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Quotes From The Synod of Bishops on the Word of God
In the Life and Mission of the Church
- The Word of God is to be the primary source of inspiration in the spiritual life of the Church communities in its many practices, such as spiritual exercises, retreats, devotions and acts of piety. In this matter, an important goal (and criterion of authenticity) of this practice is to make an individual grow in a personal application of his reading of the Word for its sage teaching, its ability to help the Christian discern the realities of life and the reasons for hope contained therein (cf. 1 Pt 3:15), which are fundamental to Christian witness and the pursuit of holiness.
- The Church’s primary task is to assist the faithful in understanding how to encounter the Word of God under the guidance of the Spirit. In a particular way, she is to teach how this process takes place in the spiritual reading of the Bible; how the Bible, Tradition and the Magisterium are intrinsically joined by the Spirit, and what is required of the believer to be guided by the Holy Spirit received in Baptism and the other sacraments.
- Above all, the Church should encourage the biblical practice traditionally called lectio divina with its four stages (lectio, meditatio, oratio and contemplatio). This practice was characteristic of the early days of the Church and was present throughout her history. The tradition was originally reserved to monasteries, but today the Spirit, through the Church’s Magisterium, is inspiring the practise among the clergy, parish communities, ecclesial movements, families and the young.
- St. Jerome observes: “The Lord’s flesh is real food and his blood real drink; this is our true good in this present life: to nourish ourselves with his flesh and to drink his blood in not only the Eucharist but also the reading of Sacred Scripture. In fact, the Word of God, drawn from the knowledge of the Scriptures, is real food and real drink.”
- The supreme vocation of the Christian is to encounter, pray and live the Word.
Encountering God through the Ancient Tradition of Lectio Divina
The Lord’s Prayer is precious to the Church, given to us by Jesus himself. Yet it can become so familiar to us that, as we recite the words from memory, we forget to meditate on the riches of the truth it contains. Praying The Our Father is designed to help us go deeper in our prayer by providing a practical tool for praying with Holy Scripture using the ancient tradition of lectio divina. A brief introduction to this kind of prayer is followed by a journal-style guide which gives the reader opportunity to pray with carefully chosen short Scripture passages as well as inspirational quotations from the Catechism, Pope Emeritus Benedict, and the saints. This prayer journal is designed for anyone who desires to grow in prayer and draw closer to our Lord.
“Praying The Our Father” is the seventh in the Lectio Divina Catholic Prayer Journal Series©. Other volumes include, “Encountering God in Holy Scripture,” “Praying The Mysteries of the Rosary,” “Praying The Stations of the Cross,” “Jesus Christ, the Word Made Flesh,” “Praying with St. Paul,” and “Praying The Apostles’ Creed.”