Personal testimonies: the Word in my life!

Pope Francis’ Tips for Savouring Scripture

(Evangelii Gaudium, 153)

‘In the presence of God, during a recollected reading of the text, it is good to ask, for example:

Lord, what does this text say to me?

What is it about my life that you want to change by this text?

What troubles me about this text?

Why am I not interested in this?

Or perhaps: What do I find pleasant in this text?

What is it about this word that moves me? What attracts me? Why does it attract me?’

Personal testimonies:

  • I love how the psalmist finds consolation and sweetness in God’s word. It has me thinking:

    Thousands of years later, the same consolation and sweetness are available for us!

    Honey takes away the bitterness. When I am under stress, experiencing anxiety, sadness, loss, dysfunction, worries, the honey or sweetness of God’s word alleviates bitterness and will shift our perspective. For me personally, a shift in attitude laced with grace is a daily decision. This makes me excited!

    I don’t take for granted that we live in a country where our religious freedoms allow us to pick up God’s word at any time and receive this sweet ‘honey’, taking away our bitterness and bringing peace and comfort!

    To embrace the fullness of the honeycomb I believe, we need to digest all of the words…not just take the bits that are easy or more palatable… God’s word, sweeter than honey, reveals to us the divine plan for us. God wants His truth to be sweet to our taste! And it is…the more I read, the more I want to read…it’s amazing!

    Glenda Smith
    Glenda Smith and her husband operate a honey-making small business. Glenda is not only passionate about honey, but also Scripture and her Christian faith. She has shared her faith story at parent spirituality initiatives in our Diocese.
  • For many years I had felt God calling me to use my gifts for the benefit of others. Eventually, I accepted a position as youth minister in a parish. The day before I started the role, I felt overwhelmed and scared and so cried out to God in prayer. Where do I begin Lord?
    What am I doing?

    I remember reading the words of scripture ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into his harvest.’ (Mt 9: 37-38)
    I felt this was a direct answer to my prayer… God was with me and he would provide leaders to help grow a ministry of young people.

    Within 2 weeks I met three young adults who also felt called to serve God and others. They were the ‘labourers’ God provided to help spread the message of God’s love to those in the parish community. We met and prayed together regularly to ask for God’s guidance and strength.

    These incredible leaders invited many other young people to get involved, they in turn shared their gifts and invited others to join and before long things began to grow! God’s word was not simply written on a page in a book, but alive and active in the hearts and lives of this community. I continue to be amazed at the richness and the depth of God’s word in scripture and
    I pray that I may be open to hear it clearly each and every day. Thank you God

    Simon Hyland
    Simon Hyland is a professional actor and musician with a career history in theatre, film and television. He is also an educator, youth minister and worship leader, sharing his gifts in parish, diocesan and national church ministries. Simon was music director for the Australian Catholic Youth Festival in 2017.
  • The first time I volunteered as a ‘Scripture Teacher’ (SRE it’s now called) I was given Class F, Year 9, in the local state school. I was 25, inexperienced, and scared! I was afraid of losing control of the class. I was afraid of failing in my task. I was afraid of a lot of things.

    In my anxiety I turned to Jesus and found him in the Scriptures saying ‘Love one another as I have loved you’ (cf. Jn 13:34). After that, a phrase kept recurring within: The most important thing is to love them. With this realisation I experienced a reassuring quietness of soul as I approached the classroom.

    Whenever I felt my anxiety levels rising, I would return to Jesus’ words, then I would repeat the phrase: The most important thing is to love them. Like a mantra.

    Veronica Roberts
    Veronica Roberts has been teaching SRE in government schools for over thirty years.