On Reading AND Living the Bible
Currently the Institute is offering courses on the Gospels in five locations which have already started in the past few weeks. However, there are two more opportunities to take the Gospels course at either St. Jude Parish in Oak Grove starting on February 3 or Holy Trinity Parish in Weston starting on February 10. This seven-week course provides students with an overview of the life of Jesus as delivered by the Gospels and an opportunity to develop a richer relationship with God through prayer and study.
Recently Pope Benedict released an Apostolic Exhortation on the Bible in which he emphasized the importance of lectio divina (Divine Reading) a type of prayer which includes a deliberate reading of the Scriptures. This course may serve as an introduction to daily reading of the Gospels to find in them a source for knowing and living the will of God.
We may find encouragement from a modern saint who exhorted believers to not only read the Bible, but to live it. St. Josemaria Escriva taught that in the Gospels we find the way of life that leads to salvation. And the salvation offered by Jesus is not some abstract concept for us to simply think about, it is a real, concrete guide for living the will of God in every circumstance of the day.
“When you open the Holy Gospel,” St. Josemaria wrote, “think that what is written there—the words and deeds of Christ—is something that you should not only know, but live. Everything, every point that is told there, has been gathered, detail-by-detail, for you to make it come alive in the individual circumstances of your life.
“God has called us Catholics to follow him closely. In that holy Writing you will find the Life of Jesus, but you should also find your own life there.
“You too, like the Apostle, will learn to ask, full of love, ‘Lord, what would you have me do?’ And in your soul you will hear the conclusive answer, ‘The Will of God!’
“Take up the Gospel every day, then, and read it and live it as a definite rule. This is what the saints have done” (The Forge, 754).
I hope you can make time for one of these courses to deepen your relationship with Christ.
Dr. Timothy M. Brennan is originally from Pennsylvania where he attended Catholic elementary and secondary schools before graduating from Penn State University with degrees in History and Medieval Studies. He went on to receive Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in Medieval History - with an emphasis on the history of the Church - from the University of Kansas. Dr. Brennan also completed a Master’s in Theological Studies through the Institute of Pastoral Theology under the auspices of Ave Maria University. He has 18 years of teaching experience on the university and high school levels, and recently enjoyed the privilege of teaching Patristics and Church History to diaconate candidates in the Diocese of LaCrosse, Wisconsin. In his spare time, Dr. Brennan enjoys Bible Study (especially Lectio Divina), reading history, art history, lives of the medieval saints and missionaries, and classic science fiction. He has a strong interest in apologetics and looks forward to working with the faculty and staff of the Bishop Helmsing Institute in the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph.