“Man is an abyss; what will rise out of these depths, no one can see in advance. And whoever believes that the Church is not only determined by the abyss that is man, but reaches down into the greater, infinite abyss that is God, will be the first to hesitate with his predictions, for this naïve desire to know for sure could only be the announcement of his own historical ineptitude” (St. Augustine).
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LOVE the Word® is a Bible study method based on Mary's own practice: lectio without the Latin.
L – Listen (Receive the Word.)
O – Observe (Choose one or more of the following personality approaches to connect the passage to your life and recent events.)
F | Franciscan – Make a Holy Hour of Adoration and pray for your pastor and bishop, and all pastors and bishops.
I | Ignatian – Using all your senses, imagine you are a modern-day Isaiah, called to preach repentance and judgment to the people of God. How does God want you to go about sharing His message? How do you feel about having volunteered? Do you think the people will listen to you? What is the message in your heart, and how do you communicate it to others? Are you fire-and-brimstone or gentle? Impatient or quiet? Do you preach to the leaders or the laity?
A | Augustinian – How is God calling you to deeper holiness? What specific action can you take this week, small or large, to move in the direction of deeper holiness?
T | Thomistic – How does knowing the historical background of the Book of Isaiah and the Israelites help you understand our own time in Church history?
V – Verbalize (Pray about your thoughts and emotions.)
Remembering that He loves you and that you are in His presence, talk to God about the particulars of your O – Observe step. You may want to write your reflections in your LOVE the Word® journal. Or, get a free journal page and guide in the right-hand margin.
E – Entrust (May it be done to me according to your word!)
Breathe in me, O Holy Spirit, that my thoughts may all be holy. Act in me, O Holy Spirit, that my work, too, may be holy. Draw my heart, O Holy Spirit, that I love only what is holy. Strengthen me, O Holy Spirit, to defend all that is holy. Guard me so, O Holy Spirit, that I may always be holy. + Amen.
*LOVE the Word® exercises are offered according to FIAT: the four personalities, or “prayer forms,” explored in Prayer and Temperament, by Chester Michael and Marie Norrisey: Franciscan, Ignatian, Augustinian, and Thomistic: FIAT! These prayer forms correspond to the Myers-Briggs personality types.
I. The Summons – History
A. Isaiah’s call
B. History of the Book of Isaiah
C. History of God’s people’s corruption
D. Corruption causes disunity
II. The Separating – First Isaiah
A. Public scandal and corruption
B. Protestants and Catholics
G. The “unclean” (Is 35:8)
III. The Sifting – Second Isaiah
A. Private scandal and corruption
C. Corruption causes private disunity
D. Babylon and Judah/Jerusalem
E. Two types of Catholic
F. The “fool” (Is 35:8)
H. Peter 1
IV. The Straightening – Third Isaiah 1
F. Safety (Is 35:9)
V. The Sending – Third Isaiah 2
A. Salvation (Is 35:9)
B. Celebration (Is 35:10)
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