For fun I've created a website devoted to my favourite motorcycle and one for a collection of my favourite watches, but until now, I've failed to devote anything on-line to something much more important, my favourite Bible verses. Most Protestants have a favourite Bible verse, and they like to talk about it, whereas it seems that Catholics don't usually single out any one particular verse as their favourite, or if they do, they don't talk about it much. This is probably because the main emphasis in Protestantism is the Bible, while Catholicism emphasises the Sacraments. This is not to say that Protestants don't value the Sacraments. Almost all Protestant Churches have a valid Baptism, which unites them with their mother, the Catholic Church. Likewise, Catholics don't, or at least they shouldn't, undervalue the Bible. In fact, the Catholic Church grants a plenary indulgence to "the Christian faithful who read sacred scripture with the veneration due God's word and as a form of spiritual reading." Since I try to gain a plenary indulgence whenever I possibly can, I end up reading the Bible quite a lot.
For a long time, I would have said that Matthew 16:18,19 was my favourite verse: "And I tell you, you are Rock, and on this rock I will build My Church, and the powers of Hell shall no prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven, and whatever you bind on Earth shall be bound in Heaven, and whatever you loose on Earth shall be loosed in Heaven." This would have been the adamant Catholic apologist in me; however, over the past couple of years, my heart has softened, and I have become more reflective and spiritual. I would now move up a couple of verses to verse 16: "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." In this vain, I will now present my favourite Bible verses.
It is the Lord!
In today's Mass readings, the Gospel is John 21:1-14, so it is fitting that I talk about my favourite Bible verse, John 21:7. John is my favourite of the twelve Apostles, and his Gospel is my favourite book of the Bible, particularly the 21st chapter. In John 21:7, it is John that firsts recognises Jesus, and informs Simon Rock. Likewise, I recognise Jesus in the Eucharist, and many time I affirmation His Real Presence by praying these word before the Blessed Sacrament. In addition to this, a few years ago my bishop wrote a pastoral letter entitled The Eucharist: "It is the Lord!". This letter has very much influenced my faith, and it is probably this letter that has made this verse my favourite.
My Lord and my God.
Again this verse is from John, and again for me this verse is an affirmation of the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. I pray this verse two time every Mass: once at the elevation of the Body of Christ, and once more at the elevation of the Blood of Christ.
I believe; help my unbelief.
This verse sums up my faith. I do believe; however, I know how lacking my faith is. These words so captured my imagination that I wrote a song based on them, Those Who Have Faith. As well, this is the main prayer that makes up the Chaplet of Belief.
Do whatever He tells you.
Not many of Mary's words are recorded in the Bible, but these, I believe, are the most significant. The message that these words convey has been repeated over and over again at every Marian apparition over the centuries. These words also captured my imagination, and I placed them in one of my favourite prayers, Mary, Be Proud of Me.
No list of favourite Bible verses would be complete without a psalm or two, but since my five minutes are almost up, I won't quote them. Psalm 22 is the one that Jesus began quoting while on the cross, "Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?" (Matthew 27:44), and prophetically described Christ's crucifixion centuries before it took place. Many times I feel abandoned by God, but I know that at these times, He is even closer to me. This psalm also inspired me to write a song, Why Have You Forsaken Me.
Psalm 51, also known as the Miserere, is a song of penance, which I usually pray to prepare myself to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Since I pray the Liturgy of the Hours, I also pray the Miserere every Friday in Morning Prayer, except on great solemnity such as today, the Friday within the Octave of Easter. John Michael Talbot has recorded the Miserere, and I sometimes pray it by taking out my guitar and chanting the same way.
These are my favourite Bible verses. What are your favourites?
P.S. Pray for the Pope.