ASK THE RELIGION EXPERT

Since 2000, Ottawa Archbishop Marcel Gervais has expressed his opinion on a variety of faith topics. These texts were initially published in the "Ask the Religion Experts" column which appears every Saturday in The Ottawa Citizen. As of June 2005, Msgr. Patrick Powers, Vicar General, will be taking on the responsibility of the weekly articles.



In scripture, God seems to talk directly to man quite often: why is He silent in modern times?

God continues to speak to us. In article 21 of the conciliar document Dei Verbum we are told that the Church constantly finds her nourishment and her strength in Sacred Scripture. It is not a mere human word, but the Word of God itself. The document goes on to say that God the Father, through the sacred books, comes lovingly to meet us, his children, and "talks with them".

The Church teaches the God is the author of the Scriptures, which were written down under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and were handed down as such to us. Hence, we beliefe that God speaks to us through these sacred - and living - writings for the very sake of our salvation. The document goes on to say that God speaks to us in a very human way. It is for this reason that we must be attentive to the affirmations of human authors through whom God reveals his own words. We must take into account the conditions of our times and cultures, the literary genres in use at the time and the modes of feeling and narrating.

This is why we all need the assistance of good and learned spiritual guides and teachers, even good homilists. They are the ones who can help us to understand the ways in which the Lord speaks to us. For example, through studying and praying Scripture, through other people and certain life events, the sacraments and in our enlightened consciences, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit and the ongoing teachings of the Church.

Like every word spoken to us, God's Word calls for response: sometimes in word, sometimes in actions. If you have been putting off seeing what He has to say to you, why not start now, during these quieter - but so conducive - summer months.