Why is it so important to read the Bible? St. Jerome said it perfectly: “Ignorance of scripture is ignorance of Christ.” Reading the Bible is the most direct way to understand Christ, his Church, and salvation history. But it isn’t exactly the easiest or fastest book to read — it takes lots of time and effort to process, interpret, and internalize.
Reading the Bible lets us get to know Christ, so we shouldn’t shy away from it. It is the best path to learning about God and falling in love with him and his truths. And there are simple and doable ways to read scripture each day, like these:
When your day begins, with all its distractions and tasks, it’s hard to dial back to a mindful and prayerful state. So make prayer and scripture reading the very first thing you do in the morning — before even looking at your phone! — and the very last thing you do at night. It will be easier to focus your attention and thoughts on God and his Word.
We have access to countless sources to accompany us in reading the Bible: apps, books, articles, magazines, websites, podcasts, etc. It’s great to have so many references and perspectives to draw us into prayer and scripture, teach us, and guide us. But it can also be overwhelming and distracting.
You can easily spend your prayer time jumping between different types of scripture guides. Maybe you listen to a few minutes of a podcast, then open an app for the daily readings, and finally pick up a book of Bible reflections. This approach might work for some, but it can also prevent concentrated and thoughtful reading.
Limit the scripture sources and media you use to make the most of your reading. When your time is tight, don’t spread your attention thin. It’s easier to keep up a habit if it’s consistent. Find what works for you and stick with it. You might want to switch it up every now and then, but try to use the same sources for an extended period of time.
As you select your sources, consider using a scripture guide or reading plan. It can seem overwhelming to tackle reading the Bible on your own. This type of resource can help connect the dots between the New and Old Testament, the Gospel accounts, Psalms, and Proverbs. It can also surface surprising and interesting insights.
It’s only human to simply forget to keep up daily resolutions of any kind. Take advantage of your many digital devices and accounts to set recurring notifications or alerts for the time you reserve for reading — calendar events, phone alarms, app notifications, etc. This way, you’ll have a visual or audible reminders to make time to read.
The support we receive from our friends, family, and spiritual leaders helps us persevere in faith and grow in virtue. Whether it’s your spouse, friend, parent, sibling, spiritual director, or someone else, find a trusted faith companion to keep you accountable. You could share the same goals, read scripture together, or ask them to check in with you.
Another way to stay accountable is to join a Bible study or other regular gathering of a faith community. Reading scripture in a group setting lets you benefit from the insights and support of others as well as making sure you find time to do it. There are also virtual Bible studies you can find online if an in-person study is inconvenient or unavailable.
While it’s good to challenge yourself, make sure your reading goals are realistic for your lifestyle. When we overcommit to habits or routines, we aren’t able to sustain them. Evaluate your daily schedule to find the best time and way to insert scripture reading. Start small — to get started you can steadily increase over time.
Don’t feel guilty if you only have the time (or attention span!) to spend ten minutes reading a brief Bible passage and reflecting on its message. Any amount of time spent pondering God’s Word and the life of Christ is meaningful and worthy in his eyes!
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I have found agapebiblestudy totally amazing as are the daily Gospel commentaries; very well linked to both Bible USCCB and specific CCC references. Catholic Culture (Dr Jeff et al) gave it solid five star across all catagories a number of years ago
We do not have an online bible study tool. However, FORMED is a great platform for all types of Catholic resources.
Do you have an online bible study that we could join at our leisure so we don’t need to be consisted in the timing or progress with others?
We are excited to invite you to join the Napa Institute for our first Virtual Conference, “Finding Hope in the New America.” While we won’t be able to share conversation or a bottle of wine with you this year in person, we invite you to fill your glasses at home and toast the hope we have in the Napa Institute Family and in our Faith. Join speakers such as Cardinal George Pell, Dr. Scott Hahn, Curtis Martin, and many more as they address issues ranging from socialism to how to answer our call to evangelization in a hostile world. In these unprecedented times in our nation, we must view all the critical issues through a Catholic lens, with great hope in Christ.
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