Oh, Dearest Mother, Sweetest Virgin of Altagracia, our Patroness. You are our Advocate and to you we recommend our needs. You are our Teacher and like disciples we come to learn from the example of your holy life. You are our Mother, and like children, we come to offer you all of the love of our hearts. Receive, dearest Mother, our offerings and listen attentively to our supplications. Amen.

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Posted: April 04 2009 at 3:03pm | IP Logged Quote teachingmyown

With all the curriculum talk going on, I have really gotten myself wound up trying to make decisions. I was at adoration last night asking God what He wanted me to do. The thought came to me that I need to step back and put my effort into my faith rather than worrying so much about the things of this world.

Throughout Lent, on various blogs and in a couple of books I have read, I have come across the theme of the need to go straight to the source, the Bible. I am quick to grab various spiritual reading materials, but not so quick to just sit and read the Scriptures.

As usual, before I start anything, I have to "think" about the best approach. Please share how you read/study the Bible. Do you just read and then meditate on it? do you use a study guide? Do you have a special place/time?


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Lara Sauer
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Posted: April 04 2009 at 3:46pm | IP Logged Quote Lara Sauer


Not that I am good at this by any means, but I would suggest an Ignatian Approach to the scriptures.

The basic (and I am being very basic, here...) is to meditate on a particular passage...say the woman at the well...and picture yourself as part of the scene. Imagine the smells, imagine the sounds, imagine the weather, imagine where you are standing, imagine where are Lord is...has he arrived yet? Do you see the woman He is approaching...is it you?

Along with this would go other tips toward prayer/spiritual reading...choose a specific time, clear your area of distractions, invoke the Holy Spirit before you begin and when you end. Finish your day, before you go to bed, by revisiting this scene in your mind.

There are many beautiful books on Ignatian spirituality.

I'll be praying for you.


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Posted: April 04 2009 at 4:27pm | IP Logged Quote stellamaris

Yes. I read it and meditate on it. Sometimes only one verse at a time, sometimes an entire event. Yes. I use a study guide, referring to both the Navarre Commentary and the Ignatius Press Study Bible commentary. Sometimes I also will do a word study using a Concordance. It depends on my available time. Studying one passage using first the study guide and then some serious meditation/prayer over the course of several days or even weeks really allows the Holy Spirit to illuminate you.

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Posted: April 04 2009 at 6:32pm | IP Logged Quote CrunchyMom

I did Jeff Cavin's Great Adventure Bible Study a couple of years ago, and it was really good for the context of scripture.

These days, most of my scripture reading will come either in references from other places (devotional book), the stories I happen to be reading the boys, or from the daily readings.

I think that the daily readings from the missal are a good place to start perhaps using an approach from above should you choose.

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Barbara C.
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Posted: April 13 2009 at 8:28am | IP Logged Quote Barbara C.

Every morning I go to the Catholic Calendar page which lists the daily readings with links to them. I started making myself go there before I do anything else on the internet, so I didn't forget in the hustle and bustle of life. I use that is my starting point depending on how much time I have that day.

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Posted: April 13 2009 at 8:46am | IP Logged Quote Bookswithtea

It depends on how many babies/toddlers I have in the house!

If I am feeling drawn to the readings, I really like Magnificat. The meditations are just wonderful and it seems like the perfect amount of reading each day.

If I am feeling like I need to get a different perspective, I like a whole book study. I just read a segment, whatever I have time for, and pray over it and ask God what He wants to show me in that passage. I tend to gravitate to the Letter of John. I always love the look of formal study booklets, but I just don't seem to be able to keep up with them. I find if I set myself up with something that requires my bible, paper and pen and booklets, it gets done less often than grabbing either Magnificat or my Bible and reading while nursing.

Fwiw, I came out of Lent feeling exactly the same way about focusing more on God.



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Posted: April 13 2009 at 9:54am | IP Logged Quote Natalia

It depends on my goal. If I am wanting to study Scripture, I tend to read through a particular book using a guide to get the most out of the reading. I have done this on my own and in groups.

Sometimes I have done some thematic studies-for example Courageous Women or one on the gifts of the Spirit. I have done this when I have felt that the Lord wanted me to learn more, through Scripture, about a particular aspect of the spiritual life.

On a regular basis, I use The Word Among Us devotional. I love how practical it is. It takes the daily readings of the mass and it gives you a meditation on one of them. I have been amazed at how much the Lord has spoken to me through this little devotional.


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Posted: April 13 2009 at 10:05am | IP Logged Quote Willa

Lectio Divina is a traditional method.   It helps me to slow down and alternate between reading and praying rather than just read with my brain.   The article I linked to compared the rhythm to "breathe in, breathe out" and if you like Waldorf and such methods maybe the idea will resonate with you. Or, you can think of it as a conversation -- God speaks to you, then you respond with prayer or meditation.

What I usually do is read and then copy out a few of the verses I want most to think about. St Francis de Sales calls it a spiritual bouquet. You take it with you through the day. I read that Edith Schaeffar would copy out verses on index cards and place them on her kitchen sill so she could ponder them while she washed dishes.

The Magnificat is wonderful for following the liturgical cycle.

I don't have a special time. I wait until things slow down around the house. Usually this happens just a bit before lunch time.   Sometimes late evening before bedtime works too.

Probably if you just say a prayer to the Holy Spirit, then start, God will show you how to go from there.

One more thing -- the Catechism of the Catholic Church is absolutely stocked with Scripture and reading it occasionally gives you a feeling for how the Church understands various scriptures that are sometimes interpreted in a different way by Protestants and those of other faiths which don't have the guidance of our beautiful "pillar of truth".   

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Posted: April 13 2009 at 11:18am | IP Logged Quote Servant2theKing

One thing that has really helped us become more consistent in reading and studying Scripture is pegging it with our homeschooling day. We have a prayertime to begin our day, which includes the readings for the day, using the Ignatius Revised Standard Version. We also read the commentary from the Navarre Bible. As time permits, we include readings of the day from Liturgy of the Hours, which is full of Scripture.

I've discovered that including Scripture reading, as part of our homeschooling day, really helps us be more faithful to the practice, and it helps our day begin on a grace-filled note.

"A Textual Concordance on Holy Scripture", by Fr. Thomas David Williams (TAN), is set up by subject, contains actual text of referenced verses, and is another favorite Scripture reference that has been particularly helpful and inspiring.

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Posted: April 13 2009 at 1:43pm | IP Logged Quote happymama

I second the Navarre bibles - you can just read one chapter and it's commentary on a busy day!

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