Contemplation of God must constantly be fed by a quest for truth. As a consequence, the brothers have an active life of study, mainly in philosophy and in theology.
This is a part of their consecration to Christ. Jesus prayed for his disciples, so that they would be « Consecrated in the truth » (Jn 17,17-19).
The brothers understand this prayer of Christ as a strong encouragement to insert their philosophic and theological work at the heart of their religious life.
So that the brothers are more and more capable to put their intelligence at the service of Christ and evangelization.
Training is done according to the « three Wisdoms » : philosophical, theological and mystical. This concept of three Wisdoms comes from saint Aquinas. A concept that father Marie-Dominique PHILIPPE, founder of the community, loved particularly.
The philosophical wisdom
The training of the brothers includes mainly philosophy. Such quest is essentially targeted to the human person, and its ends. The philosophical effort must be applied to the philosophical discovery and contemplation of God. Today, it has become particularly necessary to proclaim the capacity of human intelligence to discover the existence of God. The philosophical training of the brothers of Saint John is based on the study of human experience in all its dimensions. It is conducted on the lines of the realistic philosophy of Aristotle. It is open to the major schools of thought present across the history of mankind, from antiquity to the most recent trends. Finally, this training does not evade the major problems challenging today’s Christians. Too many ideologies prevent the human intelligence to be at the service of God’s love.
Such effort in philosophical training leads to an opening to the world desired by Council Vatican II. The brothers want to be capable to discuss with anyone in their quest of truth, including non-believers.
That is why the brothers start their training with four years of philosophy.
The theological wisdom
For the brothers, the philosophical research is at the service of theology. Such training is different from philosophy because it is done based on the Christian faith.
This life of theological study is pursued in sheer fidelity to the tradition of the Church, through the study of the Fathers and Saint Aquinas, up to the great contemporaneous theologians. Theology helps us a lot for evangelising, to communicate with intelligence the words of God and to answer precisely to the questions of people regarding faith.
The mystical wisdom
The mystical wisdom is no other than a mere gift of the Holy Spirit. As opposed to the other two wisdoms – philosophical and theological – it is not acquired through relentless labour, it is a liberality from the Holy Spirit :
« I give praise to you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to the childlike » (Mt 11,25).
This mystical knowledge is actually the highest possible level of wisdom. Under its motion, everyone can discover the love of the Father for Himself and taste how good is the Lord.