“Once you have read a book you care about, some part of it is always with you.”
My mom impressed on her boys, when we were quite young, the importance of reading. She knew that reading would open our minds and let our imaginations soar. She was right. Not only did they open our minds to all sorts of possibilities and helped us to imagine in all sorts of creative kinds of ways, the books also stayed with us.
I remember some of my very first books. Yes, they were very basic; but, Clifford, the Big Red Dog, The Cat in the Hat, and all sorts of other characters energized me. I remember how I felt when I read them. I remember doodling in the books. I remember looking forward to reading even more. When I was in grade school, the Scholastic Book Club was a reward for me. If I was good and did my chores, my mom would allow me to buy books to read.
My love of reading remains to this day. I generally read a novel a week, more than that if the books are short. As I read, my imagination still gets sparked and I still look forward to discovering new authors that will speak to me. I see their characters in my mind and the places where they play central roles.
It is the same with scripture. My love for the Lord has grown through the years as I have read the Bible and tried to place myself in the shoes of prophets, judges, kings, disciples, and apostles. Admittedly, I have had to use my imagination for many years because all I could do was read about their exploits. When I had an opportunity to go to the Holy Land for the first time, the scriptures exploded in my mind. I no longer had to imagine what a place looked like. I now knew.
When I read scripture now, I can see the places of the Bible that I have visited and the text takes on even more meaning to me. The text becomes even more real. Jesus becomes more real. I agree wholeheartedly with
Perhaps viewing images of the Holy Land would help someone read the Bible. There are all sorts of shows available online (YouTube, Vimeo, and other internet sites) that can help us “see” the Holy Land and place the different sites in context in our minds. Then, when we hear the scriptures read to us at Mass or when we take the time to read it on our own, we will be able to take pieces of it home with us.
God has given us a wonderful tool — the Bible — to be used as a means to get to know Him and His Son better. We will remain distant if we do not take the opportunity to read the rich heritage of our faith.
FAITH ACTION: Do your best to read from the Bible — as well as other books on spirituality and the faith — on a regular basis.