“Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ.” – St. Jerome
Perhaps one of the most common charges levied against the Catholic Church is that Catholics do not care about the Bible. Protestants are especially fond of claiming that individual Catholics are unconcerned with the Word of God.
This charge is false, of course. Catholics compiled, translated, transcribed, and preserved the Bible for hundreds of years before Protestantism even existed. It would be lunacy for a Church which cared nothing about the Bible to care for it so long and so well.
But this lie is based on an unfortunate grain of truth. For it is distressingly true that many Catholics – even Catholics who love their Faith – know very little about the Bible and understand little of the fruit and beauty contained within its pages.
But we Catholics believe that the Bible is truly the word of God. If God grants the opportunity to read it, then how dare we spurn His wondrous gift?
Rejection of the Bible is both wrong and incredibly foolish. The Bible is one of two principal sources of divine revelation (the other is Tradition). Scripture and Tradition work hand in hand with one another to reveal those truths of the faith God deems necessary for our salvation.
But the Bible is even more than a source of divine revelation (wondrous as that is). It is the story of our salvation from our own sin and foolishness. It is the chronicle of our ancestors in faith, a window into viewing their successes, failures, and foibles. It is full of wisdom that speaks to the heart of the human condition. It contains within beautiful and haunting poetry.
The words of Scripture still strike like lightning across two millenia, even after multiple translations.
Excerpts from the Bible are read during every Catholic Mass for these very reasons. But far too many Catholics tune out during the reading of these passages from the Good Book.
When the Liturgy of the Word becomes little better than a chance to catch up on sleep, Catholics effectively reject the story of their salvation, ignore a key resource for defending the faith, and spurn a work of incredible beauty and power.
Dear Catholics: Your Bible is a treasure. Tolle lege!