The Fortitudinous Man is Strengthened by the Scriptures
From the Fraternus Book for the 29th Sunday of OT:
Fortitude requires strength of will. The Christian gains strength from Sacred Scripture.
The fortitudinous man is strengthened by the scriptures.
YOU NEED THE BIBLE
It is important for mentors, especially when we begin to encourage the reading of scripture, to encourage each individual to reflect on how they currently regard scripture, and what familiarity (or lack of familiarity) they possess with them. This will prove very insightful, as it will shed some light on the state of their relationship with God. St. Jerome is quoted in this week’s Wisdom from the Ages as having said, “Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ.”
Have each of the brothers and Captains, during the Challenge part of Squad Time, to get practical and specific as to how they will build habits which incorporate the daily reading of scripture, as well as an improvement of one’s disposition towards sacred scripture.
Here’s some further reflection from Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI:
The Dogmatic Constitution “Dei Verbum,” whose drafting I personally witnessed as a young theologian, taking part in the lively discussions that went with it, begins with a deeply meaningful sentence: “Dei Verbum religiose audiens et fidenter proclamans, Sacrosancta Synodus …” [“Hearing the Word of God with reverence, and proclaiming it with faith, the Sacred Synod …”] (n. 1). With these words the Council points out a descriptive aspect of the Church: she is a community that listens to and proclaims the Word of God.
The Church does not live on herself but on the Gospel, and in the Gospel always and ever anew finds the directions for her journey. This is a point that every Christian must understand and apply to himself or herself: only those who first listen to the Word can become preachers of it. Indeed, they must not teach their own wisdom but the wisdom of God, which often appears to be foolishness in the eyes of the world (cf. 1 Corinthians 1:23).
The Church knows well that Christ lives in the Sacred Scriptures. For this very reason — as the Constitution stresses — she has always venerated the divine Scriptures in the same way as she venerates the Body of the Lord (cf. “Dei Verbum,” n. 21). In view of this, St. Jerome, cited by the conciliar Document, said that ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ (cf. “Dei Verbum,” n. 25).
The Church and the Word of God are inseparably linked. The Church lives on the Word of God and the Word of God echoes through the Church, in her teaching and throughout her life (cf. “Dei Verbum,” n. 8). The Apostle Peter, therefore, reminds us that no prophecy contained in Scripture can be subjected to a personal interpretation. “Prophecy has never been put forward by man’s willing it. It is rather that men impelled by the Holy Spirit have spoken under God’s influence” (2 Peter 1:20).
We are grateful to God that in recent times, and thanks to the impact made by the Dogmatic Constitution “Dei Verbum” the fundamental importance of the Word of God has been deeply re-evaluated. From this has derived a renewal of the Church’s life, especially in her preaching, catechesis, theology and spirituality, and even in the ecumenical process. The Church must be constantly renewed and rejuvenated and the Word of God, which never ages and is never depleted, is a privileged means to achieve this goal. Indeed, it is the Word of God, through the Holy Spirit, which always guides us to the whole truth (cf. John 16:13).
In this context, I would like in particular to recall and recommend the ancient tradition of “Lectio divina“: “the diligent reading of Sacred Scripture accompanied by prayer brings about that intimate dialogue in which the person reading hears God who is speaking, and in praying, responds to him with trusting openness of heart” (cf. “Dei Verbum,” n. 25). If it is effectively promoted, this practice will bring to the Church — I am convinced of it — a new spiritual springtime.
As a strong point of biblical ministry, “Lectio divina” should therefore be increasingly encouraged, also through the use of new methods, carefully thought through and in step with the times. It should never be forgotten that the Word of God is a lamp for our feet and a light for our path (cf. Psalm 119:105).
An excerpt from the spiritual classic The Imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis (Book I, ch. 5):
Truth, not eloquence, is to be sought in reading the Holy Scriptures; and every part must be read in the spirit in which it was written. For in the Scriptures we ought to seek profit rather than polished diction.
Likewise we ought to read simple and devout books as willingly as learned and profound ones. We ought not to be swayed by the authority of the writer, whether he be a great literary light or an insignificant person, but by the love of simple truth. We ought not to ask who is speaking, but mark what is said. Men pass away, but the truth of the Lord remains forever. God speaks to us in many ways without regard for persons.
Our curiosity often impedes our reading of the Scriptures, when we wish to understand and mull over what we ought simply to read and pass by.
If you would profit from it, therefore, read with humility, simplicity, and faith, and never seek a reputation for being learned. Seek willingly and listen attentively to the words of the saints; do not be displeased with the sayings of the ancients, for they were not made without purpose.
106 God inspired the human authors of the sacred books. “To compose the sacred books, God chose certain men who, all the while he employed them in this task, made full use of their own faculties and powers so that, though he acted in them and by them, it was as true authors that they consigned to writing whatever he wanted written, and no more.”
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