Dig In

The door of faith is always open to us…” Pope Benedict XVI

Where is that door?

One of the things I have found most useful in pursuing my faith is scripture.   While opening to a random page is always interesting, for a more structured and insightful approach, consider these options.

 The Easy Start

For a quick reflection, I love Living Faith.  This quarterly booklet, about the size of a passport, is also available online.  Living Faith offers a daily biblical quote (one sentence or less!) and then a brief observation.  Written by a variety of authors, each day feels different – one day a personal story, another a faith insight.

Time:  This takes one to two minutes.  Doesn’t get much quicker than that.

 Daily Readings

The Mass readings for each day are on-line (the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, or EWTN Global Catholic Network, for instance), as well as published in a booklet by Magnificat (my favorite).  Each month, Magnificat offers (for a fee) a booklet or an app with prayers and readings for each day. Also included are summaries of the Saints lives, as well as a helpful ‘Meditation of the Day’ (often excerpted from the global writings of holy luminaries) which is always robust and credible.

Time: Magnificat can take as little or as much time as you would like to give.  Usually, I spend ten or fifteen minutes.

 Bible Study

Sounds scary?  I thought it would be filled with people shouting random bible verses, or throwing themselves to the floor wailing in prayer.   In fact, in my local Scripture Study I was surprised to find quite a few people I knew, and really liked, pop up.  People don’t advertise it.  They just go.   I found new friends, and a few old acquaintances became good friends.

If you can go to a Scripture study in person, I recommend it.  The support of a community,  and thought-provoking discussion can’t be matched in a virtual world.  (Check the website of a local church.  Don’t worry if you haven’t been to Mass or services.  Give in to the desire to learn more.  Trust God.)

That said, on-line options are plentiful and can be accessed anytime, anywhere.  Just make sure it’s a reputable and well-established group or leader (you know the risks with on-line personas).  Ask questions, think, test.

There is also a published series of studies that has great insight: Six Weeks with the Bible.  Titles address books of the Bible (Luke:  The Good News of God’s Mercy), or themes (Jesus the Healer) and include Old and New Testament.

Time:  Most Scripture Study meetings/sessions are 60 to 90 minutes.

Start with whatever feels right to you.  Let yourself enjoy it.  If you have any feedback or other suggestions, please add your two cents.

 

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