Good biblical interpretation always begins at the literal level. While we know that the veracity of the literal level is a matter of genre – think of how epic poetry differs from history in this regard – the meaning of all texts at that deeper spiritual level is always true. Indeed, the exterior drama simply serves as an invitation to the reader to take the risk of entering into the spiritual depths, and how could that act of trust ever result in anything but truth?! The Cross is the boundary marker that makes this kind of understanding possible. When we make that move from the literal to the spiritual – and what courage is required to undertake that journey! – we are dying to self. In that moment, the certainty, familiarity and comfort of the literal level give way to an openness, vulnerability and receptivity to the Word who is really and truly speaking to us in some distant still point in the soul. Let’s not be content with a perpetually literal perspective on things or a fearful fundamentalist posture in life. Let’s instead allow our restless hearts to feel and respond to those deep promptings of the Spirit. Let’s make the Cross the lens through which we read scripture and thus understand ourselves and our lives. Ave Crux, Spes Unica.
Published by Brothers Phil and Ben
Phillip Smith and Benjamin Rossi are members of the Congregation of Holy Cross. They established The Voice of Moreau blog on September 15, 2018. View all posts by Brothers Phil and Ben