Bethanie Ryan recommends Fr. Wilfrid Stinissen, O.C.D.'s guidebook to reading Scripture.
Looking for a short book that is overflowing with wisdom to guide you and encourage you to read the Bible? You need look no further than Fr. Wilfrid Stinissen, O.C.D., The Word is Very Near You.
This was the first book I have ever read by Fr. Stinissen and I assure you it will not be the last. This Carmelite spiritual master has in 140 pages given me enough to contemplate for years. I will likely re-read this book, and I rarely re-read books.
“My wish,” writes Father Wilfrid Stinissen, “is to give some simple advice on how we can draw nearer to God’s Word and let it penetrate us in order that it will bear fruit in our lives.” He fulfills this wish giving the reader a fully accessible guide to the Bible and spirituality. It reminded me of many of the things I learned in grad school, but it is definitely an easy and straightforward read for any non-academic.
Don’t worry about it being flowery, theoretical, or impractical. It definitely is not. He gives very practical advice on how to read the Bible and how to apply it to your life. He helps you to put the Bible in context and understand the relationship between the Old and New Testament.
This book is short enough to be a quick read if you want it to be. Every sentence, however, is rich enough that you can savor this book as long as you’d like. I read it over a weekend the first time. I plan to take much longer with it when I pick it up again.
The Word is Very Near You is a must-read for anyone wanting to explore the Bible more. It will motivate you to pick up your Bible and to read this book again and again to absorb all of the author’s wisdom. If he writes like this in all of his books, I need to buy them all.
Copyright 2021 Bethanie Ryan
Image: Pixabay (2015)
About the Author
Bethanie Ryan is a work-at-home mom with a young son. She received her MA in Pastoral Ministry from Aquinas Institute of Theology. She has been published in Ignitum Today and Patheos. In addition to Catholic Mom, she currently writes for FemCatholic, Taming the Wilds, and Medium. She is a misplaced Missourian in New York.