Year of the Word: The God Who Speaks

The God Who Speaks

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference has designated this year as the Year of the Word: The God Who Speaks. Henry Wansbrough OSB, a biblical scholar and monk of Ampleforth Abbey, reflects on what we can learn from the God who speaks to us.

The Church has declared 2020 a Year of the Word, when we listen to the God Who Speaks. One of the most startling changes in the Church, sparked half a century ago by the Constitution on the Holy Scripture of Vatican II, Dei Verbum, has been the attitude to the Bible. Until then the Bible was viewed by Catholics with caution. It belonged to the Protestants, as sacraments belonged to us. It was dangerous to examine the Bible too openly, for fear of falling under the condemnations of the Modernist Movement in the early years of the century, still carefully and repeatedly brought to the attention of every Catholic priest and teacher by the Anti-Modernist Oath. All that came to an end with the Council; since then the Bible has taken its place in Catholic minds and hearts as securely as in those of other Christians. Private reading and meditation of the Bible has become commonplace. Bible reading and study groups have sprung up in many parishes. The public celebration of morning and evening biblical prayer is a feature of many parishes. Where priests are lacking, a biblical service has become an alternative way for parishes to meet the Lord. Catholic biblical scholars have taken their place in the broader academic circle. What do we learn from listening to the God Who Speaks? From the whole of the Bible we gain a greater ­understanding of ourselves and of our situation, of human nature in search of God in all the varied situations and predicaments of life, and therefore of God and our interrelationship. It might be useful to sketch this in a Trinitarian manner.

Login for more...