Wednesday, February 26, 2014

14 Reasons To Read The Bible

14 Reasons To Read The Bible:
14 - Because God is the Divine author (2 Tim 3:16).

13 - It teaches us the ways of salvation (2 Tim 3:15).

12 - It helps raise up Godly children. (Deut 6:7).

11 - It helps give good counsel to others (Col 3:16).

10 - It has practical wisdom for everyday life (Psalm 119: 98).

9 - Because God teaches us His will for us through it. (Rom 12:2)

8 - Because the Devil has read it, knows it, and hates it. (Matt 4: 1-11)

7 - It helps fulfill the mission of the Church - to evangelize. (1 Cor 1: 17-25)

6 - It answers life's biggest questions - "Who am I", "Why am I here", "What is life all about", etc. (John 14: 5-27.

5 - It helps us fight temptations to sin. (Eph 6:17, Matt 4: 1-11)

4 - It tells us the history of God's people - our heritage in faith. (Acts 7: 2-56)

3 - It is God's encouragement through the rough times in life (James 1: 2-3).

2 - We cannot know Jesus personally or his plan for our lives without reading the Bible - as St. Jerome said "Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ".

1 - Christ is present when we read the Bible (2 Thes 2:13).
This list is only the tip of the iceberg. Pope Benedict XVI issued a major document on Sacred Scripture last year (Verbum Domini) that the Church needs to get to know. Here are a few highlights of it:

The need for good formation:
"In order to achieve the goal set by the Synod, namely, an increased emphasis on the Bible in the Church's pastoral activity, all Christians, and catechists in particular, need to receive suitable training. Attention needs to be paid to the biblical apostolate, which is a very valuable means to that end, as the Church's experience has shown. The Synod Fathers also recommended that, possibly through the use of existing academic structures, centres of formation should be established where laity and missionaries can be trained to understand, live and proclaim the word of God. Also, where needed, specialized institutes for biblical studies should be established to ensure that exegetes possess a solid understanding of theology and an appropriate appreciation for the contexts in which they carry out their mission."
The importance of praying with Scripture:
"86. 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. 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.""
Laity are called to evangelize using the Scriptures:
"The laity are called to exercise their own prophetic role, which derives directly from their Baptism, and to bear witness to the Gospel in daily life, wherever they find themselves. In this regard the Synod Fathers expressed " the greatest esteem, gratitude and encouragement for the service to evangelization which so many of the lay faithful, and women in particular, provide with generosity and commitment in their communities throughout the world, following the example of Mary Magdalene, the first witness of the joy of Easter ". The Synod also recognized with gratitude that the ecclesial movements and the new communities are a great force for evangelization in our times and an incentive to the development of new ways of proclaiming the Gospel."
The Bible and the New Evangelization:
"Our own time, then, must be increasingly marked by a new hearing of God's word and a new evangelization. Recovering the centrality of the divine word in the Christian life leads us to appreciate anew the deepest meaning of the forceful appeal of Pope John Paul II: to pursue the missio ad gentes and vigorously to embark upon the new evangelization, expecially in those nations where the Gospel has been forgotten or meets with indifference as a result of widespread secularism. May the Holy Spirit awaken a hunger and thirst for the word of God, and raise up zealous heralds and witnesses of the Gospel."
If you desire to understand what the Catholic Church teaches about the Bible, then Verbum Domini in addition to the Vatican II Constitution on Sacred Scripture - Dei Verbum - are the two you documents you should read after the Catechism's section on Scripture.


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