Have you ever tried reading the bible to understand the words of God, only to end up getting even more confused? For this week’s “Good Advice” column, we help out a believer who finds it hard to strengthen his faith by reading the bible. Read his story below:
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I really want to get closer to God but I only get frustrated and confused when I read the Bible. I can’t seem to make any sense of it, and don’t understand why so many people draw strength from it. What’s wrong with me?
— Baffled Believer, 21
Advice from My Pope:
If you feel confused when reading the Bible, relax. While the Bible is filled with the truths of our salvation, it is really not meant to be read literally, and trying to understand it on your own, word-for-word, can be quite baffling. There is a lot of symbolism and context that you might be missing out on, and after being translated from Classic Hebrew and Aramaic, some customs and terms from Biblical times no longer carry the same meaning for us today. The good news is that there are many other accessible avenues that can help you get closer to God along with the Bible. In fact, this is precisely why Jesus founded the Church—so that the growing community of believers could be guided in ways of the faith long after He was gone. So today, if you wish to deepen your relationship with the Lord, you can also turn to the sacraments (ever notice how each sacrament addresses an important moment in your life?), attend Mass, (which contains Gospel readings and a homily), or you can just start speaking to God in prayer. If you feel you need a “bridge,” you can even find a favorite saint you can relate to, or who can help you with a specific need.
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