says;

Untuk mengosongkan diri kita perlu mati setiap hari terhadap diri kita sendiri, artinya menolak aktivitas kuasa-kuasa gelap jiwa kita, dan aktivitas panca indra tubuh kita; kita harus melihat seakan-akan tidak melihat, mendengar seakan-akan tidak mendengar, hidup dalam dunia ini, namun tak mempedulikannya. Itulah yang dimaksudkan oleh St. Paulus dengan mati setiap hari, setiap hari aku mati (1 kor 15:30-31).  (BS 18)

For St. Montfort, a man who truly kills himself will be loved by Allah. If people cry out and ask for mercy, Allah will answer them. Allah will reveal Himself.[64] Matiraga is even more useful because it does not arouse pride.

  1. True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary

The fourth means of being wise is true devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. This means is “the greatest and most wonderful of all the secrets for obtaining and keeping the Divine Wisdom” (LEW 2003). In the book True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, St. Montfort says; This means is the easiest, shortest, perfect and safest way to achieve union with God (TD 152. In the book True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, St. Montfort says; This means is the easiest, shortest, perfect and safest way to achieve union with God (TF 152). Why is that? What does St. Montfort with true devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary? This section will explain St. Montfort with true devotion to St. The Virgin Mary and how it is seen as a process that brings people to wisdom. But before that St. Montfort shows the position of St. Mary in the Christian life.

 4.1  Maria Sebagai Bunda Allah dan Citra Asli Gereja (Tipos).

The Role of St. Mary in the Christian life cannot be separated from her role in the history of salvation. Mary's role in the history of salvation is as the Mother of God (LEW 204) who gave birth to humans Jesus Christ, the Eternal Wisdom, to save humanity.[65] Therefore the context of St. Montfort about Mary is put in the work of salvation. Saint Mary participates in the work of salvation that God does for mankind. This is how St. Montfort describes this:

Dan, lihatlah, pada saat yang sama ketika Maria menyetujui untuk menjadi Bunda Allah, terjadilah beberapa hal ajaib. Roh Kudus membentuk dari darah paling murni dari hati Maria sebuah tubuh yang kecil …Sang Kebijaksanaan Abadi atau Putera Allah menyatukan diri, sebagai sungguh pribadi, dengan tubuh dan jiwa…Sabda telah menjadi daging, Sang Kebijaksanaan Abadi menjelma menjadi manusia. Allah menjadi manusia tanpa berhenti menjadi Allah. Allah-manusia ini bernama Yesus Kristus Sang Penyelamat. (CKA 108)[66]

The pattern of action followed by the three persons of the Most Holy Trinity at the time of the incarnation, namely the first coming of Jesus Christ, is still held by them every day in the Church invisibly. Until the end of time, that is, when Jesus Christ lasts, they will remain faithful to the same pattern (TD 22).

The pattern of incarnation, the Wisdom became human, was later used by St. Montfort to define Mary's role in the life of the church. It says;

The pattern of action followed by the three persons of the Most Holy Trinity at the time of the incarnation, namely the first coming of Jesus Christ, is still held by them every day in the Church invisibly. Until the end of time, that is, when Jesus Christ lasts, they will remain faithful to the same pattern (TD 22).

What St. Montfort in this case is that Mary's role as Mother of God in the event of the incarnation continues today in her mission of motherhood to members of the Mystical Body of Christ. If in the incarnation God the Father gave His Son to the world through Mary; even now He gave Mary the ability to give birth to all the members of His Mystical Body.[67] Spiritually she is the mother of every believer.[68] In the Incarnation of God, the Son was born of Mary and subject to her, now until the end of time, He continues His miracles through Mary. In the incarnation, with the consent of Mary, the Holy Spirit formed Christ in Mary, now with Mary and in Mary, the Holy Spirit gives life to the members of the Mystical Body of Christ. It says;

If the head of mankind, Jesus Christ, was born of Mary, then naturally the elect who are members of that Head was also born of this woman. The same mother can’t give birth to a Head without members, nor can it be possible for members without ahead. (TD 32)

4.2  Bakti Yang Sejati Kepada Maria.

The important questions that must be answered before describing true devotion to the Virgin Mary are; why did St. Montfort use this means? Is it not enough if people take mortifications, and crucify their bodies with the Cross of Christ? In other words, isn't the path of refining shown in the third means enough to lead people to obtain Immortal Wisdom? Apparently, for St. Montfort, that's not enough. Humans are weak, sinful, and unfaithful creatures. It is not worthy in itself to be the abode of the Wisdom. That's why he needs God's grace. He asserted;

Of all the means to possess Jesus Christ, Mary is the surest, the easiest, the shortest, and the holiest. If we were to die most terribly, … even if we shed all our blood to gain the Divine Wisdom, and that intercession and devotion to the Blessed Virgin were not found in all these endeavors, all would be useless and incapable for us to obtain The Wisdom. (LEW 212).

To understand this we look at what Pierre Humblet said who saw an inseparable unity between chapter XVI (LEW 194-102) and chapter XVII (LEW 303-222), which describes the death of the old man and the birth of the new man.[69] Herein lies the key role of Mary in the event of the incarnation, Eternal Wisdom becomes human which continues in its key role in giving birth to the Wisdom in our hearts.[70] ] If the death of “our old man” begins with mortification, crucifying our bodies, and all our desires with the Cross of Christ, then the birth of a new man begins with new life through the womb of the Virgin Mary. Because, just as Mary had a key role in the event of the Incarnation, giving birth to Jesus the Wisdom, Mary will play the same role in giving birth to Jesus the Wisdom within us (LEW 203-2090). In this process, it is God's grace that works in bringing forth Wisdom in our hearts. St. Montfort points out that penance and total surrender to Our Lady are not contradictory. The two complement each other. Devotion to Our Lady completes the act of penance and vice versa. Pierre Humblet saw devotion to the Virgin Mary as a process of purification. It is said so because St. Montfort saw that human sin made him unable to accept Wisdom (LEW 209-210). Therefore, humans need a proper heart. Maria is a person who has a pure heart for it. St. Montfort recommends that everyone has the heart of Mary. St. Montfort points out that Our Lady is the solution to man's inability and unworthiness to obtain Wisdom (LEW 209-214).[71]

St. Montfort puts his frame of mind in Mary's role as the Mother of God who has established Jesus Christ as the chief member of the Mystical Body of Christ. He will play the same role in forming His members. "She conceived them, carried them in her womb, and gave birth to them in a world of glory through the grace of God which she shared with them." (LEW 213)

Having seen Mary in the work of salvation and also about her spiritual motherly role in the Church, we thus come to understand why this “devotion” is said to be the most important means of becoming wise. This devotion is the conclusion that St. Montfort based on the theological basis put forward. True devotion is born of the belief that God wants Mary to continue the role of incarnation in the Church to mold us into the likeness of Christ the True Wisdom. If in the incarnation Mary was involved in the work of salvation, then in the Church she was involved in shaping us to be like Christ. Because she is the spiritual mother of the Church. What was said above can be summarized in the statement of St. Montfort: “Through St., The Virgin Mary Jesus Christ has come into the world. It is through Mary that He must reign in the world.” (TD 1)

What does St. Montfort with “true devotion to Saint Mary”? St. Montfort says;

Our whole perfection consists in this, that we are like Jesus Christ, united with Him and dedicated to Him. From this, it is clear that the most perfect devotion is the one that most perfectly brings us into the likeness of Jesus Christ, unites us with Him, and dedicates ourselves to Him. …Therefore the dedication of oneself to Jesus Christ is nothing but a complete and complete dedication of oneself to the most holy Virgin. This is the devotion I proclaim. In other words, a complete renewal of the vows and promises of the sacrament of Baptism. (TB 120)

From this, we see that self-dedication is primarily aimed at bringing people to be more united with Christ. Christ is the ultimate goal. St. Montfort puts the criterion of true devotion, namely Jesus Christ, as its ultimate goal. . Jesus Christ our redeemer, true God, and true man, must be the ultimate goal of all our devotions, otherwise, worship is inappropriate and misleading (TD 61). Second, St. Montfort links self-dedication to Christian baptism. Dedication is a renewal of the baptismal promises that we have received through the sacrament of baptism. Through baptism, a person is adopted as a child of God. He lived as a new man. His responsibility as a new man is to live up to the baptismal promises he has received.[72] To live perfectly the baptismal promises of St. Montfort recommends putting yourself in Maria's hands. Consecration is the renewal of the baptismal promises in Mary.[73] Through baptism, a person enters into communion with Christ, the Triune God, with the Church, and with the bonds of ecumenical unity.[74]

How is it done? St. Montfort wrote, “I have said; this worship is to do all things with Mary, in Mary, and for Mary.”[75] first, we must do it through Mary, meaning that in everything we obey this most holy virgin and allow ourselves to be guided by her spirit, which is the Holy Spirit of God. We emptied ourselves of everything and surrendered ourselves to Mary.[76]

Second, do it with Mary (TD 260). The self-dedication was done with Mary. Mary is made the perfect model for everything we do. How Mary gave her life to God, the same thing we must do when surrendering to God. To find out how Mary gave herself to God, St. Montfort recommends: investigating and reflecting on the lofty virtues that he lived through during his life; his living faith, …deep humility…, wholly divine purity…, and all other virtues (LEW 260).

Third, , live in Mary. Mary was given the special grace to give birth to Christ as the Head of the Church and also to His members. Our rebirth into a new human being is only possible when the Holy Spirit given to Mary in the event of the Incarnation works in us. Life in Mary understood St. Montfort is like living in a true paradise garden. Mary is a true paradise garden that replaces the paradise garden that has been damaged by human sin. The first fruit of this new paradise is Jesus Christ. It will also bear other fruits of life if people live in it. According to Patric Gaffney, the book True Consecration numbers 261-263 which talk about 'life in Mary' is the most mystical part of the discussion of St. Montfort.[77] He describes an intimate union with Christ in the new paradise that is Mary. Why should we live in this paradise garden? St. Montfort says;

In the virgin we shall; 1). Raised with the milk of her mother's grace and mercy, 2). Freed from restlessness, fear, and extreme sensitivity, 3). Secured from all our enemies, namely evil spirits, the world, and sin…4). Formed in Jesus Christ and Jesus Christ will be formed in us. Because the Church Fathers explained that her womb was a chamber of divine mysteries. There Jesus Christ and all the elect are formed, “one by one they are born into it” (LEW 264).

That is what happens when one lives in Mary. We are raised with the graces that were given to Christ.

Fourth, for MarySt. Montfort says:

We must do everything we can for Mary because we have given ourselves completely to her service…not because we view her as the ultimate goal of all our devotion because our ultimate goal is only Jesus Christ. But we indeed view him as our near goal, a secret sphere of life, and an easy means of going to Jesus Christ. (TD 265)

When we live in Mary, we do everything for Mary. Thus, our lives will be more intensive for Jesus. Doing everything for Mary does not hinder the ultimate goal, which is Jesus Christ it makes it easier to arrive at the final destination because Mary lives for God alone. St. Montfort maintains that this devotion aims to glorify Christ more and make people more like Christ. To demonstrate this he dares to say; “We must fight as hard as we can anyone who abuses his honor because it is tantamount to insulting his Son” (LEW 265).


I am the way and the truth and the life (John 14:16). With these words, Jesus showed us away, namely the way to a wise life. The Way is He. It is also the truth. The truth sought by the sages, the philosophers. The truth that humanity seeks. Christ is also life itself. The fulfillment of man's life and also the answer to his life in Christ. Augustine's words; restless my heart before resting on Him, explaining the meaning of the fulfillment of human life in Christ. In the end, because man by nature longs for wisdom, he cannot escape faith in Christ as the only sure answer.


Church Documents

Catechism of the Catholic Church, Ende: Nusa Indah, 2007

John Paul II Ensiklik Fides et Ratio (Ter. R. Hardawiryana),         Jakarta: KWI, 2009

Writings of St. Montfort

Montfort, Louis Mariae Grignion de, Love of Divine Wisdom Malang: Seminari Montfort Pondok Kebijaksanaan Malang, 2009.

——–,   True Devotion To St. Virgin Mary Bandung: Serikat Maria Montfortan, 2000.

——–,  Collection of Letters, Bandung: Serikat Maria Montfortan, 1997

——–,   Secret of Mary Bandung: Serikat Maria Montfortan1993

——–,  God Alone. God II; The Hymns of St. Louis Grignion de MontfortBy Shore, NY: Montfort Publications, 2005.

Other Books

Auman, Jordan, Spiritual Theology,  London: Sheed and Ward,

———, Teologi MistikIlmu Cinta, Yogyakarta: kanisius, 2001.

Avila, St. Teresia, Meditasi-Meditasi Kidung Agung, Bajawa: Biara Pertapaan Karmel, 2000.

———-, Puri Batin, Lembang: Biara Karmel, 1992

———-, Jalan KesempurnaanCipanas-Cianjur: Pertapaan Shanti Buana, 2004 Ceunfin, Frans & Felix Baghi (ed), Mengabdi Kebenaran, Maumere, Ledalero, 2005.

Cortinovis, Battista, Montfort Pilgrim In The Church, Roma: Misionari Monfortana, 1997.

Disester, Dr, Nico Syukur OFM, Teologi Sistematika 2, Yogyakarta: Kanisius, 2004

Martasudjita, Pr., Sakramen-Sakramen GerejaTinjauan Teologis, Liturgis dan Pastoral, Yogyakarta: Kanisius,

Fiore, Stefano de s (Ed), Jesus Living In Mary: Hand Book of the Spirituality of St. Louis  Marie de Montfort, New York, NY: Montfort Publicatinons, 1994.

Healey, Charles J., SJ., Christian SpiritualityAn Introduction to the Heritage, New York: Alba House, 2008. Hlm. 289.

Haring, Bernard C. S. s. R, Road To Relevance; Present and Fucture Trendss in Catholic Moral Theology, New York: Alba House, 1969.

Hardiman, F. Budi, Filsafat Modern: Dari Machiavelli sampai Nietzsche, Jakarta: Gramedia, 2007

Humblet, Pierre, Mystical Prosess of Transformation in Grignion De Montfort’s The Love Eternal Wisdom, The Netherlands, Titus Brandsma Institute Nijmegen, 1993

Johnston, William, The Inner Eye of Love; Mysticism and Religion, San Fransisko, Harper &Row Publisher, 1982.

Kleden, Paul Budi, SVDMembongkar Derita, Teodecia: Sebuah Kegelisahan Filsafat dan Teologi, Maumere, Ledalero, 2006.

Kolodiejchehuk, Brian, M. C. Ibu Teresa; Datang, dan Jadilah Cahaya-Ku, Catatan-Catatan Pribadi Orang Suci dari Kalkuta, Jakarta: Gramedia, 2009.

Pareira,  Berthold Anton O. Carm., HomiletikBimbingan Berkotbah, Malang: Dioma, 2010.

———, Jalan Ke Hidup Yang Bijak; Amsal 1-9, Malang: Dioma, Perdue, Leo G, Wisdom and Creation; The Theology of Wosdom Literature, Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1994.

Suzeno, Frans Magnis, Menalar Tuhan, Yogyakarta: Kanisius, 2006.

Watington, III Ben, Jesus The Sage; The Pilgrimage of Wisdom, Edinburgh: T & T Clark, 1994.

Weiden, Dr. Wim Van der MSF, Seni Hidup; Sastra Kebijaksanaan Perjanjian Lama, Yogyakarta: Kanisius, Westermann, Claus, Roots of Wisdom; The Oldest Proverbs of Israel and Other Peoples, Louisville, Kentuccky:              Westminster John Knox Press, 1995.

[1] Jordan Auman, Spiritual Theology London: Sheed and Ward, 1980. Hlm. 276-277

[2] Claus Westermann, Roots of Wisdom; The Oldest Proverbs of Israel and Other Peoples, Louisville, Kentuccky: Westminster John Knox Press, 1995, Hlm. 1

[3] Dr. Nico Syukur Dister, OFM, Teologi Sistematika 2, Yogyakarta: Kanisius, 2004. Hlm 98-101.

[4] The Creator bestowed on the human being the capability of finding his own way through life and of understanding himself, of distinguishing betwen that which is good or evil, beneficial or destructive. Claus Westermann, Loc.Cit

[5] Berthold Anton Pareira O.Carm, Jalan Ke Hidup Yang Bijak; Amsal 1- 9, Malang:Dioma. Hlm 11.

[6] Leo G Perdue, Wisdom and Creation; The Theology of Wosdom Literature, Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1994. Hlm. 35-36.

[7] Frans Magnis Suzeno, Menalar Tuhan, Yogyakarta: Kanisius, 2006. Hlm. 45.

[8] IbidHlm. 51.

[9] Empirisme dirintis oleh Tomas Hobbes (1588-1679), John Lock (1632-1704), Gerorge Berkeley (1685-1753), David Hume (1711-1776). Bdk. F. Budi Hardiman, Filsafat Modern: Dari Machiavelli sampai Nietzsche, Jakarta: Gramedia, 2007. Hlm. 64

[10] Paul Budi Kleden, SVDMembongkar Derita, Teodecia: Sebuah Kegelisahan Filsafat dan Teologi, Maumere, Ledalero, 2006. Hlm. 49.

[11] Ibid. Hlm. 50-52.

[12] Frans Ceunfin & Felix Baghi (ed), Mengabdi Kebenaran, Maumere, Ledalero, 2005. Hlm. v-xix.

[13] St. Montfort membuat tiga kategori kebijaksanaan. 1). Kebijaksanaan palsu. Kebijaksanaan palsu ini terdiri dari; kebijaksanaan duniawi (CKA 80), hedonisme (CKA 81), kebijaksanaan setani yaitu cinta akan kekuasaan (CKA 82). 2) Kebijaksanaan kodrati. Kebijaksanaan kodrati terdiri dari dua hal; pertama, dalam kaitannya denga filsafat (CKA 84). Second, dalam kaitanya dengan alkimia (CKA 86). 3) Kebijaksanaan Adikodrati atau Kebijaksanaan Abadi. Kebijaksanaan Adikodrati adalah kebijaksanaan yang datangnya dari Allah. Kebijaksanaan Adikodrati ini tidak lain adalah Yesus Kristus sendiri (CKA 9). St. Louis Grignion de Montfort, Cinta dari Sang Kebijaksanaan Abadi (terj), Seminari Pondok Kebijasanaan Malang, 2009. Selanjutnya akan digunakan singkatan CKA.

[14] Barbara Moore and Sr. Ann Nielsen, d.w, The Love of Eternal Wisdom; Volume 2 Comentary and Study Guide,  Melawi: Montfort Media, 1998. Hlm. 14.

[15] Barbara Moore. Ibid. Hlm. 14.

[16] Thelagathoti Joseph Raja Rao,The Mystical Experience and Doctrine of St. Louis Mariae Grignion de Montfort,  Roma: Gregoroan University Press, 2005. Hlm. 230.

[17] Dalam Injil Yohanes (Yoh 1:1-18), Yesus diperkenalkan sebagai Logos. Logos dalam Injil Yohanes dan Kitab Kebijaksanaan (Keb. Salomo 9:1-2;18:15) oleh Philo dilihat sebagai term yang mempunyai pengertian yang sama dan dapat ditukarkan. Kebijaksanaan dengan demikian tidak lain adalah Logos yang menciptakan, yang telah ada sejak kekal dan yang telah berinkarnasi, dan menyelamatkan manusia. Hal ini sangat tampak dalam relasi fungsional dari keduanya; sebagai Pencipta (Yoh Yoh 1:3; Ams 8:22-36:), terang yang tidak dikalahkan oleh kejahatan (Yoh 1:5; Keb 7:10), berasal dari Tuhan (Sir 24:3; Yoh 1-2). Gagasan-gagasan ini menunjukkan kesamaan paham tentang kebijaksanaan. Akan tetapi gagasan tentang Logos dalam Yohanes lebih kaya oleh karena Logos itu menjelma menjadi manusia, dan mati bagi manusia. Kebijaksanaan atau Logos itu adalah Yesus Kristus. Dan dalam Injil Yohanes, Logos itu adalah pemenuhan dari Logos Perjanjian Lama. Watington mengatakan apa yang telah dikatakan oleh Salomo tentang kebijaksanaan dikatakan ulang oleh Yohanes. Logos dalam Kebijaksanaan Salomo sama artinya dengan Logos dalam Yohanes. Bdk. Ben Watington III, Jesus The Sage; The Pilgrimage of Wisdom, Edinburgh: T & T Clark:, 1994. Hal 379.

