Oblate Blog: February 18, 2011: Verbum Domini: The Word of God

                                       

The Oblates of St. Benedict affiliated with Conception Abbey, took on the project of trying to put a bible in each room in the guest houses here at Conception. Up to the present we have been able to purchase 65 bibles and these are now in the rooms in Marian Hall. Eventually we hope to purchase 34 more to put in the rooms in St. Benedict Hall. We purchased the bibles from Fireside Catholic Publishing, Wichita, Kansas. They retail for almost $24.00 each but we were able to purchase them for $14.75 each. They are hard bound copies of THE NEW AMERICAN BIBLE. The picture above shows some of the bibles as they were being marked and prepared for the rooms in Marian Hall.

We all know how much emphasis St. Benedict puts on the scriptures and lectio divina. It is good to know that in 2008 when the Synod of Bishops met in Rome they discussed the very topic of the scriptures. After the synod Pope Benedict XVI in November, 2010, published a document entitled Verbum Domini (Word of God). If you would like to download the document or read it you can do find it at this web site. http://www.indcatholicnews.com/news.php?viewStory=17113
At the top of this link you will find the link that will take you directly to the document. It is 56 pages excluding the index.

I would like to quote from it here. In this particular section the Pope speaks of "The prayerful reading of sacred Scripture and ‘lectio divina."

The prayerful reading of sacred Scripture and "lectio divina"
The Synod frequently insisted on the need for a prayerful approach to the sacred text as a fundamental element in the spiritual life of every believer, in the various ministries and states in life, with particular reference to lectio divina. [290] The word of God is at the basis of all authentic Christian spirituality. The Synod Fathers thus took up the words of the Dogmatic Constitution Dei Verbum: "Let the faithful go gladly to the sacred text itself, whether in the sacred liturgy, which is full of the divine words, or in devout reading, or in such suitable exercises and various other helps which, with the approval and guidance of the pastors of the Church, are happily spreading everywhere in our day. Let them remember, however, that prayer should accompany the reading of sacred Scripture". [291] The Council thus sought to reappropriate the great patristic tradition which had always recommended approaching the Scripture in dialogue with God. As Saint Augustine puts it: "Your prayer is the word you speak to God. When you read the Bible, God speaks to you; when you pray, you speak to God".[292] Origen, one of the great masters of this way of reading the Bible, maintains that understanding Scripture demands, even more than study, closeness to Christ and prayer. Origen was convinced; in fact, that the best way to know God is through love, and that there can be no authentic scientia Christi apart from growth in his love. In his Letter to Gregory, the great Alexandrian theologian gave this advice: "Devote yourself to the lectio of the divine Scriptures; apply yourself to this with perseverance. Do your reading with the intent of believing in and pleasing God. If during the lectio you encounter a closed door, knock and it will be opened to you by that guardian of whom Jesus said, ‘The gatekeeper will open it for him’. By applying yourself in this way to lectio divina, search diligently and with unshakable trust in God for the meaning of the divine Scriptures, which is hidden in great fullness within. You ought not, however, to be satisfied merely with knocking and seeking: to understand the things of God, what is absolutely necessary is oratio. For this reason, the Saviour told us not only: ‘Seek and you will find’, and ‘Knock and it shall be opened to you’, but also added, ‘Ask and you shall receive’".[293] p. 41 of the Pope’s document.

If we read this paragraph alone we can see why it is important that a Benedictine monastery have a bible in each guest room. I am so appreciative of the oblates for taking on this project. By the way we presently have a little over $100.00 in this fund for bibles in St. Benedict Hall. We will need about $500.00 to obtain bibles for those rooms. Once again I want to remind you that this is not part of your being an oblate. Only help if you feel you can and want to do so. Names of donors will not be published.

God’s blessing be with each of you.

To read Fr. Kenneth’s personal blog, go to: http://kennethosb.blogspot.com/

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