>> Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Today's Guest Article is from Tara from Modern Catholic Mom.
"If we want to hear God in our prayer the first step is reading well." p. 43
I had the opportunity to review ''Praying Scripture for Change' as a part of the review program the Catholic Company provides. 'Praying Scripture for Change' can be viewed and purchased here.
'Praying Scripture for change- An Introduction to Lectio Divina' by Dr. Gray is a phenomenal read about how to use Scripture to pray. Unfortunately my cradle Catholic tendencies have rendered my Bible reading pretty sad. It's not that I don't know the absolute importance of God's written Word, I do. It's more that I have never made the firm commitment to use Scripture as a means of prayer. (Making the commitment now!)
Besides all the amazing quotes placed throughout the book, Dr. Gray provides specific instructions about HOW to use Scripture as prayer. And Dr. Gray.... we need the HOW!
His instruction includes:
Lectio: Read well, slow down, ask who, what, where, and when
Meditatio: Meditate- digging below the surface, ask why
Oratio: Dialogue (inner), bringing the passage to God in prayer, how does it apply to our lives?
Contemplatio: Contemplation, 'a restful gaze upon the author of all beauty and wonder
Operatio: living out our faith with virtue
This book requires careful reading and processing. It requires the reader to take their time and to really understand what direction is being provided (kind of what Dr. Gray is telling the reader to do when reading Scripture). But the best part is it truly is written for the common lay person. I have picked up many a book that was WAY over my head. This book truly meets the reader at a realistic place. The book provides concrete examples of how to utilize the steps Dr. Gray provides. I love that Dr. Gray reminds the reader that Jesus is the one who teaches us to pray through the written Word. Christ had to teach his disciples 'how' to pray!
'Praying Scripture for a Change' is not just a book. It is an opportunity to spiritually mature in a way that incorporates Scripture. Other faiths really have a wonderful grasp on the importance and wonder of the Bible. Dr. Gray provides the Catholic with an opportunity to embrace Scripture and take it to heart. I highly recommend this book.
A few of my favorite lines:
"The reason anyone anywhere at anytime has ever been moved to prayer is because God, by His Spirit, was drawing him toward him." p. 7
" In short, God doesn't just teach us how to pray; His Spirit empowers us to pray". p. 8
"We must always keep in mind that prayer is God's invitation to enter into an intimate relationship of love and life with him. If we forget that this is what is happening when we pray, we start treating prayer as a simply an obligation, as a hoop that must be jumped through in order to avoid offending God and provoking His displeasure." p. 8
"Scripture is living and active, and so it ever remains God's Word spoken to whomever has the courage to pick it up and receive it". p. 16
"Scripture is a love letter from our Divine Bridegroom, and, like the saints, we too should eagerly and often read the Scriptures and hear there the voice our Beloved speaking to us". p. 17
Make sure to check out other amazing books and products at http://www.catholiccompany.com/
Tara makes the magic happen over at http://moderncatholimoms.blogspot.com.