SummaryAmanda Evinger, homeschooling mother and author, shares tips on how to integrate the Scriptures and a love for God’s Word into your homeschooling journey.
Being raised Calvinist, I was taught that one’s Christian journey should focus almost entirely on studying the Bible, and trying to live out what you’ve gathered into your daily life.
I was also taught the Catholic Church deterred its people from reading the Bible, and even distorted the meaning of Sacred Scripture to promote its evil agendas.
Naturally, you can assume the wave of pleasant shock that came over me when I attended my first Easter Vigil. I was astonished as all seven readings were delivered so beautifully during the Vigil, and sat in awe as every lie I had heard about Catholicism’s relationship with the Holy Bible was shot down.
How could one possibly claim that Catholics don’t read the Bible, when the Easter Vigil — the height of the Catholic liturgical experience — features the reading of seven poignant passages of Scripture, and brings to light the heart of the Gospels in the Sacrifice of the Mass? Yes, Catholics do read the Bible, and passionately at that, I found.
One only has to visit a monastery or witness a priest pouring over the Liturgy of the Hours (of which five offices daily he is required to pray by Canon Law) to know that the praying of Scripture lies at the very heart of the life of Mother Church.
As the Catechism of the Catholic Church states (CCC, #104), “In Sacred Scripture, the Church constantly finds her nourishment and her strength, for she welcomes it not as a human word, ‘but as what it really is, the word of God’. In the sacred books, the Father who is in heaven comes lovingly to meet his children, and talks with them.”
As the sheep of God’s pasture, discovering the voice of the Shepherd in the Scriptures is immensely helpful, especially as homeschooling are parents bombarded with one decision after another. As the Catechism continues, “God is the author of Sacred Scripture. ‘The divinely revealed realities, which are contained and presented in the text of Sacred Scripture, have been written down under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit,'” (CCC, #105).
Reflecting on these truths, we may consider how we spend our time in spiritual reading. When we get the chance, why not enjoy reading something written by God Himself? And, as homeschooling families, how does reading Scripture fit into our day?
Is it at the heart of our spiritual journey? Do we feed on it and hunger for it, even more than we do for a trip to Pizza Hut? Do we turn to it for strength when keeping up with homeschooling feels like arduously climbing Mt. Everest? Do our children see it as a close friend, always waiting to take their little hearts on a journey packed with adventures?
Here are a few ways to integrate a love for God’s Word into your homeschooling regime:
- Praying an office of the Liturgy of the Hours together as a family
- Playing a Bible Trivia game
- When your children are upset or in need of guidance, read the Scriptures prayerfully with them
- Posting your favorite Scriptures around your home
- Have your children memorize Scriptures for rewards
- Practice Lectio Divina (meditative reflection and discussion on Scripture) with your children — they aren’t too young!
- Watch The Great Adventure Catholic Bible Study DVD’s by Jeff Cavins
I can’t help but put in a good word for my favorite copies of the Holy Bible. One is the Children’s Bible sold by Seton Educational Media. I’ve turned through a ridiculous number of children’s Bibles, and often find myself disenchanted with the way Jesus is portrayed — instead of as a divine king, more like a wishy-washy peace-seeker recovering from a weekend at Woodstock!
My children also love the illustrated four-book Bible story set published by Ignatius Press. They are in a vibrantly colored comic-style, yet maintain religious reverence and proper theological views. They are super kid-friendly, but not dumbed-down. Isn’t that the goal?
And for those of us who want to pass on a more traditional Catholic spirituality to our children, the Douay-Rheims First Holy Communion Bible is a serious gem! It is hardbound and gold-embossed, and includes beautiful sacred images, child-friendly stories on the lives of young saints, daily Catholic prayers, and explanations of the Seven Sacraments and the Mass. As a Mom, I feel incredibly peaceful knowing it will inspire an authentic awe of Catholicism in the most impressionable hearts of my children.
As St. Jerome once said, “Ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ.” Let’s resolve not to be ignorant of this marvelous tool of faith at our fingertips.
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