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
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.
Spiritual Life for
inspiring resources that teach how all of Scripture can be a fruitful source for
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
for resources on this traditional way of Christian prayer with Scripture.