Saint Boniface on Scripture

From his letter to Nithard (AD 716-719), a disciple, on the value of learning the Scripture:

There is no doubting the truth of this. In all earnestness affection I beg you to consider this matter very carefully. rein to your natural gifts and abilities; do not stifle your literary talents and your keen spiritual understanding with gross pleasures of the flesh. Keep in mind the words of the psalmist: "His delight is in the words of the law of the Lord; in his law he meditates day and night " [Ps. I.2]:I and elsewhere: "O how I love thy law, it is my meditation all the day."[Ps cxviii.97] Call to mind also the words of Moses: "This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth, but thou shalt meditate therein day and night."[Josh i.8] Put aside all harmful obstacles; strive with unflagging zest to pursue your study of the scriptures and thereby acquire that nobility of mind which is divine wisdom. It is more precious than gold, more beautiful than silver, more lustrous than onyx, clearer than crystal, more costly than topaz,[Job xxvii.17,19]4 and, according to the opinion of the Preacher, all things that may be desired are not to be compared with it.[Prov viii.11]

Can there be a more fitting pursuit in youth or a more valuable possession in old age than a knowledge of Holy Writ? In the midst of storms it will preserve you from the dangers of shipwreck and guide you to the shore of an enchanting paradise and the ever-lasting bliss of the angels. Of it the same wise man has remarked. "Wisdom overcometh evil: it stretches from end to end mightily and disposes all things sweetly. Her have I loved from my youth and have become enamoured of her form."[Wisd. Viii.1]

If God allows me to return home, for such is my intention, I promise to remain steadfast at your side, helping you in your study of Sacred Scripture to the best of my ability.


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