Adapting a devotional habit of getting a good dose of daily scripture readings is encouraged greatly in the Catholic Church. The Bible is the accepted book of authority in the Catholic Church. Catholics believe it was written by men under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost. As a new or beginner Catholic, regularly reading bible passages or scriptures is one of the best ways to gain a lot of spiritual insight into the nature of God and his expectations from us as His children.
The Catholic Church has always upheld the principle in 2nd Timothy 3 v 16 which says that “All Scripture is inspired by God, and is useful for teaching, for refutation, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that one who belongs to God may be competent, equipped for every good work”. The church fully understands that when a person commits their life to God, they also need to prepare for war with the Devil. The war with the Devil is a spiritual one and knowledge of the word of God equips Christians to overcome temptation.
Sometimes, a challenge most people face is that they get overwhelmed when they start reading the bible. And unfortunately, this could lead them to stop reading it altogether. Some Catholics only get to hear the scripture when they attend Mass and this is not good enough.
The Catholic Church has made daily scripture reading easy. The Church organises the scripture used during mass every year into a book called a Missal. In addition to the scripture readings, a missal contains a good collection of catholic prayers which can be used as daily devotional prayers as well as prayers for several seasons within the liturgical year. It also contains prayers said by the priest and those said during offering throughout the year. Missals are used in all catholic churches throughout the world.
One part of the Missal contains the general portion of the liturgy which is said in every Mass and the other part is usually contains portions of the liturgy which vary from day to day according to feast and season whether it be Lent, Advent or Christmas.
Missals are usually divided into seasons and can contain several years’ worth of reading. They have a well outlined Table of Contents and Index once you get the hang of finding what you want to read, it becomes very easy to use them. They come in very handy to take anywhere you want to and even to Mass. Some Catholics use their Daily Missals much more than their Bibles.
The First Reading, Responsorial Psalm and Gospel contained in a daily missal are usually enough scripture for one day. After reading, you can reflect on them and how they apply in your everyday life and then pray afterwards.
There are also other ways to imbibe daily scripture readings into your life. Some bibles actually have a yearly reading plan which organises sections of the Holy Bible into sections that can be read every day. When buying a bible, it could be a good idea to check if it has a ‘Bible in One Year’ plan. It will not only help you imbibe a daily reading habit, it would also ensure that at the end of the year, you would have read the whole Bible.
With the internet, there are a good number of online resources you can use to get daily scripture readings. And they are usually free. Most of them are generally for Christians but there are also some that cater to the needs of Catholics. Examples of online resources for Catholics include the Eternal World Vision Network and the Roman Catholic Net but there are several more.
In conclusion, we lead very busy lives and it is very easy to get overwhelmed by our daily activities. It is necessary to make time for daily scripture readings and ensure you stick to it. The scriptures we hear at Mass on Sunday are very good but they are not enough to build and sustain the character and integrity we need to live an outstanding Christian life. Gaining deeper knowledge about the word of God is the best way we can equip ourselves for his kingdom.
The best thing about the principles in the word of God is that it’s timeless. They helped the saints who lived before us and are still very applicable to our lives today and always