It’s been nearly ten years since God knocked me over the head. Back then, I believed in God, called myself a Christian, was “good enough,” and was definitely better than the pagans next door (ever felt that way?). Only through God’s infinite grace, the witness of family, and reading books placed in my hands through Providence did God begin to show me my sinfulness and the reality of His existence, love, and forgiveness.
2008 was my year of discovering God (two years later would come my year of discovering Catholicism). As a good Protestant, one of the ways God chose to reveal Himself and His Will for me was through daily reading of scripture. At first it was a chapter a day, but this soon morphed into stuffing my day with as much scripture reading as it could hold. I drank scripture whenever I could, memorizing it so I could savor the taste all day long.
I was faithful to my Bible and God spoke to me through its words. He challenged me to toss the culture’s notions of marriage and learn to love and respect my husband. He showed me how very far I had to go, but provided the hope I needed to persevere.
After coming home to the Catholic Church in 2011, I felt awkward with my Bible. In years past I had felt so certain that God was speaking to me when I read, but I was uncertain of how to read scripture under the authority of the Catholic Church. (Apparently, I’m not the only one who has this problem!)
I’ve continued reading my Bible, but I haven’t been as faithful to daily reading, nor have I been diving very deep when I read. I spend time with God daily, but it is often in spiritual books or the Liturgy of the Hours. Husband used to come to me and ask me about Biblical details, but now my scriptural knowledge is getting rusty and I’m the one who comes to him. 2016 was my year of “Rocking the Liturgical Year,” but this year, I feel God calling me to drink deep of His Word.
Back when I was a Protestant, I challenged myself to read the Bible in a year. I came out of that year changed. At the turn of this new year, I am taking up the charge again, reading all 73 books of the Catholic Bible during the 365 days. I’ve even made a daily reading checklist for myself that I’m sharing with you in case you want to take up the challenge yourself.
What’s the point of reading the Catholic Bible in a Year?
There is a time for reading the Bible slow, prayerfully soaking in every word, but there is something to be said for a marathon reading of the Bible. There were many fruits and blessings of the year I took the Bible as my companion. I came out of that year with a knowledge of salvation history’s scope and the timing and beauty of the Incarnation, among other things.
Is this a Catholic thing to do?
By golly! Who ever told Catholics that the Bible is a Protestant thing? The Bible was birthed by none other than the CATHOLIC Church. It is the Magisterium’s gift to the faithful! Let us reclaim this gem!
If we want to dialogue with our Protestant brothers and sisters, we must have an intimate knowledge of God’s Holy Book!
Is reading the Catholic Bible in a Year going to be hard?
This is not an easy task. The Bible has over 1300 chapters, and dare I say that the Bible can at times be confusing, dry, and even boring (gasp!)? All those begats and all those rules of the Old Testament can really drive a theological dimwit like me crazy!
Working out consistently isn’t easy either, but is it unquestionably good for us? Yes! So it is with the daily habit of scripture reading.
There are days where you will think you are crazy for taking on this challenge, but remain faithful, push through! God can and WILL speak to you! You may not hear His voice every day, but it is impossible to immerse yourself in His Word on a consistent daily basis and not be blessed and changed.
How long is the Catholic Bible in a Year going to take on a daily basis?
Reading the Bible in a year is no joke. It is going to take commitment and work on your part. Most days you will be able to complete the readings in 30 minutes. Some days will be less, some days will be more. I’ve set up the checklist for 360 days (not the traditional 365 days) so you can miss a few days and still be on track to complete the entire Bible in a year.
I’ll let you in on a little secret. I’m nervous about this goal of mine. I don’t really know how it is going to fit into my daily life as mom, but I know it needs to. It’s okay to be intimidated. We must remember it isn’t about perfection but faithfulness.
How are the Catholic Bible in a Year readings set up?
I did my best to spread the readings out evenly over the year, but some days are quite a bit heavier than others.
The daily readings are divided into three categories: Old Testament, Wisdom Books (part of the Old Testament), and New Testament. Instead of breaking up chapters, you will be reading entire chapters. (I was waaaay too lazy to break it down verse by verse!)
There are only 260 books in the New Testament, so you will complete your New Testament readings within 260 days. There are only 313 chapters in the Wisdom books (again, you will finish these readings early). There are 761 chapters in the Old Testament after subtracting the Wisdom books, so you will need to read 2 chapters of these a day.
There will be less and less reading as your year progresses, which, hopefully, takes advantage of our natural inclination to start strong.
Any other tips for completing the Catholic Bible in a Year Challenge?
- Set aside a time for your reading every.day. Schedule it!
- Get a buddy! (Husband will be accountability partner, though he himself will not be doing the challenge.)
- Get a Bible you love! (I personally use and love the Catholic RSV Bible)
- Just keep chugging! (faithfulness!)
- Create a Scripture/prayer Corner (set aside a special place to do your reading everyday)
You are going to want to quit. Just keep going! You will be so grateful to your time in God’s Word when the year is gone!
The Catholic Bible in a Year Printable
Here is the printable checklist if you are up for the challenge!
My Personal Plan of Attack
While refreshing my routines and our family schedule lately, I took time to schedule in my Bible reading time every morning between 6:15- 7 am. The hardest part in our home is waking up earlier than the children (who are known to rise as early as 5:45 am). Husband and I have talked this problem over and gotten advice from some friends.
Instead of allowing the children to come downstairs and begin fixing themselves breakfast whenever they wake up, we will require them to stay in their rooms until 6:45 ish (the exact time hasn’t been determined). Jim, our oldest, and the only one able to read clocks will get the other children up at that specified time.
Hopefully, this new tactic will allow Husband and me to have some uninterrupted quiet time with the Lord and His Word on a consistent daily basis. I imagine there will be a learning curve, but know that the new habit will eventually stick if we persevere.
I’d love to know if you are up for the Bible in 360 Challenge! Leave a comment.
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