Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Struggling Saint

Saint Augustine, one of the greatest theologians in the history of the Western church, wrote his spiritual journey as a prayer, a story told to God, in his Confessions. He reveals an early struggle as a new disciple of Jesus: He asked his bishop (Saint Ambrose of Milan) to guide his Scripture reading. The results were not inspiring, but it makes me laugh because all of us who have opened the Good Book have encountered the same struggle:

"He recommended the prophet Isaiah: I believe it was because he is a more manifest prophet of the gospel and of the calling of the Gentiles than are the other writers. But in fact I did not understand the first lesson in this book, and thinking the whole work to be similar, I put it aside to be taken up again when I was better accustomed to the Lord's mode of speech" (9.5.13).

I personally wouldn't recommend Isaiah as a starting point, but I do encourage everyone to "read on". The more we read, the more the Scriptures and the gospel come into focus. And I'm happy to refer you to an introduction to the different kinds of reading you'll find in the Bible. There's something for everyone!

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