QUEZON City, Feb. 26, 2015–A Catholic nun has seconded Pope Francis in inviting the faithful to go back to the Bible, saying this practice can go a long way towards effectively arming oneself with God’s mercy and compassion as well as against the “temptations of the world,” especially during the ongoing Lenten season.
“Yes, if we are constantly in touch with the Scriptures, we put ourselves into the heart and mind of God. If we continuously get to know God more in his Word, then we would know how to discern and decide,” Sr. Anthony Mary E. Basa of the Pious Disciples of the Divine Master (PDDM), said, reflecting on the Holy Father’s recent Angelus message.
Love as God loves
Basa, who also serves as executive secretary of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP)’s Episcopal Commission on Culture (ECC), explained that in reading God’s Word, Catholics will “know how to love as God loves,” and to act by asking themselves: What would Jesus do in this situation? How would Jesus respond to certain questions?
Given the greed, violence, sufferings, and various other evils and temptations plaguing today’s world, amplified all the more by social media that even an act of killing is recorded and shared online, the sister could not help but exclaim: “What has gone wrong with humankind who are supposed to be created in the image and likeness of God? What are we to do?”
Weapons vs temptation, sin
Basa stressed temptation to sin are so much a part of daily human existence that Jesus Himself had a firsthand experience of it in the desert.
The sister, however, pointed out Christ has shown ordinary people they can face and overcome temptations through prayer, fasting, acts of love, and especially, the Word of God.
“Jesus used the power of prayer and the Word of God to confront temptation. He was able to do this because of his love for his Father. Love is the answer,” Basa added.
Listening to God’s voice
In a speech delivered after Angelus on Feb. 22, Pope Francis explained how in the wilderness the faithful can “listen to God’s voice and that of the tempter,” the Vatican Radio reported.
“[And] we listen to God’s voice through his words and that’s why it’s important to read the Holy Scriptures because otherwise we’re unable to resist the lure of the evil one,” he noted.
Read Bible daily
The Pope said this prompted him to renew his advice to read the Gospel every day, reflecting on its meaning, even for just ten minutes each day.
According to him, the Lenten wilderness, “helps us to say ‘no’ to worldliness, to “idols,” to make courageous choices in line with the Gospel and to strengthen our solidarity with our brothers and sisters.” (Raymond A. Sebastián/CBCP News)