OK, so you’ve been inspired to read the Bible daily (or at least habitually) and you’re not quite sure where to begin.
Don’t worry. You’re totally normal. Most people have a difficult time figuring out the best way to begin reading the Bible.
I want to share with you here a few ideas to help you develop a habit of reading the Bible daily.
#1 – Read the Daily Mass Scripture Readings
If you don’t already know, just as there are set readings for every Sunday mass throughout the year (on a three-year cycle), there are also set readings for every week-day mass throughout the year.
Meaning, the Church proclaims the same Scriptures all throughout the world each day, no matter where you are and what language they’re proclaimed in (at least in the Roman Rite of the Liturgy) – a powerful testimony to the catholicity of the Church.
With that said, even if you are unable to attend mass Monday thru Saturday, you are still able to read and pray the Scripture readings that are proclaimed at mass each day by looking them up online.
My encouragement to you is to make a commitment to read the daily readings each morning as your way of encountering the Lord in the Bible each day.
You can read the entire set of readings each day, or you could just read the Gospel reading. Whichever is more doable for you.
If jumping into a daily commitment is too much for you, try starting out with just Sundays. Read the Sunday readings before attending mass each week, and then slowly add another day to your weekly commitment.
If you make the effort to participate in this practice, soon you will find yourself habitually reading the Bible with the mind of the Church.
#2 – Read a Chapter of the Bible Every Day
Another way of developing a habit of reading the Bible is to commit to reading one chapter of the Bible every day.
This can be done in a variety of ways, but is definitely only an option for you if you are ready to make a daily commitment.
If you think you are ready, then begin considering how you want to go about this.
One way to do so is to pick out any book of the Bible you have a natural interest in and start reading one chapter per day. The book you select will depend on what type of reading you’re looking for. Whether that’s an historical-narrative book, a gospel, a piece of wisdom literature, or something else.
Another way to do this is to follow a Bible reading plan. There are many reading plans out there, but the one I suggest the most is the Great Adventure Bible Timeline Reading Plan. In this reading plan, you’ll be invited to read in order particular books of the Bible that focus on its overarching narrative. If you take a look at it, you’ll notice it’s plan expects you to read more than one chapter per day. I suggest editing it a bit so that you only have to read one chapter per day, as it could eventually become overly burdensome to read too much too quickly. You’ll need to discern what is best for you.
In addition, if you plan on using the Great Adventure Bible Timeline Reading Plan, I highly suggest you also get this book, titled Walking with God: A Journey through the Bible, as a companion to your reading of the Bible. It’s a fairly easy read and has excellent content assisting the reader in grasping the narrative of the Bible.
#3 – Listen to a Bible Audiobook Each Day
OK, so this one is kind of cheating as it’s technically listening and not reading the Bible, but listening to the Bible read to you each day can definitely still be fruitful.
There are many apps and podcasts out there that attempt to do this, but very few execute it well.
Arguably the best app out there for listening to the Bible each day is called Dwell: Audio Bible. It’s a beautiful app that includes all kinds of features: reading plans, multiple voice choices, a sleep timer, optional background music, and much more.
That said, it does have a couple of negatives. It costs about $29.99/yr (after the 7-day free trial) and due to it not being a Catholic-based app it only has 66 of the 73 books contained in the Catholic canon of Scripture. However, it is done so well that it’s worth checking out via the 7-day free trial at the very least.
In addition to the Dwell app, Father Mike Schmitz is currently in the process of reading the entire Bible in one year via his podcast The Bible in a Year (with Fr. Mike Schmitz). Amazingly, his podcast has been at the top of the podcast charts since he started!
If you haven’t already heard about it, each day he puts out a new episode (about 20-25 minutes in length) which includes the reading (usually 3 different short passages), commentary, reflection, and a prayer.
As I said before, there are other apps and podcasts out there attempting to do something similar, but these are the best two I have come across. If you know of any others, please share them in the comments below.
To conclude, there are many ways you can go about making it a habit to read the Bible daily, but I hope these were helpful in sparking an idea in your mind about how you’re going to begin reading the Bible daily as a Catholic.
Now get to it!
How do you plan to read the Bible daily?
Let me know below in the comment box!