Loading
Pope recommends Bible for vacation reading
By David Kerr
Pope Benedict XVI
Pope Benedict XVI

.- Pope Benedict XVI has urged Catholics to read the Bible while on vacation, particularly the lesser known books of sacred scripture.

“This seems to be a good thing to do on the holidays: take a book of the Bible, so you have some relaxation and, at the same time, enter into the great expanse of ​​the Word of God and deepen our contact with the Eternal,” said the Pope in his Wednesday General Audience address at his holiday residence of Castle Gandolfo, 15 miles south of Rome, Aug. 3. 

Pope Benedict noted how “each of us needs time and space for meditation, reflection and calm” adding “thank God it’s so!” He said this tells us that “we are not made only for work but also to think, reflect, or simply to follow a story with our minds and hearts.” Hence many books are read “mostly for escapism.”

The Pope, however, challenged pilgrims to attempt some slightly “more challenging” reading.

“Why not discover some books of the Bible, which are normally unknown? Or of which we have maybe heard some passages during the liturgy, but we never read in its entirety? In fact, many Christians have never read the Bible, and have a very limited and superficial knowledge of it.”

The Pope even gave those gathered in the small hilltop town’s Liberty Square suggestions as to which books of the Bible to read reminding them that “the Bible - as the name implies - is a collection of books, a small ‘library,’ born over a millennium.”

From the Old Testament he suggested some of the shorter books which “can be read through in one hour.” These include, he said, the Book of Tobit “a story that contains a very high sense of family and marriage”, the Book of Esther “in which the Jewish Queen, with faith and prayer, save her people from extermination” and the Book of Ruth, “a foreigner who knows God and experiences His providence.”

He also emphasized the worth of “more challenging” Old Testament books which the Pope deemed to be “authentic masterpieces.”  

“The Book of Job, which tackles the great problem of innocent suffering, Ecclesiastes for its disconcerting modernity which questions the meaning of life and the world, the Song of Songs, a beautiful poem symbolic of human love.”

Turning to the New Testament the Pope reminded pilgrims of “the beauty of reading one Gospel straight through” as well as the merits of other books such as the Acts of the Apostles.

In conclusion he suggested that pilgrims keep a Bible “on hand during the summer or during breaks.” 

“In doing so they can become moments of relaxation, as well as cultural enrichment, even nourishment of the spirit, capable of fostering knowledge of God and dialogue with God – prayer.”

Today’s brief address continues Pope Benedict’s theme of prayer which he has been developing during his Wednesday audiences since earlier this year.

The Pope then imparted his apostolic blessing before descending from the balcony of his papal apartment to personally meet and greet the sick in the town square below.


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

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Presentation of the book "The Pastor"
Presentation of the book "The Pastor"
Synod on the Family October 2014
Preferential option for the poor
God is alive, even in sport
'A forbidden God' named Best Film at the International Catholic Film Festival
Vatican backs a 'Pause for Peace' during World Cup final
The effects of religious violence in Sarajevo 
The origin of Corpus Christi 
Corpus Christi at the Vatican 
Homage to an Indian Cardinal
Train of the Child's Light
New book explaining gestures of the Mass
Encounter between Pope Francis and the Charismatic Renewal in the Spirit Movement.
Religious tensions subside amid Balkan floods
John Paul II Center for Studies on Marriage and Family
Saint John Paul II on cartoon
Syrian Christian refugees
Papal Foundation Pilgrimage
Exorcism or prayer of liberation?
First meeting of Commission for Protection of Minors
Jul
23

Liturgical Calendar

July 23, 2014

Wednesday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 13:1-9

Gospel
Date
07/23/14
07/20/14
07/19/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Jer 1:1, 4-10
Gospel:: Mt 13: 1-9

Saint of the Day

St. John Cassian »

Saint
Date
07/23/14

Homily of the Day

Mt 13:1-9

Homily
Date
07/23/14
07/21/14
07/20/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: