The Roman Catholic Bible has 27 books in the New Testament and 46 books in the Old Testament. We may begin with the Gospel of Mark, because it is the shortest, easiest to read and most historical gospel. We should continue with the Acts of the Apostles for they resemble our experience as Christ’s disciples. I recommend next the letters of the Apostle Paul, the greatest evangelizer.
We do not read the Bible, we pray the Bible. Prayer is a conversation with God, the Virgin Mary or the saints, and is an implicit recognition of them. The Church recommends that we pray frequently because prayer strengths the recognition of the presence of God, who draws us closer to Him.
“And as well as this, the Spirit too comes to help us in our weakness, for, when we do not know how to pray properly, then the Spirit personally makes our petitions for us in groans that cannot be put into words; and he who can see into all hearts knows what the Spirit means because the prayers that the Spirit makes for God’s holy people are always in accordance with the mind of God.” (Romans 8:26-27)
The Advocate intercedes before the Father and the Son for us and presents to us the messages of the Father and the Son. We should deliberately pay attention to the messages. The Holy Spirit has the nature of the Father and the Son, and communicates with them and us. One of the primary means of communication of the Counselor is the book He wrote, the Bible, through human hand. We pray to God when we read the Bible, and the dialogue flows primarily from Him.
It is critical to know pertinent tips to pray the Bible:
1. Set a prayerful mood of quiet.
2. Pray to the Holy Spirit to open up your mind and heart to the Word of God.
3. Read slowly a passage the Bible. Examine footnotes and commentary about the passage.
4. Reread the passage more slowly and prayerfully. Allow phrases, words or images to resonate with you. The first reading is for the mind and the second is for the heart.
5. Be quiet and let the Word of God continue to resonate in your heart, mind and soul.
6. Thank God for the Word and ask for the Grace to apply it to your life.