Accipe librum et devora illum.
Ecclesiastes or Qohelet. Don Alberione rarely cites this book, as he does Ecclesiasticus or Sirach.
2 It is only here that LS mentions “allegory” as a manner of interpreting the Bible (cf. PCB, L'interpretazione della Bibbia nella Chiesa, 31c).
3 Rv 10:8-9: “Go, take the scroll... take and swallow it.”
4 Jn 5:39. The verse is quoted as an invitation to read the Scriptures. It does not seem to be its original meaning.
5 Cf. pages 17 and 30.
6 In LS Don Alberione does not only exhort the reading of the Bible but to interpret it well, “infallibly” or in a Christian manner, as the Church knows how to do (pp. 9, 17, 111, 285, 310). The Scriptures would be interpreted badly by some Jews (pp. 40, 111) and by Christian heretics (p. 260). It is not enough to read them with passion for the Scriptures to transform their readers into authentic disciples of Jesus. According to Don Alberione, one must learn to interpret them as Jesus Master did in the synagogue (p. 319) and as the Church does. The rules of interpretation are those established by the Roman Catholic Church as in the case of the Council's Constitution Dei Verbum (cf. n. 12). The “humble” ones are those who penetrate the true meaning of the bible and interpret it correctly (LS p. 200).
7 This generalization is not correct. A controversial Mormon author, the Englishman Brigham Henry Roberts (born in 1857), expounded his thought according to the three fundamental words of Jn 14:6, while inverting however the order of the first two: The Truth, The Way, The Life: An Elementary Treatise on Theology. With this treatise, published towards the end of his life (1933), Roberts intended to consolidate his own reflection in a composite that would unite science with the Scriptures, by dividing his material into three parts: (a) the truth concerning the earth and the truth of revelation; (b) the way of salvation and (c) Jesus' earthly life - this last was considered capable of molding the entire existence of the Christian.
8 “Faith without works” could be an excessive simplification of the Protestant creed. Luther's exact statement was: “Esto peccator, pecca fortiter, sed fortius fide” (Be a sinner, sin much, but let your faith be stronger). The Reformed Diet of Worms, in 1517, confirmed it by condemning those who believed that works are indispensable for salvation. For a more correct evaluation of these positions and of LS, the necessary biblical reference is St. Paul's teaching (Gal 2:16; 3:2; 5:6; Ti 3:8) and James' (Jas 2:14,17,18,20,22,24,26).
9 Probably Don Alberione refers to the interpretation of the verses from the Pauline letters (Rom 3:27-28; 9:32; Gal 2:16; 3:2). An erroneous interpretation of Paul is possible when attention is not paid to the fact that he is speaking of the inadequacy of the “works of the law,” while he does not deny the necessity of charity (cf. Gal 5:6: “For in Christ Jesus, neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love”; cf. 1Cor 8:1; 12:31-13:13).
10* “The Sacred Scriptures fall under the eyes of our mind like a mirror, for us to see in it our spiritual image. In fact, in it we can see the ugliness of our sins and the beauty of our good works: from it we see how much we advance in good and how far are we from perfection.” (St. Gregory the Great)
11 LS indicates, according to the Vulgate, “Giud. XVI, 15-21.” (Jdt 16:15-21)