Category: Holy Scripture

It was said of at least two of the saints that they knew the Old and New Testaments by heart. One of these was Saint Lawrence of Brindisi and the other was Saint Mark the Ascetic. It is recorded the biography of the former that a fellow friar once asked him what would happen if the Protestants took over Christendom and burned every Catholic Bible.  To which he replied that he could write the whole Bible from his memory. Saint Mark, who had the same gift, was a disciple of Saint John Chrysostom.

Well, our own Brother Francis knew the four Gospels by heart — three of them in Latin and one in Greek. He achieved this by reading the scriptures every day, even as he performed manual chores. After his duties were over, he would take a walk in the woods and repeat what he had memorized earlier. It was surely the Providence of God that Brother’s principal duty in the religious community was to do the laundry.

It is a praiseworthy thing to read the scriptures, but there is no canonical indulgence for just reading, the indulgence is given to those who meditate on the scriptures, even for fifteen minutes at a time.

In order to understand the scriptures, one needs a good Catholic teacher, who was himself taught by another Catholic teacher.  Teacher to student, generation after generation, cultivating the word of God in the soil of the intellect.  Pope Benedict XVI is such a teacher. His insights into the scriptures, which he shares with the Church on a regular basis, are doctrinally profound and, at the same time, clear and digestible. Brother Francis was certainly such a teacher. His expositions of so many books of the Bible are as fecund as they are erudite.

Another way to understand the sacred text is to read the commentaries of the saints, especially the doctors of the Church. Saint Jerome’s admonition still reverberates sixteen centuries after he uttered it: “Ignorance of the scriptures is ignorance of Christ.”

Who Are We?

Who Are We? No other women in the Bible share our names. We are praised by Saint Paul in the New Testament for having “faith unfeigned,” which is to say, “without guile” or “genuine.” We are Jews, but our husbands … Continue reading

Who Am I?

I am mentioned twice in the New Testament. There is no other woman in the Bible that has the same name as I. However, there is a man in the genealogy of the Savior who has the same name as … Continue reading

The Wisdom of Ben Sira

Editor’s introduction: This article was written by the remarkable man that Charles Coulombe has just memorialized on this site. If some copyright has been unintentionally violated by our posting the article here, we will take it down if notified by … Continue reading

Who Am I?

Who am I? No one among the just has waited longer than I to see God face to face. I have a mission that has yet to be fulfilled. I have never eaten meat. For a while I did eat … Continue reading

Good Things

He hath filled the hungry with the good things (Our Lady’s Magnificat) It seems that no matter where I turn in the scriptures I find the term “good things.” Doing a tally from the Douay Concordance, one finds ninety-one usages … Continue reading

Plucking of His Beard

I have given my body to the strikers, and my cheeks to them that plucked them: I have not turned away my face from them that rebuked me, and spit upon me. (Isaias 50:6) In His Agony in the Garden … Continue reading

It’s All Hebrew To Me

It is an interesting thing to consider why certain words of the New Testament were kept in Hebrew or Aramaic by the inspired authors rather than translating them into Greek, if indeed they were translatable. Our Lord’s cry from the … Continue reading