Friday, November 19, 2010

11/19/10 - Verbum Domini

This morning Catholic Radio in Omaha was having a discussion of Verbum Domini, which is an apostolic exhortation from Pope Benedict XVI. It is dated, September 30, 2010, and was publicly released by the Vatican on November 11, 2010. The hosts of the show were raving about this document. I wasn't aware of it, so I quickly jumped on to the Vatican website to get a look at it.


It's playing to rave reviews. This is from a review by Deacon Keith Fournier, published at Catholics Online:

"... this mystic Pope teaches us all the way to live our lives immersed in and transformed by the Word of God in this exhortation. Drawing repeatedly from John's Gospel, the Fathers of the Church, the best of the medieval masters of the West and the treasury of the Tradition, Pope Benedict XVI gives the finest short course on the Word of God, the Bible, Sacred Scripture, which I have ever encountered. This apostolic exhortation is destined to become one of the mandatory sources for studying Sacred Scripture for decades to come. "


I've barely had time to scratch the surface, but I've got to say that our Holy Father has given us an absolute masterpiece with this work. It is something to read and digest slowly, and return to again and again. Maybe it will spawn future messages, but for today I just want to get it out to all who read this.

I'll give you a taste -- from the Holy Father's conclusion:

"I remind all Christians that our personal and communal relationship with God depends on our growing familiarity with the word of God. Finally, I turn to every man and woman, including those who have fallen away from the Church, who have left the faith or who have never heard the proclamation of salvation. To everyone the Lord says: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me” (Rev 3:20).

May every day of our lives thus be shaped by a renewed encounter with Christ, the Word of the Father made flesh: he stands at the beginning and the end, and “in him all things hold together” (Col 1:17). Let us be silent in order to hear the Lord’s word and to meditate upon it, so that by the working of the Holy Spirit it may remain in our hearts and speak to us all the days of our lives. In this way the Church will always be renewed and rejuvenated, thanks to the word of the Lord which remains for ever (cf. 1 Pet 1:25; Is 40:8). Thus we too will enter into the great nuptial dialogue which concludes sacred Scripture: “The Spirit and the bride say: ‘Come’. And let everyone who hears say: ‘Come!’” The one who testifies to these things, says: ‘Surely I am coming soon!’. Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!”. (Rev 22:17, 20)."