Cardinal Vanhoye: Bible should be read in a spirit of prayer

.- In an interview published this week by the Spanish Catholic magazine Ecclesia, Cardinal Alberto Vanhoye, S.J., the former Rector of the Pontifical Biblical Institute of Rome and Secretary Emeritus of the Pontifical Biblical Commission, said the way to overcome the temptation to read the Sacred Scriptures with the rationalist approach characteristic of some contemporary scholars, is to read it with an authentic spirit of prayer.

The renowned Bible scholar, who was made cardinal by Pope Benedict XVI on March 24, 2006, said in the interview, “Providence has deigned that I have been able to consecrate truly all of my life to the profound study of Scripture to the benefit of so many students from all over the world. Therefore, I thank the Lord for giving me this privilege.”

The 85 year-old Jesuit then laid out some premises for studying the Bible, which he said are “clearly premises of faith.”

“The Bible is a text that expresses the faith. In order to receive it in a serious and profound way, we must enter into the current that produced it. Therefore, approaching the inspired text with a spirit of faith is essential. On the other hand, there also exists the conviction that the Bible is at the same time an historical book, not simply a theoretical word.  It is a revelation with facts, events, an historical, existential reality that must be received in this way,” he said.

“Sacred Scripture,” the cardinal added, “is essential for knowing Christ, for following him, for researching all of the dimensions of the mystery of Christ.” Moreover, he pointed out, there is a “close relationship between exegetical research and the deepening of faith and the spiritual life. This has made me never doubt once about studying, researching and employing all of my strength and capacities in this study of such fundamental importance for the life of the Church.”

Cardinal Vanhoye also brought up the topic of giving the faithful the means to meditate on the Word of God. He said that Lectio Divina is a special and effective way of doing so.

Asked about how to keep the Bible from becoming a mere object of study separate from one’s spiritual life, the cardinal said, “The principal remedy is mediation on the biblical texts, with a spirit of faith and of prayer.”

“Exegetes cannot be content with just studying the texts. They should meditate on them in an atmosphere of searching for the Lord and for union with Him, and always aware that only Christ gives all the riches of the inspired Scripture.  He is the one who fully opens our minds to the knowledge of the Scriptures, as the end of the Gospel of St. Luke says. Therefore, the remedy is daily prayer, understood as meditation that seeks union with the Lord, receiving his light, receiving his love. Only this can save one from the danger of a rationalist and sterilizing spirit, that can become an obstacle for the lives of the faithful,” the cardinal said.

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic

Liturgical Calendar

April 17, 2014

Holy Thursday

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Jn 13:1-15


Daily Readings

First Reading:: Ex 12:1-8, 11-14
Second Reading:: 1 Cor 11:23-26
Gospel:: Jn 13:1-15

Homily of the Day

Jn 13:1-15


Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
Text only

Follow us: