Encounter God in Scripture

Encountering God's Presence through Scripture

Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light for my path. (Psalm 119: 105)

"All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work." (2 Tim 3:16)

 Why read Scripture?

". . . so that God and man may walk together. By reading divine Scriptures, we learn 'the excelling knowledge of Jesus Christ.'  Ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ. . . . Christians should gladly put themselves in touch with the sacred text.  Prayer should accompany the reading of Sacred Scripture.  When we pray, we are talking to God.  When we read Sacred Scripture, God is talking to us."   (Second Vatican Council, Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation)

Ways to encounter God through Scripture

Before reading or studying Scripture, pray for the Holy Spirit to open your mind and open heart, so that God's message may be received and bear fruit.

Sunday Mass Readings: Using one of the methods below read the readings for next Sunday’s Mass. Readings are printed in our bulletin; available online at http://www.usccb.org/. Monthly reflections for the readings are available in the resource center located outside the Religious Formation office.

Bible Study: Join a Bible Study either offered locally (stay tuned for more upcoming studies offered at Ascension) or online. Ascension Press (https://ascensionpress.com/) has numerous studies available online when two or more people signup.

Read Scripture as part of personal prayer: Pick a Gospel or any book from the Bible and start reading. Read not only for head knowledge but for transformation of your heart. Use one of the methods below to assist you. If you are a newbie to scripture obtain a good Catholic study Bible, such as the Catholic Study Bible New American. Read the introductions to the specific book as well as the footnotes. Some passages offer cross references to other passages in scripture. Reading these can deepen your understanding.  

Two Methods to assist you in “praying” the scriptures…

Method #1: Lectio Divina:

  1. Read: read over the passage at least two times – one to familiarize yourself with what was said. The second to let the full meaning of the words sink in. What word, words, or phrases speak to your heart?
  2. Mediate: What is God saying to you? What are the implications of this text in your life
  3. Dialog: What do I say in response to what I heard in God’s word? Talk to God about everything- questions, thoughts, feelings.
  4. Contemplation: Rest in God’s presence. Allow God to work in your heart. What conversion of the mind, heart and life is God calling you to?  

Method #2: Ignatius Spirituality:

  1. Read: read over the passage.
  2. Mediate: Think about what the characters in the story are feeling.
  3. Imagine: Allow yourself to be one of the characters and enter into the story. What are you feeling? How would you react as this character in the story? Can you relate this to a similar time in your life where you felt the same way?
  4. Dialog:  Talk to God about everything- questions, thoughts, feelings.
  5. Contemplation: Rest in God’s presence. Allow God to work in your heart. What conversion of the mind, heart and life is God calling you to? 

Resources and practical suggestions for encountering God through Scripture

Devotionals for daily mass readings:

Entry level books to understanding the Bible and Scripture:

  • The Bible Blueprint By Joe Paprocki, D.Min.
  • And God Said What? By Margaret Nutting Ralph
  • You Can Understand the Bible. By Peter Kreeft