One thing I don’t think the average Catholic (or non-Catholic) realizes is how steeped in the Bible are the teachings of Pope Benedict. I have been reading his works for over 15 years now, and one thing you recognize quickly is how biblical his theology is. Furthermore, his pontificate has been marked with numerous calls for laity and clergy to become more intimate with the Word of God. In fact, it has been his teachings that inspired me to write Who Do You Say That I Am?
Recently, Pope Benedict renewed this call when he asked all the faithful for a more prayerful and attentive reading of the Gospels, which are the heart of the Bible. The best way to do this is through Lectio Divina, in which we mediate slowly and carefully on the text in silence. The heart of Lectio Divina is letting the Holy Spirit guide you, as the Pope says, “A purely theoretical, profane reading is not enough in order to reach the heart of sacred Scripture. One must read it in the spirit in which it was written and created.” I encourage everyone to spend at least some time every day – even five minutes – practicing this ancient form of biblical reading.
If you are more interested in the Pope’s biblical theology, be sure to read Scott Hahn’s book Covenant and Communion: The Biblical Theology of Pope Benedict XVI. I haven’t read it yet, but I have heard great things about it and I hope to read it soon (if anyone is feeling generous, it’s on my Amazon wish list, and I wouldn’t turn it down as a gift. ).