Skip to content

Deep Reading; There are a lot of ways to come to Scripture.

By Cody Jones
12/10/2013 (3 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

It is absolutely essential that we read scripture.

It's getting on toward the end of the year and as we wrap up 2013, I inevitably think about my goals for this year.

We should be reading scripture daily as a good disciple.

We should be reading scripture daily as a good disciple.

Highlights

By Cody Jones
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
12/10/2013 (3 years ago)

Published in Blog


One goal that I set at the beginning of the year was to read more, and specifically to read a book a week.  This was quite an ambitious goal considering that at the beginning of this year I was working and finishing up a master's degree. While I have always felt that reading is very important, I knew that there had to be something concrete for me to do in 2013.

Now, I bet you're wondering if I stuck to my goal. No, I didn't. I am finishing the year having read just over 30 books covering many different topics and of varying levels of difficulty. Will I make the resolution again? Absolutely.

What this resolution allowed me to do was to make reading a priority and thus whatever reading I was doing was more focused than in years past. What does our reading tell us about our theology?  Henri Nouwen calls believers to deep theological reflection and "spiritual reading."  it is in this kind of attention to reading that we are shaped and formed as believers, as individuals. In having a focused plan, or attention to reading, you are putting yourself on a diet to take in that which challenges your assumptions, expands your imagination (not to mention your vocabulary) and opens your perspective to other points of view.

Enjoy reading the Bible on your tablet.


Now, what are you reading? As Christians, it is absolutely essential that we spend some time each day reading scripture.  This shouldn't be something that we come to out of guilt or obligation, but a well informed discipline that is a part of our discipleship. There are a lot of ways to come to scripture. 

Allow me to suggest a few:

  • You could read a chapter each day.
  • You could read a book of the Bible on a quiet Saturday morning and then spend the next     month re-reading it.
  • You could meditate on themes and images that come out of poetry and prophecy texts (I find that Advent is a great time to do that because of the Isaiah readings).
  • You could spend time each day reading the daily Mass texts with special attention given to the Gospel lesson.

These are a few ways you can engage more with scripture. There really is no wrong way, but there are ways that will allow you to develop a broader perspective and understanding of scripture. These ways tend to require the sacrifice of reading more often and more deeply. I encourage you to make reading scripture a priority this advent as well as in 2014.

Being told to read the Bible is one thing that many of us have heard our entire lives, but why is it really that important? I have spent my life thinking that if I read the Bible more that I would somehow instantly start growing to be a better person, to sin less, to think fewer negative thoughts, and so on. 

It doesn't really work like that, but what it does do is to shape our vocation as believers. When we really take the reading of scripture seriously, we see themes pop over and again. For instance, one theme that continues to pop up in the psalms is the issue of poverty. As you look closer at scripture and inundate yourself more frequently with these themes, your life has to reorient itself around what it feels to be important. If scripture has a lot to say about poverty, the poor, those cast down, then inevitably, you have to ask the question: how do I fit into all of this? Therefore, a constant reading shapes and informs our vocation as believers.

But, we can't stop at scripture alone. What are we reading and how is it challenging us to be the people God has called us to be? In order to be reading more, often ask yourself the question: What am I reading right now? If it's the same book that you were working on a few months ago, maybe it's time to put it down and try again with something else.

Read books that inspire you. Read books that make you uncomfortable. Read books that help you to understand the people you love.

For instance, I am a church musician and with my children's choir, I like to know what they are reading and why they like it or dislike it. Sometimes I will read what they are reading so that I can understand them a little better. I can have a little insight as to what they enjoy or what they find challenging. 

Engage in discussion with people you love about what you are reading, but it's easy to become obnoxious about those kinds of things, so be sure to monitor your level of excitement. 

We are a people called to searching and finding, asking, and knocking. ONE way that this comes about is through deep reading. There are many different ways to go about it, but I encourage you to pick up a book, join a library, purchase a magazine subscription. Challenge yourself. Get past your excuses and start searching, pondering and reading. Whether it's a paragraph here and there or volumes of literature, whether it's Flaubert or Thomas Merton, books can give us necessary insight into our lives of faith and into who we are called to be in Christ Jesus.

Blessings on your reading and let me know how it goes!

A birth foretold: click here to learn more!

---


'Help give every student and teacher Free resources for a world-class moral Catholic education'


Copyright 2017 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for OCTOBER 2017
Workers and the Unemployed.
That all workers may receive respect and protection of their rights, and that the unemployed may receive the opportunity to contribute to the common good.


Comments


More Blog

The Importance of a Regular Daily Devotional Time Watch

Image of Do you have a daily devotional time?

Do I have a daily devotional time?  Do I realize how important it is?  Those are good questions to ask. We have all heard of the ... continue reading


Give to the Religious Freedom Fund Watch

Image of It's time to stand up for religious freedom.

There is currently an appeal at Catholic Online for donations to a religious freedom fund.  People should give and understand why this ... continue reading


9/11 The Day the World Kept Turning

Image of The Word Trade Towers under assault from terrorists on 9/11

On September 11th and the immediate calendar pages to follow there were appointments to keep, needs to tend to and goals to meet creating ... continue reading


Always a Reason for Hope Watch

Image of

When we look at hope through the eyes of our own humanness, it is easy to see it simply as optimism... a positive attitude. Yet through the ... continue reading


I See You. Do You See You?

Image of

We live in a very individualistic world today. While individuality is important and necessary, we've pushed this concept so far to the ... continue reading


Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

Information
Learn about Catholic world

Catholic Online
Inform - Inspire - Ignite

Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained

Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need

Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online

Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye

Daily Reading
Today's bible reading

Lent / Easter
Death & resurrection of Jesus

Advent / Christmas
Birth of Jesus

Rest of Catholic Online
All Catholic world we offer

Services
Products and services we offer

Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books

The California Network
Inspiring streaming service

Advertise on Catholic Online
Your ads on catholic.org

Catholic Online Email
Email with Catholic feel

Catholic Online Singles
Safe, secure Catholic dating

The California Studios
World-class post production service

Education
Learn the Catholic way

Catholic Online School
Free Catholic education for all

Student Classes
K-12 & Adult Education Classes

Catholic Online MasterClass
Learn from experts

School Teachers
Teacher lesson plans & resources

Catholic Media Missionaries
The New Evangelization

Support Free Education
Tax deductible support Free education

Socials
Connect with us online

Catholic Online on Facebook
Catholic social network

Catholic Online on Twitter
Catholic Tweets

Catholic Online on YouTube
Enjoy our videos

Catholic Online on Instagram
Shared Catholic moments

Catholic Online on Pinterest
Catholic ideas style inspiration

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.