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Pope's suggestion: explore Bible during summer vacation

August 03, 2011

Pope Benedict XVI recommended the Bible as a summer-reading project, as he addressed a public audience at his summer residence on August 3.

Resuming his weekly audiences after a break for his own summer vacation, the Holy Father remarked that “each of us needs time and space for meditation, reflection, and calm.”

Reading is an ideal pastime for vacation, the Pope told the crowd at Castel Gandolfo. And while light, entertaining books have their place, he said: “Why not discover some books of the Bible?”

“In fact, many Christians have never read the Bible, and have a very limited and superficial knowledge of it,” the Pope continued. He suggested discovering some of the short books of the Old Testament, which “remain almost unknown.” The books of Tobit, Esther, and Ruth, for example, can each be read in an hour, he pointed out. Other books, like Job and the Song of Songs, qualify as enduring literary masterpieces.

Summer could be the time to realize “the beauty of reading one Gospel straight through,” the Pope said. Or a reader could dip into the Acts of the Apostles, or the epistles. In any case, the Pope concluded with a simple suggestion: to “keep the Bible on hand during the summer or during breaks.”


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