Friday, June 8, 2012

Faith and Study

"All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for refutation, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that one who belongs to God may be competent, equipped for every good work." 2 Tim 3-17

Competence is vitally important in every field of work, and it is especially true in matters of religion, but competence in religious matters is very different from competence in other areas. Competence in religious matters demands that believers know their faith both as a discipline that must be learned through regular study and through prayer which demands a leap of faith.

St. Bonaventure talked about this in his classic work, The Mind's Journey to God. After exploring philosophy, human reasoning and wisdom, Bonaventure finally acknowledges, after an exhaustive effort, that full knowledge of God and God's love is not something we can know by reason alone, but must accept as a gift. While Bonaventure never abandoned the doing of theology, especially in the Spirit of St. Francis, he also realized that though his mind was a great gift that moved him close to God, only God could give him belief without limitation.

The same is true for St. Paul. Though a learned Rabbi, his own faith in Jesus came as a gift, a light that knocked him to the ground and blinded him. Only when Paul accepted Jesus as the Messiah did the "scales" fall from his eyes, and allow him to use his knowledge of the Torah to lead others to the Lord.

Today, read something to enhance your faith life.

What have been your most important tools for learning more about your religious tradition?

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