11 February 2011

Simply the Best

Pope Benedict XVI 
A speech to seminarians 17/02/07 (© Libreria Editrice Vaticana) 

«O that today you would hear his voice » (Ps 95[94],7)

How can we distinguish God's voice from among the thousands of voices we hear each day in our world. I would say:  God speaks with us in many different ways. He speaks through others, through friends, parents, pastors, priests... He speaks by means of the events in our life, in which we are able to discern God's touch; he speaks also through nature, creation, and he speaks, naturally and above all, through his Word, in Sacred Scripture, read in the communion of the Church and read personally in conversation with God.

It is important to read Sacred Scripture in a very personal way, and really, as St Paul says (1Thes 2,13), not as a human word or a document from the past as we read Homer or Virgil, but as God's Word which is ever timely and speaks to me. It is important to learn to understand in a historical text, a text from the past, the living Word of God, that is, to enter into prayer and thus read Sacred Scripture as a conversation with God. St Augustine often says in his homilies:  I knocked on various occasions at the door of this Word until I could perceive what God himself was saying to me. It is of paramount importance to combine this very personal reading, this personal talk with God in which I search for what the Lord is saying to me, and in addition to this personal reading, reading it in the community is very important because the living subject of Sacred Scripture is the People of God, it is the Church. 

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