BY THOMAS A KEMPIS
Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur, 1941
CHAPTER 5: OF READING THE HOLY SCRIPTURES
TRUTH is to be sought in the holy Scriptures; not eloquence.
All holy Scripture should be read in the spirit in which it was written.
We would seek profit in the Scriptures rather than subtlety of speech. "We ought to read devout and simple books as willingly as those that are high and profound.
Let not the authority of the author be in thy way, whether he be of little or great learning; but let love of simple truth lead thee to read.
Inquire not who may have said a thing, but consider what is said.
2. Men pass away, but the truth of the Lord abideth forever.
God speaketh to us in divers ways, without respect to persons.
Our curiosity is often a hindrance to us in reading the Scriptures, when we wish to understand and to discuss where we ought to pass on in simplicity.
If thou wilt derive profit, read with humility, with simplicity, and with faith; and never wish to have the name of learning.
Be fond of inquiring, and listen in silence to the words of the Saints; and let not the parables of the ancients be displeasing to thee, for they are not uttered without a cause.
READ the sacred Scriptures and books of piety with the same spirit in which they were written; that is, read them in quest of truth, for instruction, for edification, and to bring thee to a truly Christian way of life. Read the holy Scriptures with faith, humility, respect, and docility, praying the Holy Ghost Who dictated it, to enable thee to understand it, to relish it, and to practice it.
SPEAK, my God, speak to my heart and change it, whilst the truths which I read strike and convince my mind. Grant that, being instructed in Thy law and in Thy holy will, by the reading of good books, I may follow them in all things, so that what Thou teachest may ever be the rule of my conduct. Amen.