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 CNS Story:

SYNOD-LOVE Oct-6-2008 (440 words) With photos. xxxi

Synod participants call for emphasis on Bible's spiritual dimension

By Carol Glatz
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Greater emphasis is needed on the spiritual dimension of the Bible and how God uses Scripture to communicate his love for humanity, said two members of the world Synod of Bishops on the Bible.

Cardinal Marc Ouellet of Quebec, the synod's recording secretary, told journalists at an Oct. 6 press conference the theme of the spiritual sense of Scripture deserves to get a lot of attention during the Oct. 5-26 synod on the Bible.

The faithful should have a more contemplative rather than solely intellectual relationship with the word of God, he said.

The Bible is not just "a book of ideas," he said. "When one opens the book, one opens one's heart and it is God who speaks" and engages in a dialogue with the person who reads and contemplates what is written, he added.

Without diminishing the importance of the intellectual dimension, "perhaps the intellectual side has been developed enough or too much" and not enough emphasis has been given to Scripture's contemplative power, he said.

Cardinal Ouellet said God gave his Son to humanity so his children could speak to him; Scripture "is text that lets us communicate with God, a text for praying."

Another synod participant, Archbishop Claudio Celli, president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, said a great challenge for today's Catholic media is how to communicate to the world God's love for humanity.

Are Catholic media, with all the modern-day and traditional tools of communication available to them, "able to be instruments of this love?" he asked.

He said much could be learned from how children learn that they are loved by their parents.

A child experiences his father's and mother's love, from the very beginning of his life, not from texts and speeches about love, "but he understands what it means to be loved from his everyday experience alongside his parents," he said.

Today's Catholic media can be "instruments, witnesses, an encouraging, provocative means of communication of this love or of a God who wants to communicate his love to humankind," he said.

Catholic bishops and priests, too, must rediscover that "we are not administrators of the word, but we are called to be involved as witnesses and prophets," said the archbishop.

With the word of God, "we have a living reality in our hands that transforms our lives bit by bit" and must be shared with the rest of the world to proclaim "what man should be and how God imagined man to be in his love," he said.

END


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