Gregory the Great on reading Scripture

Holy Scripture is presented to the mind’s eye as a kind of mirror so that our inner appearance can be seen in it. In this mirror we recognize both the ugliness and the beauty of our soul. We can tell what progress we are making, or see our utter lack of progress…The virtues of people in the Bible may support our hope, and their faults may clothe us with the protection of humility. The former, through the joy they cause, give our spirits wings; the latter, by causing fear, put a check on our actions. By listening to Scripture the soul learns both the confidence of hope and the humility of fear.

Gregory, a moral theologian, was Bishop of Rome from 590-604. This quote is from Everett Ferguson, Inheriting Wisdom, Readings for Today from Ancient Christian Writers. Peabody: Hendrickson, 2004, page 229.

3 thoughts on “Gregory the Great on reading Scripture

    • Everett Ferguson’s book is worth having. I have a few more quotes on Bible reading/Bible study lined up to appear on this blog. Grace and peace, Mac

  1. These readings may encourage someone to venture into the history of the church, that fathomless chasm between the year 99 and the year 1809, a time when — so we’ve always heard — nothing much happened except corruption and apostasy.

    Someone may discover that one or two benighted eccentrics were trying, by the best lights they had, to follow Jesus and do the will of God. That happens even now, in this hellbent twenty-first century. God has not left himself without witnesses, to any people in any age.

    God’s Peace to you.


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