Saturday, May 26, 2012
Learning To Pray In Scripture
Sacred Scripture is God's gift to us. More than that, in some ways it is His love letter to us. If we want to hear what God has to say to us, one of the ways to do so is to open up our Bibles.
While reading the passages or hearing them at Mass is good, it is not enough if we really want to hear God speak to us through Sacred Scripture. We need to read prayerfully, asking the Holy Spirit's guidance. This what is known as Lectio Divina. It can be a daunting exercise.
Stephen J. Binz has written Lectio Divina: Learning to Pray in Scripture. In the Introduction, he outlines five steps that will be used throughout the book to take the reader more deeply into the Scripture passages presented. First, you read, aloud if you can, the passage. This is the Listening step. Next, a comprehensive commentary is given to help the reader Understand the passage and encounter God more deeply there. In the Reflection section, a series of questions are posed with space to write your responses. This helps to apply God's message to our world today. From there, the reader responds to God with Prayer from the heart; a brief prayer is also given by the author. Finally, in Acting, the reader is asked to look for the concrete ways the message God has given can be applied to daily life.
The selections from Scripture take us from the Prayers of Israel's Heroes (Moses, Abraham, Hannah, and David to name a few), to the Prayers of the Prophets, the Psalms are next. From there the author moves into the New Testament with the Prayer Life of Jesus and the Prayer of the Apostolic Church.
I highly recommend this book to anyone looking to go more deeply into Sacred Scripture in a prayerful and meditative manner.
Let's not just read God's Word~let's pray it.
*This review was written as part of the Catholic book reviewer program from The Catholic Company. Visit The Catholic Company to find more information on Lectio Divina Bible Study: Learning to Pray in Scripture. This is also a great online Catholic store for all your religious shopping needs, such as gifts for Confirmation and gifts for a baby baptism.
**This reviewer received nothing in exchange for the review except a copy of the book reviewed.
Psalm 45: Canticle of Love to the King
My heart overflows with a good theme;
I address my verses to the King;
My tongue is the pen of a ready writer.
You are fairer than the sons of men;
Grace is poured upon Your lips;
Therefore God has blessed You forever.
Gird Your sword on Your thigh, O Mighty One,
In Your splendor and Your majesty!
And in Your majesty ride on victoriously,
For the cause of truth and meekness and righteousness;
Let Your right hand teach You awesome things.
Your arrows are sharp;
The peoples fall under You;
Your arrows are in the heart of the King’s enemies.
Your throne, O God, is forever and ever;
A scepter of uprightness is the scepter of Your kingdom.
You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness;
Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You
With the oil of joy above Your fellows.
All Your garments are fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia;
Out of ivory palaces stringed instruments have made You glad.
Kings’ daughters are among Your noble ladies;
At Your right hand stands the queen in gold from Ophir.