Is it required to read the Bible to be truly spiritual?

I learned the foundation of being a good Christian from parents and catechism such as moral conscience, virtues, sins, etc. The right and wrong were implanted in my heart. But I don’t read bible, if I read, very seldom. I attend mass but not that regular. I listen to evangelists, both catholic and non-catholic, preaching gospel on televisions.

Is it required to read the bible to become truly spiritual?

Is it better to read the bible and apply what I’ve learned than listening from a number of evangelists?

I am confused so the tendency is I keep doing what I know is right based from common sense, sense of fairness, reasonable behavior accepted by society, and the law of man. Am I on the right track or do I need something to change?

Also, I found the bible difficult to understand thus sometimes difficult to apply. There is also a risk of incorrect interpretation.

You do not read the Bible… and you do not always attend Mass.

If the reason that you are not attending Mass is a serious one (sickness, caring for another, work that you cannot change, distance, etc), then that is all right. If however you are not attending Mass because you prefer to sleep in, because you want to engage in a recreational activity instead, because you want to catch up on some work… Not ok.

We need the graces we receive from the sacraments in order to grow closer to God. If you attend Mass you will hear the Bible, but much more importantly, you will receive the grace needed to grow.

If you have been voluntarily not attending Mass, go to confession and then start going!!! And don’t worry about not reading the Bible.

I would seriously reconsider listening to those televangelists and the like as well. They don’t agree with each other and they are way in disagreement with the Catholic Church.

I agree with the poster above.

Plus I’d like to respond to this part of your post.
*I am confused so the tendency is I keep doing what I know is right based from common sense, sense of fairness, reasonable behavior accepted by society, and the law of man. Am I on the right track or do I need something to change?

Mostly you are OK here except the part about, “reasonable behavior accepted by society, and the law of man”. We are not to measure ouf behavior against changable “societal norms” but against the unchanging perfection of God’s Truth and Will for us.
I’m not sure what you mean by “the Law of Man”, unless you are refering to “civil law” in which case, yes we are to be law abiding citizens. If you mean something else then it could be problematic.

As for reading the Bible. Get up and go to Church on Sunday. God during the week if possible. In fact go as often as you can and you will be fed the entire bible in about three years. Plus you will gain great graces from receiving Our Dear Lord in the Eucharist on a regular basis.
Reading the bible on our own is fine and even encouraged by The Church. The danger I see in your situation is that you are listening to noncatholic evangelists. Depending on how well grounded in the faith you are, this could be dangerous because you will receive incorrect interpretations and may not be able to distinguish.
Before taking on the reading of the Bible, I would suggest getting back to confession and back to Mass at least weekly ditching the noncatholic evangelists and substituting programs from EWTN and **Ave Maria Radio **instead. Do this for a year, and then tackle the Bible.


"Although there has been increased interest in the Bible since the Second Vatican Council, most Catholics are still not “drinking deeply” of the Word of God, says theologian Mary Healy. Healy, an associate professor of sacred Scripture at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit and a senior fellow at the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology is one of the two general editors of Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture (CCSS), a series of 17 volumes of commentary on the books of the New Testament.

She is also the author of the first volume of the series on the Gospel of Mark. An example of her biblical exegesis, The Anointing at Bethany (Mark 14:3-9), follows this intro but I found an interview with her that brought up some very cogent points concerning Catholics and the Bible.

Healy is convinced that we’re on the verge of a biblical renewal in the Catholic Church, and that it will be part of the “new springtime” prophesied by Pope John Paul II. There is a growing recognition that Catholics need to become much more deeply rooted in the Word of God, and that preaching and theology need to be more thoroughly biblical. The world Synod of Bishop on the Word of God, which took place recently, is a sign of what a high priority this is for the Church.

Over the last half century there have been some tremendous advances in biblical scholarship, deepening our knowledge of the world of the Bible — its languages, customs, culture, and historical context. Yet at the same time there have been some missteps and some dead ends. One of them is a widening gap between exegesis and faith, due to the drastically mistaken idea that if we want to interpret the Bible objectively, we have to leave our faith at the door and read it like any ancient document.

There has also been a neglect of tradition: the great heritage of biblical interpretation by church fathers, saints and scholars who have prayed and studied the Bible and experienced its power over the last two millennia. We have lost sight of how to read Scripture as they did — as a living word from the heart of God.

There is a delight in studying Scripture and experiencing our “hearts burning within [us],” like the disciples who walked with Jesus on the road to Emmaus."

