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


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 15, 2014

Tuesday of Holy Week

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Jn 13:21-33, 36-38


Daily Readings

Saint of the Day

St. Peter Gonzalez »


Homily of the Day

Jn 13:21-33, 36-38


Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
Text only

Follow us: