The practice of consulting wise individuals is as old as human history. Even before Jesus asked his disciples, “Who do people say that I am?” people sought the truth in dialogue.
The classical tradition in philosophy from Plato to St. Thomas illustrates the importance of dialogue. Pastors and councillors can learn from this history and apply it to the parish. Practical wisdom — the prudent knowledge about how to act rightly in a community — emerges from a disciplined conversation among mature and gifted adults. For more information, click on the links below:
- The historical Jesus. What we know about his kingdom, parables, and disciples can assist the pastoral council.
- The Council of Jerusalem. Saints Peter, James, and Paul discussed significant matters — and so should we.
- Socrates. Like wise pastors today, he knew that he didn’t know everything.
- Prudence. Thomas Aquinas called it a search for knowledge about practical matters.