Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Cody Jones

12/10/2013 (2 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 (2 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!

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copyright 2016 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for May 2016
Universal:
Respect for Women: That in every country of the world, women may be honored and respected and that their essential contribution to society may be highly esteemed.
Evangelization: Holy Rosary: That families, communities, and groups may pray the Holy Rosary for evangelization and peace.



Comments


More Blog

The Political Rise and Fall of Dr. Ben Carson (Part Two)

Image of

By Justin Soutar

Within two and a half years' time, Dr. Ben Carson's political star had climbed with extraordinary steadiness from the horizon to the zenith, where it shone with dazzling brilliance, and then suddenly it plunged toward the opposite horizon, disappearing from view ... continue reading


'Tolerate as I have tolerated you' Watch

Image of

By Michaela Daphne

Jesus is not nice."Do not think that I have come to bring peace upon the earth. I have come to bring not peace but the sword." (Matt 10:34) BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - It's no accident that C.S. Lewis used a lion to represent Christ."Safe?" said Mr. Beaver; "don't you hear ... continue reading


Believing in God's Providence Watch

Image of

By Jackie Stammen

This is a tough one for me, but I am certain this is a lesson God is desperately trying to teach me. It's a lesson I need to learn if I want progress in this journey of life with the Lord. NASHVILLE, TN - When I say 'learn' I don't mean to simply understand what God's ... continue reading


End Your Silence! Use Your Voice! Watch

Image of

By Michael Seagriff

Too many of us have for too long remained silent in the face of evil and untruth. Too manyof us have sat silently as all sense of the Sacred has been removed from many of our Churchbuildings and our Holy Masses. CANASTOTA, NY - Too many of us for too long have ... continue reading


The Political Rise and Fall of Dr. Ben Carson (Part One)

Image of

By Justin Soutar

Within two and a half years' time, Dr. Ben Carson's political star had climbed with extraordinary steadiness from the horizon to the zenith, where it shone with dazzling brilliance--and then suddenly it plunged toward the opposite horizon, disappearing from view ... continue reading


Four Phrases That Will Transform Your Relationships Watch

Image of

By Jackie Stammen

Instinctively, we long to rescue the people we love. We desperately want to take away their hurts and "fix" whatever struggle or fear they may be walking through. I know this because I've been the one that has tried to verbally "fix" other people's struggles. I didn't ... continue reading


Praying For God's Mercy With Boldness and Confidence Watch

Image of

By Michael Seagriff

Jesus gave us the seven Sacraments and left His Church as the earthly vehicle through which He would work to save souls. The salvation of souls, not social justice issues, is the "supreme law of the Catholic Church" and the primary reason for its existence. CANASTOTA, ... continue reading


Who is the Holy Spirit? Watch

Image of

By Michaela Daphne

My most recent writing project is a multimedia about the Holy Spirit for a Pentecost youth rally next week. Usually when I write such things, it all comes about fairly easily, and I can piece together a rough draft in an afternoon or so. This time, however, I have ... continue reading


What is love? Watch

Image of

By Michaela Daphne

People say things like "If you really love me, you'll have sex with me" or "If you really love me, you'll buy me nice things," but what is the real definition of love? How do newly weds navigate the difficult terrain of authentic love? BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - When ... continue reading


Desolation, Grace, and Trust Watch

Image of

By Jackie Stammen

Recently I've crossed into a place I'm not proud to admit I've entered. It's not a physical place, but rather a spiritual and mental place. It's a product of exhaustion coupled with fear, but mostly it's due to a greater distance between God and I because I've been ... continue reading


All Blog News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

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

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

  • Prayer to Saint Valentine HD Video
  • Miracle for baby born without half his skull
  • A Prayer Before Surgery HD Video
  • Daily Readings for Thursday, May 26, 2016
  • St. Philip Neri: Saint of the Day for Thursday, May 26, 2016
  • Like Bartimaeus, We Are Blind: Cry out to Jesus, Lord Help Me to See!
  • New study reveals Catholics hold highest retention rate - but no one ...

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Genesis 14:18-20
18 Melchizedek king of Salem brought bread and wine; he was a priest of ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 110:1, 2, 3, 4
1 [Of David Psalm] Yahweh declared to my Lord, 'Take your seat at my ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 9:11-17
11 But the crowds got to know and they went after him. He made them ... Read More

Reading 2, First Corinthians 11:23-26
23 For the tradition I received from the Lord and also handed on to you ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for May 26th, 2016 Image

St. Philip Neri
May 26: If one had to choose one saint who showed the ... Read More