instruere...inlustrare...delectare Disputations

Monday, February 06, 2006

Dei Verbum

Discussion on a post below has turned to the traditional Catholic disinclination to read the Bible. Brandon Field makes what I think is a key point:
But, it is not necessary for Salvation for the faithful to own and read their Bible.
In Europe and North America, and perhaps wherever most Catholics are baptized as infants, there is a great emphasis on the bare necessities of salvation. Folks are perfectly willing to be Catholic, but they'd as soon leave holiness to others. As long as not reading the Bible doesn't make someone a bad Catholic, Catholics in large numbers aren't going to read the Bible.

The excerpt from Fr. Pinckaers I quoted offers a different, and likely more fruitful, tack than the "Rules for Not Being a Bad Catholic" approach.

Do you know anyone who, if God called them on the telephone, wouldn't take the call? Oh, a woman giving birth might say, "Take a message!", but in ordinary circumstances who would not knock down his grandmother to get to the phone?

And yet, things are such that the traditional Catholic ritual for reading Scripture includes the step of blowing the dust off the Bible (Old Calendarists do it after thrice crossing themselves; everyone else does it before crossing themselves once).

Which suggests to me that Catholics don't believe God is waiting to speak to them in the Scriptures. How come that?