Fr. Thomas during prayer

Father Thomas explains Narrative Theology: “Narrative theology, understood in a general way, develops theology using “story.” The core of narrative theology means interpreting and expressing life’s “ups and downs” of our relationship with God in the context of Scriptural truths, teachings, and insights that flow from this Word of God.  I believe that we can articulate and understand the experience of our relationship with God (and stimulate it) by looking into our life’s story via Sacred Scriptures.  Lectio Divina with the Sacred Scriptures can be an exercise in deepening our personal narrative theology: thinking and speaking about God.

I am reading St. Bernard of Clairvaux’s homilies on The Song of Songs, focusing on how he speaks about God. I tend to believe that the ways he speaks about God in these homilies reveal aspects of his relationship with the Triune Divinity. His famous maxims that experience is our best teacher, and that experience leads us in places where understanding based on pure knowledge is incompetent to do so, suggest he writes from his own experience.

Bernard presents this book of the Old Testament, The Song of Songs, as displaying an intimate union with divinity. His commentary, each homily, attempts to explain what is basic in ascending into this union.  At the same time, his commentary can make for difficult reading owing to his multiple Scriptural quotations to explain his thought and experience. Consequently, discerning what Bernard is saying is critical. In the last analysis, I find Bernard’s insight quite valuable in terms of narrative theology and for assisting others in developing and deepening a relationship with God. However, Bernard will not appeal to everyone.”

God bless you all,

Your brothers of New Clairvaux

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