Wisdom Overflowing

Scripture Study Resources for Catholics

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About Carol Kloss

DEEPEN YOUR EXPERIENCE OF SCRIPTURE


What we learn about Scripture is an essential but preliminary step to what most of us seek in Bible study: growing our faith and our relationship with God in our experience of Scripture. We get our modern questions and difficulties answered and learn enough to have a sense of what the ancient authors meant and ancient readers heard in order to experience the text deeply and freely, without the obstacles of ignorance and misunderstanding.

In the process of your ongoing study of the Bible, you may slip into "moments of God," even in completely unexpected places. (I had one of my most profound experiences of the unbounded depths of God "behind" the words of Scripture as I was reading about the types of sacrifices in ancient Israel at the beginning of Leviticus!) These are beautiful and unforgettable events.

Continued study also slowly but surely gives you a deep understanding of why these texts are Sacred Scripture, as you come to perceive the deep and awesome ways of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit moving within creation and in the history of humanity. You look back and realize how much more you "know" about what you've been reading and studying.

However, it's good to supplement the unexpected "moments of God" and the understanding that develops in continued study with regular and intentional Scripture-focused prayer and reflection. As a key part of a human being's response to God, prayer and reflection form the core of spiritual life.

Build the opportunity for these essential activities into your day, learn the methods best for you, and you may soon be meeting the Lord in and through Scripture more often than you could ever have hoped. You will, in fact, be humbly and consciously accepting the invitation to respond that has been coming to you through the Word.


RESOURCES FOR DEEPENING YOUR EXPERIENCE

Catholic authors and publishers produce marvelous resources for deepening your experience of Scripture through reflection and prayer. As with every other type of Bible resource, I can only present a few.

I include both general resources and guides to specific methods of praying and reflecting with Scripture.

  • See Bible & Spiritual Life for inspiring resources that teach how all of Scripture can be a fruitful source for spiritual life.
  • See How to Begin for learning more about the Bible's prayers, for new ways to pray and reflect with Scripture, and for resources for praying the Psalms and making retreats with the gospels.
  • See Lectio Divina for resources on this traditional way of Christian prayer with Scripture.

DEEPEN YOUR EXPERIENCE


1. For most people, Bible study is an essential but only a preliminary step to growing in faith and in relationship with God.

2. Through ongoing Bible study, many people come to sense God's presence in different ways, now and then, and their faith deepens.

3. If you begin a practice of Scripture-based prayer and reflection, you bring regular opportunities of meeting with the Lord through Scripture into your life.

4. Many resources are available to Catholics today to help us learn how to pray and reflect with the Bible.


ACTIVITY

Spend some time thinking about how you pray and reflect with Scripture now, if you do.

Do you pray or reflect in any particular, times, places, or situations? Does anything especially help you? Do you have any favorite texts? Have you ever learned something truly life-changing?

Have you tried to pray or reflect with Scripture and felt unsuccessful? What do you think stands in your way? What could help?