Historically, Catholics are late arrivals to the scripture reading party. Our Protestant friends can usually dance circles around us in the scripture quoting department. Memorizing scripture passages was not on my catechism agenda. Plus, I have a horrible memory. I can’t remember names. Don’t ask me to remember chapters and verses.
I was a voracious reader as a child and loved big, substantial books. I felt smart just by holding them in my hands. When I asked my parents for a Bible, they promptly bought me one – a Catholic edition of course. I loved reading that bible. But, it wasn’t until a grade 12 retreat that my eyes were opened to its inner treasures.
Two wonderful nuns directed the retreat for us. The highlight was when they sat us down and guided us through a session of praying the scriptures. I remember the passage well. (Okay, I remember the passage but not the citation. Thank goodness for online bible searches!) It was from Isaiah 55, “Come, all you who are thirsty….”
Sister guided us through each image and nudged us to sit and ponder each one. What did we see? What did we hear? What did it mean? All of a sudden the scriptures became more than a book to be read. Aha! The scriptures were meant to be prayed! The bible became a stepping stone into a more meditative and more personal prayer. So this is what they meant by the Word of God! This was a real turning point in my faith life. A real conversion experience.
What is your bible story?