Your loins are to be girt with chastity, your breast fortified by holy meditations, for as Scripture has it, holy meditation will save you. Put on holiness as your breastplate, and it will enable you to love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul and strength, and your neighbour as yourself. Faith must be your shield on all occasions, and with it you will be able to quench all the flaming missiles of the wicked one: there can be no pleasing God without faith; and the victory lies in this – your faith. On your head set the helmet of salvation, and so be sure of deliverance by our only Saviour, who sets his own free from their sins. The sword of the spirit, the word of God, must abound in your mouths and hearts. Let all you do have the Lord’s word for accompaniment.
Rule of St. Albert, No. 19
On one of his broadcasted sermons, a famous tele-evangelist in the Philippines warned his congregation of the wiliness of the enemy. He said that the devil would even use God’s words – the Bible – for the purpose of misleading the faithful.
How does he, the devil, do this?
The preacher said, by making insignificant and un-noticeable twists especially on the interpretation of the scriptures. He continued, “But you don’t need to worry because now, God himself has personally appointed me to show you the right path.”
The devil indeed is very foxy. And despite the obviousness of the erroneous use of the scripture, thousands still continue to flock. Why?
Out of our need and our vulnerability, we tend to be easily convinced by people with great charisma, people who have authority when they talk, people who seems to know what to say and what we need to hear.
And if we are not familiar with God’s Word, if we do not make it a habit to read and contemplate on his Word, we make ourselves vulnerable to such trickeries of the devil.
Reading the Bible is not a taboo in the church, rather, the faithful are encouraged to read and study it, to discuss it with other believers and to make every Word of God alive in their hearts, minds, and actions.
One such practice is the Lectio Divina, or the prayerful reading of the Holy Scripture.
During the World Synod of Bishops in 2008, Auxiliary Bishop Santiago Jaime Silva Retamales of Valparaiso, Chile, pointed out in his explanatory exposition on the Lectio Divina that in reading the Holy Scripture, “we must understand the Word to discover what God teaches us through the inspired author.”
He added, “We must practice the Word to call upon life, learn its meaning, better our mission and reinforce hope.”
How do you use God’s word?
Blessed is the man
who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
but his delight is in the law of the Lord,
and on his law he meditates day and night.
He is like a tree
planted by streams of water,
that yields its fruit in its season,
and its leaf does not wither.
In all that he does, he prospers.
Lord, grant me a heart that delights in your Word. One that is full of excitement to know of your love for me. So excited that I could not stop it from overflowing to every people I meet. Amen.