The Importance of Daily Scripture Reading… to Hearing the Lord Speak to Us
Upper Room, Jan 29, 2016. Dr. Peter S. Williamson

 

Introduction
Stories of how reading Scripture has changed people’s lives.

What’s special about this book that makes it worth reading every day (as compared to other spiritual books)?

1. Inspired and useful

The text that Church documents quote most about the Bible:
2 Timothy 3:16-17 – 16 All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for refutation, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 so that one who belongs to God may be competent, equipped for every good work.
Inspired: God-breathed, God-breathing (theopneustos)
Useful: Scripture equips. “Encounter, equip, evangelize”

2. True and reliable

CCC 107 – The inspired books teach the truth. “Since therefore all that the inspired authors or sacred writers affirm should be regarded as affirmed by the Holy Spirit, we must acknowledge that the books of Scripture firmly, faithfully, and without error teach that truth which God, for the sake of our salvation, wished to see confided to the Sacred Scriptures.”

3. Life-giving, nourishing

CCC 103 – For this reason, the Church has always venerated the Scriptures as she venerates the Lord’s Body. She never ceases to present to the faithful the bread of life, taken from the one table of God’s Word and Christ’s Body.
CCC 104 – In Sacred Scripture, the Church constantly finds her nourishment and her strength….
Three ways we draw nourishment from Scripture: reading, study, meditation
Helps explain the spiritual vitality of Protestants, who lack the Eucharist

4. A place to encounter the Lord: not just about information

CCC 104 – cont.: “In the sacred books, the Father who is in heaven comes lovingly to meet his children, and talks with them.”
Augustine: “We speak to God when we pray. He speaks to us when we read Scripture.”
Pope Benedict: “Church knows well that Christ lives in the Sacred Scriptures.”
Jerome: “Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ.”

For over a century all the popes have strongly exhorted Catholics to read the Bible. Church calls it Lectio divina, prayerful reading of Scripture.

How to Hear the Lord in Daily Scripture Reading
1. Find a time and place that works for you on a daily basis

2. Decide on a plan for reading through the Bible.

Whole books at a time: Mass readings are great, but not enough (miss out on a lot of the Bible; miss context; never become familiar with Bible)
Vary your diet: Benedict’s advice to bishops and theologians
Various plans: One Year Bible, Verbum app, YouVersion app, my Chronological Reading Plan

3. Choose a translation: whichever version is most enjoyable to read and understand

4. Accompany your reading with prayer (for Holy Spirit, for wisdom, for help to remember, for help to do, to know God better, to keep awake, for faith, hope, and love, etc.)

5. Pay attention to the Holy Spirit highlighter phenomenon: underline, highlight

6. Remember: write a note, write down a phrase or verse, memorize

7. Put into practice what you read (Matt 7: building on rock or sand)

James 1:22-24 – 22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. 24 For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like.

8. Never give up. Feelings go up and down: Lord is always present, always speaking in Sacred Scripture.

Conclusion: testimony
Friend who is expert on brook trout
The blessing I experience in daily Scripture reading: a high point of the day; necessary nourishment and orientation.

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