“Do you see…” he wrote, “how St. Paul the Apostle (I Cor. viii, 2) makes the fruit and the utility of knowledge consist in the way we know? What is meant by ‘the way we know’? Is it not simply this, that you should recognize in what order, with what application, for what purpose and what things you should know?

“In what order – that you may first learn what is more conducive to salvation; with what zeal – that you may learn with deeper conviction what moves you to more ardent love; for what purpose – that you may not learn for vain glory, curiosity, or anything of the kind, but only for your own edification and that of your neighbor.

“For there are some who want knowledge for the sole purpose of knowing, and this is unseemly curiosity. And there are some who seek knowledge in order to be known themselves; and this is unseemly vanity…and there are also those who seek knowledge in order to sell their knowledge, for example, for money or for honors; and this is unseemly quest for gain. But there are also those who seek knowledge in order to edify, and this is charity. And there are those who seek knowledge in order to be edified, and this is prudence.”

In the following words, he describes most appropriately the doctrine, or rather the wisdom, which he follows and ardently loves: “It is the spirit of wisdom and understanding which, like a bee bearing both wax and honey, is able to kindle the light of knowledge and to pour in the savor of grace.

“Hence, let nobody think he has received a kiss, neither he who understands the truth but does not love it, nor he who loves the truth but does not understand it.” “What would be the good of learning without love? It would puff up. And love without learning? It would go astray.”

“Merely to shine is futile; merely to burn is not enough; to burn and to shine is perfect.” Then he explains the source of true and genuine doctrine, and how it must be united with charity: “God is Wisdom, and wants to be loved not only affectionately, but also wisely…

“Otherwise, if you neglect knowledge, the spirit of error will most easily lay snares for your zeal; nor has the wily enemy a more efficacious means of driving love from the heart, than if he can make a man walk carelessly and imprudently in the path of love.”

Pius XII (1876-1958): Doctor Mellifluus, 4-5 (on Bernard of Clairvaux, 1090-1163)