Friday, November 6, 2009

Catholic Prayer Bible: Lectio Divina Edition

Paulist Press will be publishing in January an edition of the NRSV called The Catholic Prayer Bible: Lectio Divina Edition. At this point, I have not been able to find out too much about it, other than it comes in hardcover and paperback editions, with a size of 6 1/8 x 8 3/8". I also found a description of the title, which talks more about Lectio Divina instead of what is in the Bible itself:

Like no other Bible. As Pope Benedict XVI reminds us: "I would like in particular to recall and recommend the ancient tradition of Lectio divina: the diligent reading of Sacred Scripture accompanied by prayer brings about that intimate dialogue in which the person reading hears God who is speaking, and in praying, responds to him with trusting openness of heart (cf. Dei Verbun, n. 25). If it is effectively promoted, this practice will bring to the Church - I am convinced of it - a new spiritual springtime."
An ideal Bible for anyone who desires to reflect on the individual stories and chapters of just one, or even all, of the biblical books, while being led to prayer through meditation on that biblical passage. Lectio divina, the reflective reading of scripture, has long been a popular devotional practice in the Church from the earliest of centuries. It consists of four steps: 1) Read: A slow and thoughtful reading of a passage from the Bible. 2) Reflect: A time of reflection and thinking about the meaning of that text to me as the reader. 3) Pray: A period of prayer to God to bring the message or wisdom of the text to fruit in myself. 4) Act: A decision on what I should do as a result; that is, an action plan to change or improve my life
Lectio divina is simple enough to be done any place where there is some quiet or peace, and at any time of day when you can find a few minutes. It can last for as long or sort as you wish to make it; you can spend three minutes or fifteen. And it is intended for everyone, for you -not just for those people you may think of as elite in some way: priests and religious, the very educated, or the very pious. Everyone - including you as you are right now - can find pleasure and spiritual enrichment in Lectio divina.
This Bible, which is like no other, invites readers, whether individually or in groups, to read the Bible more completely and prayerfully. It is the perfect way to give the gift of prayer to yourself and to those you love. 2,500 pages.
Well, thanks for the short lesson on Lectio Divina, but what about the Bible itself? In addition, I have always thought that the classic 4 steps of Lectio Divina were: 1) Lectio, 2) Meditatio, 3) Oratio, 4) Contemplatio. Sometimes I see another step added at the end, known as actio, which encourages the person to make some sort of commitment or to follow through on a decided path. But actio is not a part of the classic formulation. Or is it? Hmm....


Kevin Sam said...

I've been trying a little Lectio Divina in my bible studies. I wonder how this bible guides the reader/user through it?

John said...

Thank you for the information. I think your post has created two new buyers of the book. A friend and I both have it on our shopping lists.

I am glad I found this blog.

Timothy said...


Thanks for stopping by. Please make sure to let me know what you think of it, when you receive it in January. I always appreciate my readers comments.

Daesy71 said...

I also think this is a Bible that I would like to purchase, but,I need a larger font and this is not mentioned, on any sites, for any of the newer Bibles. I purchased the ESV and NLT within the last year and both are hard on my eyes and I don't really enjoy reading them for that, they don't have the Apocrypha. Personally, I don't care for the NAB and use NRSV a lot, as, that is what is used in our Churches in Canada.

Ann (Convert from Canada)

Timothy said...


thanks for the comment. Yes I would definitely see how this NRSV edition would be attractive for you to purchase, particularly being up in Canada. I just wish they would give a little more info on it or some sample pages. Well, I guess we will have to stay tuned.

rolf said...

Harper Catholic Bibles has an NRSV, XL Catholic Edition (which uses size 12 font) and is very easy to read. It is a reader's edition with no maps, etc. Most large print Bibles come in this sort of format. This Bible is available at local bookstores such as Borders and Barnes and Noble.

Daesy71 said...

Ann said
Thank you Rolf. You are just one smart fellow, as, that is the one I use. I bought this version (very bare bones, though), the Christmas of 2007.

Jonathan said...

Ann: Cambridge has a 4-volume Giant Print (18-point) NRSV - no Apocrypha though:

Gordon said...

You can find specimen pages from the lectio divina bible (Catholic Prayer Bible)on the website
I came across it browsing Claretian website for Christian Community Bible info.
I have not found a distributor for the lectio divina bible - Amazon have not any copies in stock yet.

Doreen said...

You can find the NRSV Catholic Prayer Bible on
They also let you see inside it.
I wish the print was a bit bigger... otherwise it seems good.

Gordon said...

Thanks for the information Doreen. I guess you were referring to the print size of the lectio comments as the font size of the bible text is of course quite large.
I bought a copy through Amazon at a very reasonable price and I think the book has been nicely done though NRSV is not my favourite translation and, as it acknowledges, it can only point towards lectio divina, which is something ultimately we have to do "ourselves" with the help of the Holy Spirit.