The (in)famous reader and contributor of AATW Bosco always challenges both Catholic and mainline Protestants faiths reliance on tradition. Perhaps, he will not object so much to this particular post. The participates here at this blog who know my own personal theology probably would not argue when I say it is rooted in an understanding of Christ’s Priestly Prayer and the unity of Christianity and thought–even if they’d say it’s misguided! The strong point of this particular blog has always been its discussion, so I hope with introducing small passages for discussion instead of long theological treatises, we foster and rebuild what was once so great here.
Plus, I may find enough time in my day to contribute these smaller discussions.
So, again, taking a look at some known works within the frameworks of the Catholic faith, I stumbled upon The Imitation of Christ by Thomas Kempis’ thoughts on reading scripture. Naturally, the passage reminds me of Pope Benedict XVI’s emphasis to do one’s theology on one’s knees, the idea brought forth countless times here at this blog that Peter wasn’t a scholar but a fisherman or that St. Paul was a mere tent maker. Kempis writes, “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,” I wonder if the wisdom here is to look at scripture and rather than spend so much time arguing about theological concepts of justification rather note that we’re saved through Christ, repent from sin as the scriptures explain what is sin, and do good to our neighbors.
Let us all pray for humility:
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.
Thomas à Kempis, The Imitation of Christ (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, 1996), 10.