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In his An Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith (Book 4, Cap. 17, ‘Concerning Scripture’), St John Damascene (c. 749) writes,
“All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for training in righteousness.” [2 Tim. 3.16] The soul therefore gains great advantage from the reading of the Bible.
“Like a tree planted by streams of water,” [Ps. 1.3] the soul is irrigated by the Bible and acquires vigour, produces tasty fruit, namely, true faith, and is beautified with a thousand green leaves, namely, actions that please God. The Bible, in fact, leads us towards pure holiness and holy actions. In it we find encouragement to all the virtues and the warning to flee from evil.
“The Bible is a scented garden, delightful, beautiful. It enchants our ears with birdsong in a sweet, divine and spiritual harmony, it touches our heart, comforts us in sorrow, soothes us in a moment of anger, and fills us with eternal joy. Let us knock at its gate with diligence and with perseverance. Let us not be discouraged from knocking. The latch will be opened. If we have read a page of the Bible two or three times and have not understood it, let us not be tired of re-reading it and meditating on it. Let us seek in the fountain of this garden `a spring of water welling up to eternal life.’ [John 4.14] We shall taste a joy that will never dry up, because the grace of the Bible garden is inexhaustible.”
This quarter’s reflections have been written by some of the students from Newton Theological College (pictured above). Newton College trains students for the ordained ministry within the Anglican Church of Papua New Guinea.
ABM supports the college with the help of generous donors from around Australia. Thank you for your support of the college through your prayers, your interest and your donations.
We hope that these reflections will stimulate you to ponder more deeply as you read or hear what God is saying to the Church, and to you, through the Sunday and feast day readings. We hope that they inspire you to delve more deeply into the Holy Scriptures.