You’ve probably not heard of Paul Vallely. He’s a journalist. He writes books about international aid. He’s a Roman Catholic. His writing is found in the Catholic press, in the Independent and in Third Way. That’s where I look forward to reading what he has to say – always.
However, I was not at all a fan when I started reading Third Way. He thinks deeply. And I couldn’t be bothered, basically.
I heard him speak at Greenbelt many years ago. He had been involved in stuff in the developing world in researching his book. I can’t remember what. But this I do remember. He was very frank, answered questions with great integrity, and told stories that showed an amazing respect for his audience. His catholicism was completely overshadowed by his love for Jesus and people. He has an amazing wisdom that see through political situations and people, weighs them up, takes them apart, yet still locates grace.
Having ‘met’ him, his writings have never been the same. If you trust someone, and they write with integrity, you are able to perceive and receive the message.
In a small way, this is how scripture opens up. You have to grow in trusting Jesus. You can’t do that without the work of the Holy Spirit, and being open to his nudging. And so see and know the Father.
How do you grow in trusting Jesus? By desiring the Father, seeking Jesus in what you read, sensing the Holy Spirit. And the Bible is no longer the same book.