Aide Calls for Return to the Word of God

Says Pope Gives Us Text to Study and Model of Reading

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VATICAN CITY, NOV. 12, 2010 ( Benedict XVI’s post-synodal exhortation «Verbum Domini,» published Thursday, is an invitation to encounter the living Word of God, says a Vatican spokesman.

Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, director of the Vatican press office, stated this on the latest edition of «Octava Dies.»
He asked, «Why a new document, so full, on the Word of God?»

The priest explained that «45 years ago the council published the constitution ‘Dei Verbum,’ which many consider one of the most important documents of the council, some the most important, precisely because it brought to light the original source of the life and mission of the Church.»
«That certainly had a fundamental role in the conciliar renewal,» he acknowledged, but «with time there was ‘a slackening’ with the consequence of ‘indefiniteness or vague spiritualism or, on the contrary, of arid technicalities on the part of specialists.'»
Father Lombardi noted that Cardinal Marc Ouellet, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, spoke with clarity of «a deficit to be filled in the spiritual life of the People of God.»

The priest noted that «the Scripture is a book of the faith, which is born from the faith of the People of God and can be adequately understood only in the perspective of this faith.»

Encountering God
The Vatican spokesman underlined the importance of reading and interpreting «the Scripture with methods offered by science, but in the light of faith, to encounter the living Word of God, Jesus Christ.»

He also pointed to the need «to live and practice listening to and service of the Word in the daily life of the Church to help the faithful and the whole of humanity to encounter God through Jesus Christ.»
«Benedict XVI does not just give us a new great document to study and assimilate: he also gives us the help and the example,» the priest said.
He continued, «With his book on Jesus he offers all of us a model of reading and interpretation of Scripture, with his homilies he offers in particular to all priests a model of preaching that always takes up the movements of the Word of God, but is harmoniously rich in theology, spirituality, in references of topical interest.»
Father Lombardi concluded, «We can truly hope — with his guidance — in the re-launching of the great movement desired by the council.»

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