Fr. Jacques Philippe

Fr. Jacques Philippe

a guide for the spiritual life

Sacred Scripture

God’s Word, transmitted by Holy Scripture, is a fundamental means by which he calls us and communicates the gift of his life. Living with Scripture is not a luxury reserved for a few people of leisure or those with a taste for biblical exegesis. It is a vital necessity for every Christian, especially in these times of instability, struggle, and confusion. We have an urgent need for Holy Scripture as an inexhaustible source of light and strength, illumination and foundation of our lives. Jesus tells us: “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away” (Lk 21:33).
- Called to Life, p.30

Scripture mysteriously communicates God’s very presence. “My character, I give it in the text,” the Talmud says, in a midrash or commentary on the Decalogue. Despite the limitations of the human languages used by biblical authors, the Holy Spirit who guided them made their words means by which God is truly among us in all his love, wisdom, and power. […] If we allow the words of Scripture to fill our thoughts and enter our hearts, God becomes present. For God dwells in his Word.
Called to Life, p.34

In his encyclical Novo Millennio Ineunte, laying out his plan for the Church of the third millennium, Pope John Paul II says that a Christian who does not pray is a Christian “at risk.” As a corollary, I’d add that the same is true of a Christian who does not regularly read the Word of God. It is a matter of life or death: “Not by bread alone does man live, but by every word that comes forth from the mouth of the Lord” (Deut 8:3). The world is too confused, and we are too weak, for us to try to live without the light and strength that come from the Bible.
Called to Life, p.42

There are moments in the lives of us all when the beneficent authority of God’s Word will be our saving support, times of tribulation where the only stability will be found in the word of Scripture. Tempted in the desert by the Devil, Jesus overcame him with Scripture. But the Tempter will be stronger than we if we remain enclosed in human reasoning. Only the Word of Godwill have the ability to disarm him.
Called to Life, p.44

True peace comes in holding fast to the promises of God. When, in a moment of doubt or confusion, we accept a word of Scripture by an act of faith, the authority that belongs to this word becomes our support and strength. It is not a magic wand, immunizing us against perplexity and anguish. But it possesses a unique power, unlike anything else, to bring us hope no matter what happens. Accepted with faith, God’s Word has the power to put an end to the ebb and flow of our uncertain reasonings, to establish us in truth and peace, to confer upon us the hope that is “an anchor of the soul,sure and firm” (Heb 6:19).
Called to Life, p.44

To become familiar with Scripture, to have it penetrate our hearts and memories, brings profound healing over time.
Called to Life, p.47

Scripture liberates. Little by little, the Word of God himself begins to live within us. Ceaseless meditation on Scripture draws the poison from the deadening words in our hearts, replacing them with words of confidence and encouragement: “I can do all things in him who strengthens me” (Phil 4:13), “For with God nothing will be impossible” (Lk 1:37), “You are my beloved Son” (Mk 1:11). Here are words of hope, truth, and love that purge the evil thoughts staining and darkening our hearts.
Called to Life, p.48

God’s Word is something like a mirror by which we can truly know ourselves, good as well as bad. It passes judgment on our compromises with sin, our attempts to have it both ways and say yes as well as no, but it also highlights and encourages what is best in us.
Called to Life, p.37

Called to Life
In the School of the Holy Spirit
Time for God
Interior Freedom
The Way of Trust and Love