Every now and then I buy a red bell pepper and slowly eat it raw, in little pieces, taking my time with it; slowly enjoying the flavor, almost in a meditative way. Actually, chewing and meditating are two activities profoundly related in Sacred Scripture. In the garden of Eden Adam and Eve ate of "the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil". The Latin word for wisdom, that is, Sapientia, (from which we get the scientific name for the human species: homo sapiens or 'wise man') comes from the Latin verb sapere which means 'to taste'. The same relationship is passed on from Latin to the other romance languages. The Spanish word saber is used both in relationship to tasting food and possessing knowledge. All these are not coincidence because wisdom is, as a philosopher friend said to me once, an acquired taste for the good. This means that the foolish cannot pursue the good because they haven't developed a taste for it, much like a child staring at the greens on his plate.
I dare say that this image of the child at table struggling with broccoli is more than an analogy for growing in wisdom: if we acquire a taste for what is trully good for a healthy life, that will definitely have an effect on our capacity to taste and choose the good that will present itself in other forms throughout life.
- Fr. Juan Villagomez, SOLT