As the mother of six children, I sometimes feel like the house is my cloister, minus the peaceful quiet and harmonious chanting. In the midst of being called on by so many voices, I find myself at times longing for the contemplative or maybe just 30 minutes to pray before I am needed. I always laugh to myself, because no matter how early I get up in the morning in the hopes to squeeze in some prayer time one of the children will always arise and seek me out.
Lately, I have found myself enjoying the convenience of listening to the daily readings on the Relevant Radio app while getting ready in the morning. I have my Magnificat open on the counter to read Morning Prayer as I prepare the children breakfast or I listen to a daily Gospel reflection when I am shuttling kids to practice. While I may not get that 30 minutes of silence, by trying to sprinkle my day with Scripture, I have moments of prayer and a verse to meditate on as I go about the next task.
Sometimes Catholicism can be perceived as a religion that doesn’t read the Bible. The reality is that Catholic Liturgy is filled with Scripture. Whether it is a Sunday or weekday liturgy, readings from Scripture are a part of every single Mass. On Sundays and solemnities, there are three readings with one from the Gospels. A weekday liturgy consists of two readings and every Mass has a response taken from the Psalms. In addition, the Liturgy of the Hours is filled with even more Scripture.
The Church has always venerated Scriptures as she venerates the Lord’s Body. In Sacred Scripture, the Church constantly finds her nourishment and her strength, for she welcomes it not as a human word, but as what it really is, the word of God. (Catechism of the Catholic Church para 103-104) As Catholics, we believe that God is the author of Scripture and that what has been written was inspired by the Holy Spirit.
“Take up and read. Take up and read.” These are the words that forever changed St. Augustine’s life and prompted his conversion. It is said that while in a garden St. Augustine heard the voice of a child saying, “Take up and read.” He picked up a Bible that was next to him, opened it and began to read from Romans, which then began his conversion and path of becoming one of the most influential biblical scholars. In Sacred Scripture, God speaks to man in a human way. (CCC para 109)
I remember sitting at Mass a couple of years ago and the priest mentioned that in every Catholic home there should be a book set out and given a prominent place: the Bible. During this Relevant Radio “Answer the Call” pledge drive for a gift of $1,200 and higher you will receive an ornate wood carved Bible stand. This Bible stand is hand carved in beautiful hardwood and collapses for easy storage. An elegant way to display the Bible in your home, school or small chapel. A perfect gift for a family member, a friend or a priest.
“Indeed, the word of God is living and effective, sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating even between soul and spirit, joints and marrow, and able to discern reflections and thoughts of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12
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