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Pope Hit The Mark: At Root Of All Catholic Problems Is Lack of Biblical Spirituality, And This Is How We Will Fix It

 
Anonymous Coward
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04/08/2006 09:58 PM
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Pope Hit The Mark: At Root Of All Catholic Problems Is Lack of Biblical Spirituality, And This Is How We Will Fix It
[link to www.spiritdaily.org]

He could not have hit it more squarely on the head. Pope Benedict XVI, toiling quietly, with little of the visibility enjoyed by his predecessor, nonetheless was giving hints that he is doing what he always has, what he is used to doing, what he did for a quarter of a century as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger: working behind the scenes to hold the world's most important institution together, and he is starting where it must start, where it needs to start, where so many of the problems reside: with the Bible.

A few weeks ago, in a major pronouncement (albeit one underreported in by the Christian media), he said, "Assiduous reading of sacred Scripture accompanied by prayer makes that intimate dialogue possible in which, through reading, one hears God speaking, and through prayer, one responds with a confident opening of the heart. If this practice is promoted with efficacy, I am convinced that it will produce a new spiritual springtime in the Church" [our italics].

Above all, he was saying, we must remember Scripture.

Added the Pope, in speaking about Europe, "many Christian things occur, but there is also a great fatigue, and we are so concerned with structural questions that the zest and the joy of faith are missing."

As he prepared for Youth Day last August, Benedict XVI loudly rejected the idea of Christianity as a religion of rules and prohibitions and said he hoped to use his trip to spur "a wave of new faith" -- the type of faith that brings results, displays miracles, and springs forth from the Bible."

Let us add that the root of crisis in the Church is how little the Bible is heeded and how much worldliness has infiltrated. Too often, we compromise with society and its trends (its politics, its fashions) because we want to be "with it." We also confuse the word "religious" with "spiritual."

Religion is supposed to lead to spirituality. Frequently, it does not. It is the best way to obtain spirituality -- the narrowest gate -- but too often it leads only leads to religiosity (and a reverence for the codes of man instead of those of God).

The remedy is the book it is all based on. The Church is in desperate need of biblical spirituality. Biblical spirituality is living a life modeled after those set forth as historical examples. It is feeling the grace that flows from the pages. We have plenty of theology. We have enough canon laws. What we need now is familiarity with that remarkable book and the knowing that it is of true supernatural origin.

Reading the Bible on a regular basis allows us to feel the actual move of the Holy Spirit -- to reach God through our hearts instead of through our self-important thoughts.

The Pope's words mimic those of saints like Therese the Little Flower -- who once said that "above all it's the Gospels that occupy my mind when I'm at prayer; my poor soul has so many needs, and yet this is the one thing needful. I'm always finding fresh lights there, hidden and enthralling meanings."

What happened at our seminaries? The Bible was pushed away as ancient literature (and even mythology) and Catholics have now seen the result. Show us a skeptic (one who does not believe in healing or exorcism or prophecy), and we'll show you someone who does not read Scripture.

We have become too secularized and too busy reading complex theology -- the ideas of others about the Bible, or about the ideas of previous theologians about the Bible -- instead of the Bible itself. We formulate complex ideas to impress others.

In other words, we get so wrapped up in the words of man that we forget the Word of God -- which encourages us to exercise spiritual gifts and to believe in the simple movement of Him everywhere (including in current events). When we read Scripture, we understand more about current events than if we read the newspaper.

A Church that is not prophetic, that is not Bible-based, is not a Christian one. It is the very foundation for our precious sacraments!

Call it "aridity" : there is a great spiritual vacancy in the intellectualized Western Church and from the vacancy has erupted scandal.

Unlike other written works, the Bible is alive and of endless fascination for those who come to know its actual power. It informs every day. It relates to different things at different times. It pertains to every circumstance. As Saint Therese said, it has a hidden nature that can be enthralling.

And it tells us what Christians are supposed to do: pray with a living faith, cast out demons, heal, spread the Word, love, give. During the disaster of Katrina the worldly institutions fell while the spiritual ones -- the churches, the charities -- picked up the pieces.

It is in the Bible that we find the richness of wisdom. It is in the Bible that we feel the Holy Spirit.

God will speak to you there.