More here:

And more reasons for reading the Bible can be found in this reflection by Rabbi David Wolpe:

"When in pain, we tighten up like a fist. It is easy to push others away — after all, they are not feeling the pain — and to turn increasingly inward. Only I matter; only my pain is real. The Psalm urged me to expand, allowing me to embrace others, to understand that pain need not always be private, unshared. Open up, the Psalmist taught; both in heaven and on earth you are not alone.

The Psalmist also connected my pain to the human community throughout the ages. Thousands of years ago a poet gave words to what was deep within me. A hand reached across the generations to take my own. That, too, seemed like more than just a human gift; it was a gift from God."

Learn to cultivate that gift from God. Do it NOW so you can use it later.

More from Rabbi Wolpe here:


Ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ.


But be cautious for reading of Scripture without proper guidance and disposition can lead to grave error. That is why I and “St Francis” both advised the OP to get to confession and to mass and communion regularly before tackling Scripture on his own.


One is urged to read the Bible…

just get a good commentary like the Navarre or Ignatius or the “Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture” to help you …of course the Catechism

Catechism of the Catholic Church

133 The Church "forcefully and specifically exhorts all the Christian faithful. . . to learn the surpassing knowledge of Jesus Christ, by frequent reading of the divine Scriptures. Ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ.

Pope Benedict XVI Audience Oct 28 2009

…is also important to set aside a certain period each day for meditation on the Bible, so that the word of God may be a light that illumines our daily pilgrimage on earth.

Pope Benedict XVI Address to Synod of Bishops Oct 6 2008

Furthermore, the Word of God is the foundation of everything, it is the true reality. And to be realistic, we must rely upon this reality. We must change our idea that matter, solid things, things we can touch, are the more solid, the more certain reality. At the end of the Sermon on the Mount the Lord speaks to us about the two possible foundations for building the house of one’s life: sand and rock. The one who builds on sand builds only on visible and tangible things, on success, on career, on money. Apparently these are the true realities. But all this one day will pass away. We can see this now with the fall of large banks: this money disappears, it is nothing. And thus all things, which seem to be the true realities we can count on, are only realities of a secondary order. The one who builds his life on these realities, on matter, on success, on appearances, builds upon sand. Only the Word of God is the foundation of all reality, it is as stable as the heavens and more than the heavens, it is reality. Therefore, we must change our concept of realism. The realist is the one who recognizes the Word of God, in this apparently weak reality, as the foundation of all things. Realist is the one who builds his life on this foundation, which is permanent….

……exegesis, the true reading of Holy Scripture, is not only a literary phenomenon, not only reading a text. It is the movement of my existence. It is moving towards the Word of God in the human words. Only by conforming ourselves to the Mystery of God, to the Lord who is the Word, can we enter within the Word, can we truly find the Word of God in human words. Let us pray to the Lord that he may help us search the word, not only with our intellect but also with our entire existence.

Pope Benedict XVI Weds Audience Nov 15th 2007 ( Regarding St. Jerome 4th Cent)

Truly “in love” with the Word of God, he asked himself: “How could one live without the knowledge of Scripture, through which one learns to know Christ himself, who is the life of believers?” (Ep. 30, 7). The Bible, an instrument “by which God speaks every day to the faithful” (Ep. 133, 13), thus becomes a stimulus and source of Christian life for all situations and for each person. To read Scripture is to converse with God: “If you pray”, he writes to a young Roman noblewoman, “you speak with the Spouse; if you read, it is he who speaks to you” (Ep. 22, 25). The study of and meditation on Scripture renders man wise and serene (cf. In Eph., Prol.). Certainly, to penetrate the Word of God ever more profoundly, a constant and progressive application is needed. Hence, Jerome recommends to the priest Nepotian: “Read the divine Scriptures frequently; rather, may your hands never set the Holy Book down. Learn here what you must teach” (Ep. 52, 7). To the Roman matron Leta he gave this counsel for the Christian education of her daughter: “Ensure that each day she studies some Scripture passage… After prayer, reading should follow, and after reading, prayer… Instead of jewels and silk clothing, may she love the divine Books” (Ep. 107, 9, 12). Through meditation on and knowledge of the Scriptures, one “maintains the equilibrium of the soul” (Ad Eph., Prol.). Only a profound spirit of prayer and the Holy Spirit’s help can introduce us to understanding the Bible: “In the interpretation of Sacred Scripture we always need the help of the Holy Spirit” (In Mich. 1, 1, 10, 15).

A passionate love for Scripture therefore pervaded Jerome’s whole life, a love that he always sought to deepen in the faithful, too. He recommends to one of his spiritual daughters: “Love Sacred Scripture and wisdom will love you; love it tenderly, and it will protect you; honour it and you will receive its caresses. May it be for you as your necklaces and your earrings” (Ep. 130, 20). And again: “Love the science of Scripture, and you will not love the vices of the flesh” (Ep. 125, 11).

For Jerome, a fundamental criterion of the method for interpreting the Scriptures was harmony with the Church’s Magisterium. We should never read Scripture alone because we meet too many closed doors and could easily slip into error. The Bible has been written by the People of God and for the People of God under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Only in this communion with the People of God do we truly enter into the “we”, into the nucleus of the truth that God himself wants to tell us. For him, an authentic interpretation of the Bible must always be in harmonious accord with the faith of the Catholic Church. It is not a question of an exegesis imposed on this Book from without; the Book is really the voice of the pilgrim People of God and only in the faith of this People are we “correctly attuned” to understand Sacred Scripture. Therefore, Jerome admonishes: “Remain firmly attached to the traditional doctrine that you have been taught, so that you can preach according to right doctrine and refute those who contradict it” (Ep. 52, 7). In particular, given that Jesus Christ founded his Church on Peter, every Christian, he concludes, must be in communion “with St Peter’s See. I know that on this rock the Church is built” (Ep. 15, 2). Consequently, without equivocation, he declared: “I am with whoever is united to the teaching of St Peter” (Ep. 16).

Some Quotes from Pope Benedict XVI on Lectio Divina

“Note what Saint Jerome said in this regard: “Ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ” (PL 24,17; cf Dei Verbum, 25). A time-honoured way to study and savour the word of God is lectio divina which constitutes a real and veritable spiritual journey marked out in stages. After the lectio, which consists of reading and rereading a passage from Sacred Scripture and taking in the main elements, we proceed to meditatio. This is a moment of interior reflection in which the soul turns to God and tries to understand what his word is saying to us today. Then comes oratio in which we linger to talk with God directly. Finally we come to contemplatio. This helps us to keep our hearts attentive to the presence of Christ whose word is “a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts” (2 Pet 1:19). Reading, study and meditation of the Word should then flow into a life of consistent fidelity to Christ and his teachings.”
(Message to the Youth of World Youth Day 9 April 2006)

“Among the many fruits of this biblical springtime I would like to mention the spread of the ancient practice of Lectio divina or “spiritual reading” of Sacred Scripture. It consists in pouring over a biblical text for some time, reading it and rereading it, as it were, “ruminating” on it as the Fathers say and squeezing from it, so to speak, all its “juice”, so that it may nourish meditation and contemplation and, like water, succeed in irrigating life itself.

One condition for Lectio divina is that the mind and heart be illumined by the Holy Spirit, that is, by the same Spirit who inspired the Scriptures, and that they be approached with an attitude of “reverential hearing”.” Angelus Nov 6 2005

you don’t have to “become” spiritual you were created a spiritual being in a physical body, both of which are used in the fullness of our gifts to come into right relationship with God. Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Jesus Christ. The goal of all catechesis, study, obedience and works is coming to know Christ. No we cannot do this without aquiring, by personal reading and study or instruction through the Church (not independent self-appointed “evangelists”) on the Word of God.

One is not required to read the Bible at all. But if you attend Mass every Sunday, you are reading the Bible when you hear the three readings. And if you want to increase your spirituality, an increase of reading the word of the Lord must certainly help.

Alitaptap, Christ, in His infinite mercy, left us the Gift of the Church and the Mass. These incomparable treasures are for our benefit, not God’s. In Hebrews 10:25, the Apostle St. Paul says that we should not forsake gathering together as some are in the habit of doing (seems like this was a problem right from the get-go!), but to encourage one another. You simply will not get the same level of spiritual edification from a TV that you would get from face-to-face human interaction. If you are physically able to attend Mass, then by all means, please do so. TV makes a poor substitute for the companionship of your fellow Catholics. Something else to consider: most televangelists are Protestant, and have biblical interpretations that are incompatible with Catholicism. Not to mention that many hold controversial views about the CC, as well. You would be doing yourself an immense favor in avoiding these altogether.

I’m sorry to hear that you don’t read the Bible. Nothing compares with reading the Holy Scriptures for yourself; it too is the one the Great Gifts that God has bequeathed us.
Do you feel intimidated because the Word of God is so immense? That can happen sometimes to the best of us. However, you shouldn’t fear reading the Bible. There are Catholic Bible Studies out there; these are designed for just this very purpose. Try to avail yourself of one if possible. Ask your parish priest for help in finding a group study, or try one of the numerous online Catholic Bible Studies. Here’s a good one to get you started:

Take advantage of the Mass and the Bible, and do not deprive yourself of the companionship of your fellow believers. These were designed to bring us closer to God…and to each other.

I will follow all your suggestions to enhance my spiritual life. Thanks. :thumbsup:

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