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What is Scripture?

Scripture is the Face of Christ

St. Bernard

What is the purpose of a picture? Have you looked at a picture of your mother lately? I have. My mother passed away in 1986. It has been 21 years and in this span of time something strange happens: you begin to forget how she looked like. You forget her voice and so many other details.

The purpose of a picture is to help us remember when our memory fails, as it is bound to do. When I look at a picture of my mother, when I spend time contemplating her portrait, I can recall many things about her and remember the good times we shared and all that I owe her. Pictures can be precious when they move us to the good.When was it the last time that you saw Christ? Chances are none. You have not heard his voice, walked with Him, and sat with Him. Scripture is like a picture of Christ. When we open Scripture we gaze on Christ and we get to love Him more and more. The Face of Christ

Trouble though is that sometimes a picture feels more like an intergalactic portal than a homy picture of Mom. How often have I heard someone boast about reading Scripture from cover to cover only to find him later bogged down into the tarpit of Numbers or lost and confused in the maze of Deuteronomy? Who can recall the content of Haggai or who can make complete sense of Proverbs?

You may retort that this is Old Testament stuff and that all we need - really - is the New Testament.

Well, even if you confine yourself to the New Testament, who can claim to fully understand the letters of St. Paul? The letter of St. Jude? Or - dare we say it - the Book of Revelation?

The Bible

If we are to make headway in Scripture, we must begin by acknowledging that we are not able to understand Scripture. We do not have what it takes.

Next we need to beg the Lord, humbly on our knees, to open up Scripture to us. This does not mean that we are asking the Lord for some sort of Heavenly download.

It is not about sitting in the dark while the Lord downloads into our brains the next version of Linux or Windows. It does not work this way. What we must do is go to confession to make sure we are in a state of grace, then roll up our sleeves and study what the Church teaches. Only then will Scripture be open to us so that we may see the Face of Christ.

Scripture is profitable to the extent we conform our minds to the mind of the Church and to the extent we study it; not to boast of our knowledge but to be awed by the majesty and glory of God. The purpose of Scripture is to make us fall in love with the Church, for it is through the Church, the Bride of Christ that we get to contemplate his Holy Face.

After 10 years studying Scripture, I am constantly amazed by its internal unity, logic, and  harmony. I do not claim to know Scripture, but those parts that I have glimpsed or have seen fit together and tend towards the same Truth.

To gain a deeper understanding of Scripture we are required to use our reason to its utmost capacity.  Scripture diginifies reason, it does not put it down. Scripture demands to be logically understood because it is addressed to a reasonable creature, one endowed by the Creator with reason.

 Ok, so where do I start? I want something solid and Catholic and I don't want fluff.

There are many difficulties in Scripture but they do not amount to one doubt and we must always thrive to understand under the guidance of the Holy Spirit and within the confines of the Catholic Church. If we seek to understand so that we may better love, and if we seek to love so as to better understand, then our study of Scripture will prove fruitful.

Every Catholic must know Scripture and must be ready to make a case for the faith that is his. If you are not there yet, click on the link above and see the wealth or resources available to you, beginning with the talks you will find on this site.

QorbonoRevealing the Beauty of Scripture