[18] Ketika meneliti tentang kebijaksanaan dari Perjanjian Lama sampai Perjanjian Baru yakni dari Amsal 8:22-36, Sirakh bab 24, Kebijaksanaan 7:25-8:1, Kolese 1:15-17, Ibr. 1:1-3 dan Yohanes 1:1-18, Dr. Wim Van der Weiden, MSF., menemukan adanya kesamaan fungsional antara Yesus Kristus dalam Perjanjian Baru dan Allah dalam Perjanjian Lama. Kesamaan fungsional itu menunjukkan adanya keterkaitan yang erat antara Logos Perjanjian Lama dan Kebijaksanaan dalam Perjanjian Baru.  Dr. Wim Van der Weiden, MSF., Seni Hidup; Sastra Kebijaksanaan Perjanjian Lama, Yogyakarta: Kanisius, 1995. Hlm. 95-99

[19] J. P. Prevost, “Wisdom”, dalam, Stefano de Fiores (Ed), Jesus Living In Mary: Hand Book of the Spirituality of St. Louis  Marie de Montfort, New York, NY: Montfort Publicatinons, 1994Hlm. 1264. Selanjutnya akan disingkat JLM.

[20] Louis Grignion de Montfort, Collection of Letters, Bandung: Serikat Maria Montfortan, 1997. Srt. 13 Bdk juga, St. Louis Grignion de Montfort, God Alone. God IIThe Hymns of St. Louis Grignion de MontfortBy Shore, NY: Montfort Publications, 2005Kidung 19, 102:9-10

[21] Mengutip Yohanes dari Salib, W. Johnston mengatakan; “dalam kontemplasi, Allah mengajarkan kepada jiwa dengan tenang dan penuh rahasia, tanpa mengetahuinya bagaimana, tanpa suara dan kata-kata, dan tanpa bantuan dari kekuatan jasmani atau spiritual, dalam keheningan dan ketenangan dalam kegelapan terhadap segala hal yang bersifat indrawi dan segala benda alami.” William Johnston, The Inner Eye of LoveMysticism and Religion, San Fransisko, Harper &Row Publisher, 1982. Hlm. 33-34

[22] Ketika menjelaskan bagian ini, St. Montfort banyak mengutip kitab Kebijaksanaan (Keb 7:17, 21; 8:8; 10:10). Dalam CKA 58 ia mengatakan; barang siapa ingin memiliki ilmu tentang hal-hal yang berkaitan dengan rahmat dan kodrat, ilmu yang tidak biasa-biasa saja, tetapi luar biasa, suci dan mendalam, ia harus berusaha sekuat tenaga, untuk memperoleh Sang Kebijaksanaan, sebab, tanpa Dia, manusia, betapapun ia terpelajar di mata sesama manusia, tidak berarti apa-apa di mata Allah, tidak dihargai sama sekali (Keb 3:17).

[23] William Johnston, Teologi MistikIlmu Cinta, Yogyakarta: kanisius, 2001. Hlm. 51.

[24] Ibid. Hlm. 52

[25] Ibid. Hlm. 52

[26] Ibid. Hlm. 306

[27] Ibid. Hlm. 72. Bdk jga, Dalam CKA 9 St. Montfort mengatakan, “pengenalan akan Yesus adalah yang paling tinggi dari segala ilmu karena obyek ilmu ini adalah apa yang paling mulia dan paling agung, yakni Sang Kebijaksanaan yang tidak diciptakan dan menjelma menjadi manusia”.

[28] Bdk. Mat 1:22

[29] Untuk memahami hal ini kita dapat membandingkannya dengan  apa yang dikatakan oleh Rm. Pareira. Homili yang baik harus berciri first, profetis, artinya ia berbicara karena ia diutus untuk memberitakan Firman. Second, berciri alkitabiah, artinya, seluruhnya harus dijiwai oleh Firman Allah. Third, berciri liturgis, artinya homili itu harus mewartakan misteri keselamatan yang sedang diwartakan. Fourth, berciri homiletis, artinya pembicaraanya harus keluar dari hati untuk menyapa hati dan berdialog dengan umat untuk membangun suatu persekutuan. Bdk. Berthold Anton Pareira O. Carm., HomiletikBimbingan Berkotbah, Malang: Dioma, 2010. Hlm. 28-34

[30] Yohanes dari Salib berkomentar: “Pengetahuan ini amat mengasyikan karena pengetahuan ini adalah pengetahuan yang diperoleh melalui cinta. Cinta adalah guru pengetahuan ini dan cinta inilah yang menyebabkan pengetahuan ini sepenuhnya menyenangkan”. Bdk. Wliiam Johnston. Op.Cit. Hlm. 4-5.

[31] Gambaran yang sama dikatakan oleh Teresia Avila; “Karena cinta-Mu lebih nikmat daripada anggur; keharuman minyak-Mu bagaikan jiwa yang tercurah. (Kid. 1:2-3). Mengenai ayat-ayat ini ia mengatakan; Tetapi apabila Pengantin Pria yang yang paling kaya ini ingin lebih memperkaya dan memberi karunia kepada jiwa, Dia mengubahnya ke dalam diri-Nya sampai ke tingkat sedemikian hingga membuat orang pingsan karena terlalu senang dan bahagia, nampaknya jiwa dibiarkan ditangguhkan di tangan “Yang Ilahi”, bersandar pada bahu suci dan dada ilahi. Dia tidak tahu bagaimana lebih lagi dari pada bersukacita, ditopang oleh susu ilahi dengan mana Pengantinnya memberinya makan dan membuatnya lebih baik sehingga dia dapat berkenan di hatiNya dan memperoleh lebih banyak pahala setiap hari. Ketika jiwa itu terbangun dari tidur dan kemabukan surgawi…Saya rasa jiwa itu dapat berkata; cinta-Mu lebih nikmat dari Anggur”. St. Teresia dari Avila, Meditasi-Meditasi Kidung Agung, Bajawa: Biara Pertapaan Karmel, 2000. Hlm. 71-72

[32] Catechism of the Catholic Church, Ende: Nusa Indah, 2007. No. 1803.

[33] Ibid. No. 1803.

[34] Saya mengenal pater Grignion selama beberapa tahun. Allah telah memperlengkapi dirinya dengan banyak berkat dan dia telah menanggapinya dengan penuh iman. Ia telah menunjukkan kepada saya sebagaimana kepada orang lain cintanya yang tiada henti kepada Allah, praktik doanya. Ia memiliki semacam ide kesempurnaan yang tinggi, semangat yang tinggi dan sedikit pengalaman. Bdk. J. Morinay, “Virtues”, dalam JLMOp.Cit.  Hlm. 1232.

[35] Bdk. J. Morinay, “Virtues”, dalam JLM, Op.Cit. Hlm. 1232-1237.

[36] Jordan Aumann O. P, Spiritual Theology, Great Britain: Bidles, 2006. Hlm. 256

[37] St. Montfort menggunakan kata kerinduan (desire) dan merindukan (to desire) dalam buku CKA sebanyak 170 kali. Bdk. Thelagathoti Joseph Raja Rao, Op.Cit. Hlm. 241

[38] Pierre Humblet, Mystical Prosess of Transformation in Grignion De Montfort’s The Love Eternal Wisdom, The Netherlands, Titus Brandsma Institute Nijmegen, 1993. Hlm. 42

[39] IbidHlm. 45.

[40] Mengutip Yohanes dari Salib, William Jhonston mengatakan; “Kehidupan mistik adalah kisah kelahiran cinta beserta pertumbuhannya. Dari latu kecil, latu itu menjadi apa yang disebut oleh st. Yohanes dari Salib ‘kobaran cinta yang hidup’. Tetapi apakah cinta itu?St. Yohanes dari Salib mengatakan bahwa kobaran cinta yang menyala adalah Roh Kudus. Cinta tidak dapat diperoleh berdasarkan usaha manusia dan bukan merupakan akibat praktek-praktek tapabrata atau teknik-teknik piawi. Cinta itu tidak dapat berdasarkan jasa. Allah memberikannya kepada orang yang Ia kehendaki dan kapan saja saatnya sesuai dengan kehendakNya”. BdkWilliam Jhonston, Op.Cit. Hlm. 71-72.

[41] Dalam tradisi skolastik yang berpuncak pada St. Tomas Aquinas, iman dan akal budi tidak dilihat sebagai hal yang bertentangan satu dengan yang lainnya. Keduanya justru saling membantu. Ungkapan ancilla theologiae (filsafat sebagai pembantu wanita teologi) dan praembulum fidei (filsafat sebagai pendahulu, pembuka, pengantar iman) adalah dua istilah yang sangat penting untuk melukiskann relasi antara iman dan akal budi. Jauh sebelum St. Tomas Aquinas, St. Agustinus sudah dengan amat tepat merumuskan peran budi yang membantu memahami iman. Inquietum est cor meum donec requiescat in te (gelisah hatiku sebelum beristirahat dalam Engkau). Pelukisan ini adalah pergumulan Agustinus dalam pencarian pengertian tentang imannya. Bdk. Yohanes Paulus II, Ensiklik Fides et Ratio (Ter. R. Hardawiryana), Jakarta: KWI, 2009. No. 1, 43-44

[42] Teressa de Jesus, Puri Batin, Lembang: Biara Karmel, 1992. Hlm. 8

[43] Ibid. Hlm. 2

[44] Berthold Anton Pareira, Jalan Ke Hidup Yang Bijak; Amsal 1-9, Op.Cit. Hlm. 75

[45] Jordan Aumann memberikan beberapa kriteria kualitas kerinduan, yang menentukan apakah kerinduan itu terarah pada kekudusan. 1) Kerinduan itu sifatnya supranatural, harus mengalir dari rahmat Allah, dan terarah untuk semakin memuliakan Allah. 2) Kerinduan itu harus membawa kita untuk semakin menjadi rendah hati. 3) Kerinduan itu harus disertai keyakinan yang kuat bahwa Allahlah yang mengerjakan semuanya, tanpaNya kita tidak dapat melakukan apa-apa. 4) Kerinduan itu merupakan sebuah kerinduan yang tertinggi. Semua kerinduaan yang lain ada di bawahnya. 5) Kerinduan itu bukan sesuatu yang sekali jadi, tetapi sesuatu yang konstan, terus-menerus. 6) Kerinduan itu harus merupakan sesuatu yang praktis dan berhasil guna. Bdk. Jordan Aumann, Op.Cit. Hlm. 256-257.

[46] St. Teresia de Jesus, Puri Batin, Op.Cit. Hlm. 3

[47] H. m. Guindon, “Prayer”, dalam, JLM, Op.Cit. Hlm. 970

[48] Red Deville, “The French Scoohl Spirituality”, dalam JLM, Op.Cit. Hlm. 438

[49] Charles J. Healey, SJ., Christian SpiritualityAn Introduction to the Heritage, New York: Alba House, 2008. Hlm. 289

[50] Barbara Moore, Op.Cit. Hlm. 125

[51] Bdk. Yak 1:6-7

[52] Catechism of the Catholic Church, Op.Cit. No. 2738

[53] Brian Kolodiejchehuk, M. C. Ibu Teresa; Datang, dan Jadilah Cahaya-Ku, Catatan-Catatan Pribadi Orang Suci dari Kalkuta, Jakarta: Gramedia, 2009. Hlm. 212-213

[54] Op.Cit. Hlm. 3

[55] St. Teresia de Jesus, Puri Batin, Op.Cit. Hlm. 14-15.

[56] Bdk. Luk 11:5-8

[57] Doa Salomo yang dikutip St. Montfort berisi permohonan kepada Allah nenek moyang Israel yang telah mengangkat manusia untuk menguasai dunia semesta. Tetapi ia menyadari bahwa tugas itu tidak dapat dilakukan dengan baik tanpa kebijaksanaan yang datangnya dari Allah (ayat 1-3). Untuk itu Salomo memohonkan kebijaksanaan dari Alllah (ayat 4-6). Secara khusus ia memohon kebijaksanaan sebagai raja agar ia bisa membangun Bait Allah di Yerusalem (ayat 7-9), agar memerintah dengan adil ( 11-12). Dalam ayat 13-18 penulis kitab ini tidak hanya berbicara tentang Raja tetapi tentang semua manusia. Keterbatasan manusia sebagai mahluk yang fana, hina membuat dirinya tidak dapat mengenal rencana Allah. Untuk dapat mengenal rencana dan kehendak Allah ia butuh Roh Kudus yang dari Allah. Bdk. Wim van der Weiden, MSF. Op.Cit. Hlm. 74-77

[58] Berkaitan dengan teologi Moral, Bernard Haring melihat asketisme merupakan bagian tak terpisah dari moralitas Kristiani. Asketisme berkaitan dengan perealisasian diri tetapi tidak dalam pengertian merusak diri (self-destructive), melainkan untuk semakin memperdalam iman. Asketisme bertujuan untuk melayani hidup. Bdk. Bernard Haring C. S. s. R, Road To Relevance; Present and Fucture Trendss in Catholic Moral Theology, New York: Alba House, 1969. Hlm. 105-119

[59] Pierre Humblet mengutip St. Teresa dari Avila untuk menjelaskan hal ini. St. Montfort tampaknya mempunyai pendapat yang sama dalam hal ini. St. Teresia Avila mengatakan; “Sekali kita melepaskan diri kita dari dunia dan dari kaum keluarga…maka akan ada banyak hal yang akan merampas kebebasan roh yang dicari jiwa untuk dapat membubung kepada pencipta mereka tanpa dibebani beban dunia yang kelam. Sehubungan dengan hal-hal yang kecil kita harus berhati-hati. Begitu kita mulai menyukainya, kita harus memalingkan pikiran kita darinya dan mengarahkannya pada Allah. Sri Baginda akan membantu kita untuk melakukannya. Dia telah menganugerahkan anugerah yang besar. Bdk. Pierre Humblet, Op.Cit. Hlm. 51. Bandingkan juga, St. Teresia Avila, Jalan KesempurnaanCipanas-Cianjur: Pertapaan Shanti Buana, 2004. Hlm. 46

[60] St. Montfort mengatakan; “Tubuh kita begitu busuk sehingga Roh Kudus menamakannya: tubuh dosa, dikandung dalam dosa, dibesarkan dalam dosa, dan mampu melakukan macam-macam. Tubuh kita menderita berbagai macam penyakit yang tak terhitung jumlahnya, yang tiap hari membusuk dan tak mampu melakukan apapun kecuali kudis, kutu dan kebusukan. Jiwa kita yang beseru dengan badan kita telah begitu bersifat kedagingan, sehingga dinamakan daging. Segala daging telah merusakan jalan hidupnya di bumi (Kej 6:22). Inilah bagian kita: Roh kita berisi tidak lain dari pada kesombongan dan kebutaan, hati kita hanya kebandelan, jiwa kita hanya kelemahan dan ketidaktekunan, badan kita hanya mengenal hawa nafsu birahi yang bergejolak dan berbagai penyakit. …dari diri sendiri kita hanya memiliki ketiadaan dan dosa. Kita tidak berhak mendapat apapun selain murka Allah dan neraka yang kekal” Bdk.BS. No. 79

[61] St. Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort, Secret of Mary Bandung: Serikat Maria Montfortan1993. No 36. Selanjutnya akan disingkat RM

[62] Pierre Humblet, Op.Cit. Hlm. 48

[63] William Johhnston, Teologi Mistik; Ilmu Cinta. Op.Cit. Hlm. 205

[64] God alone II; The Hymnes St. Louis Marie de Montfort, Op.Cit. No. 8:5-6.

