Pope Francis in the prologue to a bible for the Youth in Germany wrote encouraging words to the youths calling them to the evident and positive need for them to daily read the Bible.
He wrote saying, “The Bible is not meant to be placed on a shelf, but to be in your hands, to read often – every day, both on your own and together with others,"
Pope Francis futher adviced the youths to inhabit in themselves a habit of reading the bible constantly both indivadually and in a group just in the same fashion they carry-out other activities of live.
“Why not read the Bible together as well – two, three, or four of you? In nature, in the woods, on the beach, at night in the glow of a few candles … you will have a great experience!"
“Read with attention! Do not stay on the surface as if reading a comic book! Never just skim the Word of God!"
In accordance to Aleteia a news site, translated that the Pope have encouraged youth to aske questions while they study the bible, questions like:
“Has he touched me in the depths of my longing? What should I do?" he encouraged them to ask. “Only in this way can the force of the Word of God unfold. Only in this way can it change our lives, making them great and beautiful."
The makers of the German Version of the Youth bible are same for the German version of YouCat catechism for youth. The Pope as well wrote a prologue for the Youcat where he described his personal bible saying:
“If you could see my Bible, you would not be particularly impressed," he said. “What – that’s the Pope’s Bible? Such an old, worn-out book!"
“I love my old Bible, which has accompanied me half my life. It has been with me in my times of joy and times of tears. It is my most precious treasure," he said. “I live out of it, and I wouldn’t give anything in the world for it." said the Pontiff
The Pontiff applauded the New Youth Bible for it’s arranged squence ranging from it’s its testimonies from saints and young people.
“It is so inviting that when you start to read at the beginning, you can’t stop until the last page," he said.
Pope Francis encouraged Youths to keep up with a constant usage of the Bible and not decorate their book shelves with it.
“There are more persecuted Christians in the world today than in the early days of the Church. And why are they persecuted? They are persecuted because they wear a cross and bear witness to Jesus. They are convicted because they own a Bible," he said.
The Pope described the Bible as a “highly dangerous book." Some countries treat someone with a Bible “as if you were hiding hand grenades in your closet."
Pope Francis also recounted his own Bible reading habits.
“Often I read a little and then put it away and contemplate the Lord. Not that I see the Lord, but he looks at me. He’s there. I let myself look at him. And I feel—this is not sentimentality—I feel deeply the things that the Lord tells me," the Pope said.
“Sometimes he does not speak. I then feel nothing, only emptiness, emptiness, emptiness…. But I remain patiently, and so I wait, reading and praying."
The Pope said that sometimes he falls asleep while praying.
“But it does not matter. I’m like a son with the father, and that is what’s important."