Aleteia

How attentive are you to God’s Word? Take this quick test!

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Do you know how to really take the Word of God in Scripture to heart?

Try this little exercise: Take a sheet of paper and, after you read the Gospel for this coming Sunday carefully, close the book or tablet and write down as much as you can remember. Then go back and reread the text and compare your copy with the original. No doubt there will be gaps, inaccuracies, blind spots, and mistakes.

In short, very often we read what we want to read. True attention is a matter of love. When love desires something, memory is selective. But if love wants to please, then the eye and the ear retain even the smallest detail. So attention, like good memory, is a fearsome test. Even when it comes to testing our love for the Lord and His Word.

Knowing and embracing the Word

If we hear “chocolate ice cream” or “grandma’s cake,” our mind wakes up. It is listening. The reality of what we have experienced attracts us. So it is with the Father when he hears his Son: He loves him. His words are his word. The love that the Father has for his Son produces in him a reality which attracts him to the Son, like the inner image of a cake attracts me.

If we are granted this, our spirit becomes like that of the Father, magnetized through the Son. The words of the Son become ours, his thoughts more precious than ours. Better! We seek in his words the full meaning to restore its power and nuances. Molded by the Scripture, we would like to know Him personally and to kiss Him … as a lover kisses a love letter. The Word, cold at first, like a flint stone, will transmit its flame if we rub it a little against our hearts.

Father Paul-Marie Cathelinais