Scripture: A Unique Word
Scripture is an amazing word: this is a word that both acts at the heart of a person’s life and begets a testimony “like” itself. The more a person looks into the depths of this “word”, the clearer it is that there is both real human authorship and an incredibly subtle presence of the “divine Author”. There are not, however, two words; but one mysteriously enriched word of God: a word at once ancient and ever open to the challenges of contemporary questions and concerns.
Secondly, if dialogue is a characteristic of God, Scripture “expresses” this through the multitude of voices through which it is written. So, whether it is a matter of listening to this word in the Church, drawing on foundational studies on the biblical text, or researching questions in embryology, philosophy, theology, marriage and ecumenism, a person is drawn into an amazingly fertile divine-human dialogue. Indeed, in the end, it is impossible to express the number of human beings who are in this dialogue; and, in that very impossibility, there is a glimpse of the mystery of God calling us to a dynamic communion.
Finally, given the great challenge of thinking that a person is so immersed in a “subjectivism” that drowns inter-personal dialogue, the word of God comes to strengthen the search for truth and facilitates the investigations that transcend individuals, groups, nations, cultures and times. For Scripture cannot be more centred in a time, a place, a people; it cannot be more “subjective” in its account of an immense variety of human experience. But then, the very historical consistency of the fact that this heritage of utterly human experience has been able to “speak” to mankind as a whole, at any time, in any place, in any culture, is an incredibly convincing testimony that this is a unique word: a word that both arises out of a profound anthropology of man and can destroy isolation and effect communion. This book, then, takes up these questions, both intensely personal and profoundly contemporary, and lets the words “Listen Israel” resound throughout its pages.
Francis Etheredge found Faith through the Catechism of the Catholic Church, saying that if God is Creator then He can make a new beginning for the sinner (CCC, 298). On the basis of hoping in God to help, he married and has eleven children, three of whom are in heaven. His wife and children daily enrich his life. In response to a prompt to pray for family-friendly work in front of the Blessed Sacrament, three months later he obtained work at the Maryvale Institute (www.maryvale.ac.uk).
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