New book aims to re-kindle biblical meditation
by Elise Harris
Panel gives presentation on new book “Pray With the Bible, Meditate With the Word” during its launching on Oct. 30, 2013
Panel gives presentation on new book “Pray With the Bible, Meditate With the Word” during its launching on Oct. 30, 2013

.- The American Bible Society has released a new study guide on how to pray Lectio Divina with the hope that the manual’s readers will obtain a deeper appreciation for the Word of God.

“It has made me appreciate the Bible much more first of all. I think that for me it's a way of anchoring my prayer in the word of God that is transmitted to us through the Bible,” Fr. Stephan Pisano told CNA in an Oct. 30 interview.

Fr. Pisano, a Jesuit priest from California who has been teaching at the Pontifical Biblical Institute of Rome the past thirty years, was one of those presenting on the new book “Pray With the Bible, Meditate With the Word,” at the Oct. 30 release.

The book, written by Fr. Gabriel Mestre, is an initiative of the American Bible Society based in New York City, and offers guidelines for using a traditional method of praying with Sacred Scripture called Lectio Divina.

Mario Paredes, rector of Catholic Ministries for the American Bible Society, also gave a presentation at the book release, revealing that the society “designed this book as a tool for our Catholic constituencies in the United States and anywhere else. So people really could go back to learn how to pray with the Bible.”

According to Fr. Pisano, the method of prayer for Lectio Divina classically follows a four step process, the first being “the reading of the text, the ‘lectio,’” in which a passage from scripture is read.

Next comes the “’meditatio,’” he noted, “which after you have seen what the meaning of the text is, then you ask what does the text mean for me. Then, the third step is ‘oratio,’ or prayer, what prayers come spontaneously once I have seen the meaning of the text for me.”

“The fourth step,” the priest went on to say, “is contemplation, ‘contemplatio,’ that leaving aside all the other considerations, then I let the word penetrate into me and I just rest and stay with it.”

The manual was published not because people have forgotten about the traditional method of prayer, Paredes explained, but because “people don't know how to pray with the Bible.”

“Unfortunately, in many places around the world and in many cultures,” he reflected, “the reading, the prayerful reading of the Bible is something unknown” and the Bible has not had “a central place in the life of our Catholic communities.”

Recalling how retired pontiff Benedict XVI was an avid proponent of the practice, Paredes highlighted how “he was a lover of the Bible. He knew the Bible inside out and everything that he says was biblical. Everything that he wrote was biblical.”

The rector also observed that “today more and more our Catholic community,” both communally and well as individually, “are becoming more accustomed to take the Bible and to pray with the Bible.”

When asked if a re-discovery of this form of prayer is passing through the Americas, Paredes responded “absolutely,” expressing that “it is our dream that we will take the practice of Lectio Divina through many, many communities around the Western hemisphere.”

The new book, written in collaboration with “Libreria Editrice Vaticana,” the Vatican Library, has 50,000 copies already printed, and is anticipating to double that number just for the initial development.

So far it has been translated into English, Spanish and Italian, and is currently being distributed in the United States as well as certain countries in South America, and in Rome.

Tags: Prayer, Catholic, Lectio Divina

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic

Liturgical Calendar

April 23, 2014

Wednesday within the Octa ve of Easter

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 28:8-15


Daily Readings

First Reading:: Acts 3:1-10
Gospel:: Lk 24:13-35

Saint of the Day

St. Adalbert of Prague »


Homily of the Day

Mt 28:8-15


Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
Text only

Follow us: