A Good Book for a Great Read
It’s Lent. The pandemic has dragged on, leaving us confined at home for long stretches of time. We’ve watched television, met with friends and family on the phone or teleconference, and we’ve read just about every book in the house. Twice. Yet there is one book that may not have been opened as much. It’s the best book actually. “The Good Book.”
Most homes have a bible, and there are many versions, one of which is the New American Bible Revised Edition, the one most used by the Catholic Church. But did you know there is a recommended way to read the bible? It’s easy to do and adds spiritual depth and connection to the readings, and to our lives.
Lectio Divina is a traditional practice involving scriptural reading, meditation, and prayer to bring us in communion with God and increase knowledge of His word, bringing a rich spiritual dimension to the process. Simply begin by finding a calm, quiet place to sit so not to be rushed. Prepare with a passage such as Psalm 46:10, “Be still, and know that I am God.” Pray briefly, silently, inviting the Holy Spirit to guide your reading.
Now choose a scriptural passage to read, any one you like. It does not have to be long. Read it slowly aloud, perhaps several times to absorb it. Even though you may have heard or read the passage many times over the years, notice what “pops out” at you now, something in it you may not have noticed before. Spend some time thinking this over, meditating on its meaning. We speak to God when we pray, so “talk” over the passage with God through prayer, listening silently for what the message means to you personally.
Finally, think about what action the reading is calling you to take in your own life now that you have found new meaning in the passage. You might think about it for days afterwards, or consider journaling your thoughts. Lectio Divina can be done alone, in a group, or as a family. Lent is a perfect time to try this approach to scripture, and you may find it quickly becomes a treasured tradition. For more information on Lectio Divina, Bible Study with Barbara Campbell at our parish is a great way to begin. To join, contact Mary Ann Farmer at (631) 351-1148, or at firstname.lastname@example.org