[65] Studi kritis atas buku Bakti Sejati menunjukkan bahwa nomor 14-36 dari buku ini berisi landasan teologis ajaran St. Montfort tentang devosi kepada Maria, khususnya pembaktian diri kepada Yesus Melalui Maria. Konteks pembicaraan St. Montfort di bagian ini adalah peran Maria dalam karya keselamatan. Bdk. Battista Cortinovis, Montfort Pilgrim In The Church, Roma: Misionari Monfortana, 1997. Hlm. 120.

[66] Dalam BS 16 St. Montfot mengatakan; Allah Bapa memberikan Putra tunggalNya kepada dunia tidak lain daripada melalui Maria…Allah Putra telah menjadi manusia demi keselamatan kita tetapi di dalam Maria dan oleh Maria. Allah Roh Kudus telah membentuk Yesus Kristus di dalam Maria, setelah lebih dahulu meminta persetujuan wanita ini melalui salah satu malaikat Agung”

[67] Bdk. BS No. 16-17

[68] Fungsi penyelamatan Maria menentukan hubungannya dengan Gereja. Maria di pandang sebagai typos (citra asli) Gereja, dan dengan demikian Gereja dilihat sebagai antitypos Maria. Tipologi ini berlangsung dalam kesuburan alamiah dan keutuhan keperawanan Maria. Sebagai ibu, Gereja melahirkan Anak Allah di dalam manusia masing-masing karena pewartaan dan Sakramen Baptis, Gereja menyampaikan keselamatan Kristus kepada umat manusia. Gereja bersifat perawan karena secara setia menjaga keutuhan iman, artinya dengan cinta ia menerimaa Allah yang memberikan diriNya dalam Kristus. bdk. Dr, Nico Syukur Disester, OFM., Teologi Sistematika 2, Yogyakarta: Kanisius, 2004. Hlm. 491

[69] Pierre Humblet, Op.Cit. Hlm. 53

[70] Pierre Humblet, Op.Cit. Hlm. 53-54

[71] Hal yang sama dikatakan oleh St. Montfort dalam buku Rahasia Maria. Ia mengatakan; kita harus menemukan jalan yang mudah untuk memperoleh rahmat Allah yang diperlukan untuk menjadi suci. Jalan itulah yang hendak saya ajarkan kepada kamu. Sungguh, jika kamu ingin menemukan rahmat ini dari Allah, maka lebih dahulu kamu harus menemukanMaria. Sebab; 1). Hanya Maria yang memperoleh rahmat di hadapan Allah baik bagi dirinya sendiri maupun bagi tiap-tiap manusia. 2). Maria diberi nama Bunda Rahmat (Mater gratiae), karena dialah yang melahirkan dan menghidupkan Pencipta segala rahmat. 3). Allah Bapa sumber setiap anugerah yang sempurna dan sumber setiap rahmat, telah menyerahkan PutraNya kepada Maria dan demikianpun segala rahmat. Sehingga, (seperti dikatakan oleh St. Bernardus) kehendak Allah diberikan kepadanya dalam dan denganYesus. 4). Allah telah memilih dia sebagai bendaharawati, pengurus dan penyalur segala rahmat sehingga segala rahmat dan anugerah-Nya melewati tanganNya. 5). Seperti dalam tata kodrati setiap anak memiliki seorang bapa dan ibu, demikian juga dalam tata rahmat seorang anak sejati dari Gereja mempunyai Allah sebagai Bapak dan Maria sebagai Ibu. 6). Oleh karena Maria telah membentuk kepala kaum pilihan, Yesus Kristus, ia juga harus membentuk para anggota kepala yaitu kaum Kristen sejati. 7). Roh kudus telah mengambil Maria sebagai mempelainya…8). Maria telah menerima dari Allah kuasa istimewa atas umat manusia untuk memelihara dan menumbuhkan mereka menjadi citra Allah. Bdk. St. Louis Grignion de Montfort, Rahasia Maria, Op.Cit. No. 5-14

[72] Batista Cortinovis melihat teologi pembaptisan St. Montfort pada tempat pertama berdasarkan Surat Paulus kepada jemaat di Roma: kita telah dibaptis dalam Kristus Yesus, telah dibaptis dalam kematianNya, dengan demikian kita telah dikuburkan bersama-sama dengan Dia oleb baptisaan, dengan demikian, kita juga hidup dalam hidup yang baru. Battista Cortinovis, Op.Cit. Hlm. 28

[73] Bakti ini dengan tepat sekali dapat disebut sebagai pembaharuan sempurna ikrar atau janji-janji pembaptisan suci. Karena sebelum pembaptisannya, setiap orang Kristiani adalah hamba setan: waktu itu ia sungguh miliknya. Namun, pada saat pembaptisan, secara pribadi atau melalui wali baptisnya secara meriah ia menolak setan, perbuatan dan kesian-siaanya; ia telah memilih Yesus Kristus sebagai Gurunya dan Penguasanya yang mutlak untuk bergantung padaNya selaku hamba kasih. Bdk. BS 126

[74] E. Martasudjita, Pr., Sakramen-Sakramen GerejaTinjauan Teologis, Liturgis dan Pastoral, Yogyakarta: Kanisius, 2003. Hlm. 228-232.

[75] St. Louis Grignion de Montfort, Rahasia Maria, No. 43

[76] BS. No. 159

[77] Patric Gaffney, “Consecration”, dalam JLM,  Op.Cit. Hlm. 230.