Bible Reading Is for Catholics

Bishops’ Aide Shares 10 Points for Scripture Study

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WASHINGTON, D.C., JULY 20, 2009 ( For fruitful reading of God’s Word, prayer should be the beginning and the end, says a U.S. bishops’ conference aide who works to promote sacred Scripture.

Mary Elizabeth Sperry, associate director for Utilization of the New American Bible, affirmed this in her «10 points for fruitful Scripture reading,» offered to the public on the conference’s Web page.

«Bible reading is for Catholics,» she stated. «Reading these inspired words, people grow deeper in their relationship with God and come to understand their place in the community.»

Reading the Bible is «not like reading a novel or a history book,» Sperry continued.

It should «begin with a prayer asking the Holy Spirit to open our hearts and minds to the Word of God,» she explained, and «end with a prayer that this Word will bear fruit in our lives.»

Sperry asserted that it is important to «know what the Bible is — and what it isn’t.»

«It is not intended to be read as history text, a science book, or a political manifesto,» she added. Rather, it is God’s teaching of the «truths that we need for the sake of our salvation.»

Sperry encouraged readers to remember the context of Scripture passages, to look at various books of the Bible, and relate the Old and New Testaments.

«Together,» she said, «these testaments help us to understand God’s plan for human beings.»

Then, the director said, each person should ask, «What is God saying to me?»

«We need to meditate on the message and put it into action in our lives,» she affirmed, so that it becomes «living and effective.»

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