Pope Francis yesterday called on Christians to consult the Bible with the same frequency as they might consult their mobile phones for messages, Vatican Radio reports.
Speaking to the crowds gathered in St Peter's Square following his weekly Angelus blessing, the Pope urged those present to give the Bible the same place in daily life as mobile phones.
"What would happen if we turned back when we forget it, if we opened it more times a day, if we read the message of God contained in the Bible the way we read messages on our cellphones?" he asked.
The Bible, he explained, contains the Word of God, the most effective tool in fighting evil and keeping us close to God.
Clearly, Pope Francis said, the comparison between the Bible and the mobile is paradoxical, but it induces us to reflect.
"If we always carried God's Word in our hearts, no temptation would distance us from the Father, and no obstacle would take us off the path towards good" he said.
He pointed out that in this first Sunday of Lent, the Gospel of Matthew tells of Jesus' 40 days in the desert and of how he was tempted by the devil.
"But the devil's poisonous darts are all 'blocked' by Jesus with the shield provided by God's Word," Pope Francis said.
He invited all Christians to follow in Jesus' footsteps during the forty days of Lent and to confront the spiritual battle against evil with the strength of God's Word.
"That's why, he said, it is necessary to become familiar with the Bible: read it often, reflect upon it, assimilate it. The Bible contains the Word of God which is always topical and effective" he said.
Inviting the faithful to carry a pocket-sized Gospel all the time, the Pope concluded with the words: "don't forget what would happen if we treated the Bible as we treat our cellphone, always with us, always close to us!"
Pope Francis: 'consult the Bible as often as your cellphone' (Vatican Radio/Vatican Press Agency)