By FR. ALLAN S. FENIX
When was the last time you read a good book?
Before, to past the time, I used to borrow and read novels. It’s a good way to develop ones english comprehension, grammar… But, in time, I came to a point whereby I outgrew it when I discovered that story lines contain in it have almost the same run. Only the titles, authors and covers differ. Reading once, twice of it will already give one the idea of its entirety.
Next , I tried my hands on reading the world’s best selling book of all times, the Sacred Scriptures, the bible. During our seminary formation, we were encouraged to , at least, be able to read the entire volume of the scriptures. But, during those times, another new thing always seems to come along the way which absorbs much of my attention and interest. So the reading of the Sacred Scriptures is always put off for a MUCH MUCH later time. It was only while in the ministry now that I really got serious reading it. I paid much attention to each word to help me pray and give me guidance that I needed in my day to day life.
If in the past, it was all about cursory readings and disposing of what I just read. Now , it was a holding on tight to each word of the Scriptures. This is life for me. Reading the scriptures brings me to a much deeper reality within myself and , at the same time, brings me out on the surface to see my surroundings in a much clearer picture. Reading it seems to make me feel, as though, I cannot get enough unlike before when I was still reading novels whereby after going through it, it is just tossed about. Dispose of. Never to be seen again. Anyway, another new one will be coming by soon. But, the Sacred Scriptures stay. It lingers unflinchingly in my life. One cannot get enough of it. It is like the ever delicious ice cream or chocolate inside the fridge that one cannot put off from going back and forth all throughout the day.
The bible predates all of our modern portable gizmos. Long before they came up with the idea of a portable radio, mobile phone, laptop…. , the bible is already a vast library in itself that one can carry around. It is self contain. It offers the reader a variety of genre to choose from. I used to envy a person who has a library filled up with books. I tell myself that he must be a very intelligent guy. But, all of my enviousness quickly dissipated when I discovered the wonder and mystery of reading the bible. With its 73 books; 46 in the Old Testament and 27 in the New Testament; I have a tome with me. I have enough books to read to last me for a lifetime.
As Catholics, we grew up unfamiliar with the bible. So, developing the habit, takes awhile. But, once one get the hang of it. Its a downhill slide from there. This goes the same way with the Sacred Scriptures. A chapter and a verse here and there for a day will be a good start. If one gets tired reading, stop and rest. Wait for another inspiring moment. Soon, I tell you, everything will be in a smooth flowing mode. Reading the bible will just come easy. We will put off everything just to read it. We will leave everything behind just to get hold of it.