Reading the Bible with the Eye of the Soul

By Michael, Leach | National Catholic Reporter, January 18, 2013 | Go to article overview

Reading the Bible with the Eye of the Soul


Michael, Leach, National Catholic Reporter


"With you leading, I entered inside myself, and with the eye of my soul, such as it was, I saw above that eye of my soul, above my mind, an unchangeable light."

--St. Augustine, Confessions 7:10

My great-uncle Barney was a big-time salesman for Boeing in the 1950s. Adults in our working-class families talked about him with the kind of reverence Willy Loman had for his brother, Ben, who went to Alaska with only "a smile and a shoeshine" and came back rich. When Uncle Barney talked, even nephews had to listen.

Uncle Barney, a Protestant, was interested in religion as well as airplanes and was puzzled why his teenage nephew was studying to become a priest. "Michael," he asked one night at a dinner table, "why do you depend on the pope to tell you what the Bible means? Why don't you just let God speak to you directly?"

"It's like this," I explained. "The pope and the church were given the keys to the kingdom of heaven by Jesus so there would be no confusion on what the Bible really means. If everybody could just say what something meant, there would no absolute truth. Two different things can't be true at the same time."

Apologetics is a nasty business. Uncle Barney held his ground. I held the church's and blinded him with polemical dust. Now I'm as old as he was then and read the Bible the way he did, listening for God's voice inside me, no in-betweeners.

Sorry, Uncle Barney. You deserved better.

Here is what I know now: There is more than one way to look at anything. And two things can be true at the same time. Look at the illustration of Rubin's vase. What do you see? A vase? Two faces? Which is real, which is true? We can read the Bible through the lens of doctrinal teaching and we can read the Bible through the eye of the soul, spiritually, and let it speak to us where we are.

We can read the passage, "I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven" (Matthew 16:19) to support the authority of the hierarchy to interpret the Bible, to make dogma, to absolve sins. Many Catholics find spiritual assurance by reading the Bible through the lens of church teaching.

Other Catholics prefer to read the Bible spiritually and let God speak directly to them. We don't have to deny a traditional interpretation to read a passage another way. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Reading the Bible with the Eye of the Soul
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.