Need an answer? Remarkably and often miraculously, it's in the testaments.
Anonymous Coward
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04/08/2006 10:05 PM
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Re: Pope Hit The Mark: At Root Of All Catholic Problems Is Lack of Biblical Spirituality, And This Is How We Will Fix It
Date: 2005-09-16

Benedict XVI Promotes Biblical Meditation

Ancient Practice Could Bring Renewal to Church

CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy, SEPT. 16, 2005 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI believes that the recovery of the practice of "lectio divina," prayerful meditation of Scripture, will bring a "new spiritual springtime" for the Church.

When meeting today with more than 400 experts attending a congress in Rome on "Sacred Scripture in the Life of the Church," the Holy Father recommended this ancient practice which literally means "divine reading."

"Assiduous reading of sacred Scripture accompanied by prayer makes that intimate dialogue possible in which, through reading, one hears God speaking, and through prayer, one responds with a confident opening of the heart," the Pope said.

Over the past 40 years, this proposal has received attention throughout the Church after the publication of the Second Vatican Council's dogmatic constitution on divine Revelation, "Dei Verbum."

"If this practice is promoted with efficacy, I am convinced that it will produce a new spiritual springtime in the Church," stated the Holy Father.

To promote "lectio divina," Benedict XVI suggested "new methods, attentively pondered, adapted to the times."

"One must never forget that the Word of God is a lamp for our steps and a light on our path," he said.

The first to use the expression "lectio divina" was Origen (circa 185-254), who affirmed that to read the Bible profitably it is necessary to do so with attention, constancy and prayer.

Later on, "lectio divina" became a mainstay of religious life. The monastic rules of Sts. Pacomius, Augustine, Basil and Benedict made the practice of diving reading, together with manual work and participation in liturgical life, the triple base of monastic life.

The systematization of "lectio divina" in four steps dates back to the 12th century, explained the Holy Father.

Around 1150, Guido, a Carthusian monk, wrote a book entitled "The Monks' Ladder," where "he set out the theory of the four rungs: reading, meditation, prayer and contemplation," according to the Pope. "This is the ladder by which the monks ascend from earth to heaven."

[link]
Anonymous Coward
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04/08/2006 10:08 PM
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Re: Pope Hit The Mark: At Root Of All Catholic Problems Is Lack of Biblical Spirituality, And This Is How We Will Fix It
CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH
PART ONE -

THE PROFESSION OF FAITH
SECTION ONE

ARTICLE 3 - SACRED SCRIPTURE

I. CHRIST - THE UNIQUE WORD OF SACRED SCRIPTURE

101 In order to reveal himself to men, in the condescension of his goodness God speaks to them in human words: "Indeed the words of God, expressed in the words of men, are in every way like human language, just as the Word of the eternal Father, when he took on himself the flesh of human weakness, became like men."[63]

102 Through all the words of Sacred Scripture, God speaks only one single Word, his one Utterance in whom he expresses himself completely:[64]

You recall that one and the same Word of God extends throughout Scripture, that it is one and the same Utterance that resounds in the mouths of all the sacred writers, since he who was in the beginning God with God has no need of separate syllables; for he is not subject to time.[65]

103 For this reason, the Church has always venerated the Scriptures as she venerates the Lord's Body. She never ceases to present to the faithful the bread of life, taken from the one table of God's Word and Christ's Body.[66]

104 In Sacred Scripture, the Church constantly finds her nourishment and her strength, for she welcomes it not as a human word, "but as what it really is, the word of God".[67] "In the sacred books, the Father who is in heaven comes lovingly to meet his children, and talks with them."[68]


[link to www.christusrex.org]
me
User ID: 79284
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04/08/2006 10:12 PM
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Re: Pope Hit The Mark: At Root Of All Catholic Problems Is Lack of Biblical Spirituality, And This Is How We Will Fix It
yep the RCC is the biggest Stock Broker in the world..also the HQ for Satan on Earth

'All roads lead to Rome'
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 79331
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04/08/2006 10:13 PM
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Re: Pope Hit The Mark: At Root Of All Catholic Problems Is Lack of Biblical Spirituality, And This Is How We Will Fix It
What makes you so superior that you condemn other belief systems?

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