Tuesday, March 11, 2014

4 Ways to Pray the Bible

Well, today was another harrowing day at my casa.  I had planned on enjoying the day and take the kids walking to the library since it was above freezing.  Tomorrow they predict snow.  But at 5 this morning, my oldest made a mad dash for the toilet.  Instead of upchucking in his bed, he has learned to do that in the toilet.  This either means he's growing up or he's vomited a lot in his little life.  So Veggie Tales marathon it was.  And I'm getting a little sick of Veggie Tales.  I know.  It's Lent.  Give it to God.

In addition my children, who were born in Arizona, are not used to changing time (ie Daylight Savings).  Thus they have a really messed up sleep/wake cycle at the moment.  I'm officially declaring my campaign to end the use of Daylight Savings for those of us parents who dread it.  You are welcome.

But that's not the point of this post.

  4Ways to Pray the Bible 

(since some people falsely believe that Catholics don't read/study/pray/insert appropriate Biblical-use axiom here.  My, I'm full of snarkiness today)

1) Rosary- Oh, no!  Not that thing.  It's a thing crazy Catholics do to worship Mary.  That's not praying the Bible.

Well, that would be false.  The idea behind the rosary is that you meditate on different passages from scripture pertaining to the life, death, and resurrection of Christ.  Boy, that was a mouthful. 

Specifically this is what you meditate on:
Joyful mysteries- The angel, Gabriel, meeting Mary, Mary visiting Elizabeth, the Birth of Christ, Christ being brought to the Temple as an infant for purification, and Jesus getting left behind and found in the Temple at age 12

Luminous Mysteries (added by Bl. JPII) - Baptism of Jesus, Wedding at Cana, Jesus' proclaiming the Kingdom of God, The Transfiguration of Jesus with Elijah and Moses, and The Last Supper (or Institution of the Eucharist which could mean anything about the Bread of Life Discourses)

Sorrowful Mysteries- Agony in the Garden, Scourging at the Pillar, Crowing of the Thorns, Carrying of the Cross, and the Crucifixion

Glorious Mysteries- Christ's Resurrection, Christ's Ascension, Descent of the Holy Spirit, The Assumption of Mary (or what happens after she dies although the Bible doesn't speak about this), the Coronation of Mary (being God's mother and all)

Many audio/video Rosaries actually announce the mystery that you meditate on and then read the appropriate Biblical passages.  Yes, even the Glorious Mysteries.  Here is are some examples. 

2) Liturgy of the Hours- If you think the Muslims praying 5 times a day is a lot, try the Catholic way.  You can even have it e-mailed to you if you need a reminder. 

3) Lectio Devina- I recently read a disgusting post from an evangelical group trashing the ancient practice of Lectio Devina.  Basically they said meditating on scripture was akin to occult worship, allowing the Devil in, and that scripture is supposed to be prayed with while studying it (which was quite confusing).

Lectio Devina is choosing a portion of scripture, reading it, rolling over a phrase in your mind (don't evangelicals encourage memorizing scriptural passages?), praying about it, and then simply quietly meditating on it.  

Most people choose to read about 6-12 verses or about half a chapter.  The Gospels are a good choice.

I like to think of the formula as listen, talk, talk, listen.  You listen to God's word, you think about a phrase that speaks to you repeatedly, you pray about it, and then you listen to a response from the Holy Spirit.  (If that it's pentacostalism, I'm not sure what is.)

It's supposed to be a natural way about praying/contemplating scriptures.  It's simplistic yet complex.

4)  The Stations of the Cross- Do you like the move The Passion of the Christ?  Well, if you did, than you can pray it.

The stations of the cross or Way of the Cross is a series of 14 prayers meditating on Christ's journey to the tomb.  While the traditional set only has 8 stations clearly found in the Bible (the rest are based on Tradition), Blessed John Paul II devised a scriptural set that is also acceptable to use. 

This doesn't even cover Catholics studying scripture (and the numerous study programs, study guides, and parish activities).  Catholics in fact DO care about the scripture and pray about them daily.  So there :P.

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