Our Sunday Visitor recently published “The Catholic Men’s Bible” with Father Larry Richards. The quote from Father Richards in the description is rather blunt: “No Bible no breakfast, no Bible no bed!” It is a good motto and a good practice, even if it does sound tough. But, then, think of all the things we do daily. Are they really more important than reading the word of God? Probably not.
Still, remember that Scripture reading does not have to be excessively long to be fruitful. Go for quality, not quantity. Here are eight easy ways to form that habit of daily Scripture reading:
- Read one Psalm each day. For example, read Psalm 1 on April 1, Psalm 2 on April 2 and so on. Then do Psalm 31 for May 1, Psalm 32 for May 2 and so on.
- Read the daily Mass readings. My Daily Visitor lists the readings and provides a quick reflection and prayer.
- Pick one book of the Bible and read two verses in the morning and two verses at night. You’ll get through it eventually. Then, pick another one.
- Use Bible studies, like Father Mitch Pacwa’s new Bible study on Mary or Stephen Binz’s latest Lectio Divina Bible study. You do not have to be in a group to do a Bible study. This could give you needed structure.
- Pray Liturgy of the Hours. You will get Psalms, short readings and more. With apps like iBreviary, it is easy to choose just morning and night prayer or anything in between.
- Work your way through the 14 main narrative books of the Bible (Genesis, Exodus, Numbers, Joshua, Judges, 1 Samuel, 2 Samuel, 1 Kings, 2 Kings, Ezra, Nehemiah, 1 Maccabees, Luke, Acts). Scripture is not meant to be read straight through, so these books tell the overall story of Salvation history; the other books are supplemental. Read one or two chapters a day.
- Get the My Daily Catholic Bible. It divides the Bible into 365 20-minute daily readings, so you can read the entire Bible in a year. Nice and easy. You can even split it, 10 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes at night.
- Of course, there is always the “Come, Holy Spirit” approach. Thumb through the pages of Scripture and see where you land. Read as much or as a little as you want. Spend time reflecting on what you find. (Note: It is probably a good idea to have a little more structure than just this. Perhaps read the daily readings in the morning and thumb through at night.)
Each week during Lent I am sharing a quick tip on each of the three disciplines of the season: prayer, fasting and almsgiving. So tune in throughout the coming weeks for more ideas! We've hit the halfway point with Laetare Sunday, so keep it up!
Jennifer Rey is the web editor of Our Sunday Visitor Publishing.