VATICAN CITY, 28 OCT 2009 (VIS) - During this Wednesday's General Audience celebrated in St. Peter's Square the Pope spoke about a series of events that, during the twelfth century, created a renaissance in Latin theology.
"During this time," he explained, "a relative peace reigned in Western Europe, which ensured society's economic development, consolidated political structures, and favored vibrant cultural activity thanks also to contact with the East. The benefits of the vast movement known as the Gregorian Reform were felt in the Church, which led to "a greater evangelical purity in the Church, above all in the clergy" and an expansion of religious life. As fruits of this development, figures such as St. Thomas and St. Bonaventure would appear in the thirteen century.
Benedict XVI affirmed that in this context two different models of theology arose: that of "monastic theology" and that of "scholastic theology". Regarding the first, the monks "were devoted to the Sacred Scriptures and one of their main activities consisted in lectio divina, that is, a meditative reading of the Bible". It was precisely the 2008 Synod of Bishops on "the Word of God in the Life and the Mission of the Church" that recalled the importance of this aspect.
"As monastic theology is listening to the Word of God", he said, "it is necessary to purify one's heart to welcome it and, above all, one must be full of fervor to encounter the Lord. Theology therefore becomes meditation, prayer, a song of praise, and the impetus for sincere conversion".
The Holy Father emphasized that "it is important to reserve a certain time each day for meditation on the Bible so that the Word of God will be the lamp that illuminates our daily path on earth".
Continuously referring to the method of "scholastic theology", the Pope pointed out that "it is not easy for modern mentality to understand. The quaestio, which consisted of a theme for discussion," was essential to its process.
"The organization of the quaestiones led to the compilation of evermore extensive syntheses, the so-called summae that were vast dogmatic-theological treatises. Scholastic theology sought to present the unity and harmony of Christian Revelation with a method, called precisely 'scholastic', that grants faith in human reason".
Benedict XVI concluded by emphasizing that "faith and reason, in reciprocal dialogue, tremble with joy when they are both animated by the search for intimate union with God. … Truth is sought with humility, welcomed with wonder and gratitude: in a word, knowledge only grows if one loves the truth".
AG/LATIN THEOLOGY/… VIS 20091028 (410)