Reading the Bible on little time


How does anyone find time to read the Bible when all they do is work, work, work? Especially if you work 10-12 hour days, 7 days a week?

My working schedule has been completely rearranged and my work life follows me home. It’s so hard! How does one make the commitment to read the Bible daily or at least a few days a week?

It’s not fun to unintentionally put work/career over God, and I feel like I’m falling into that trap.

Set aside at least 5 minutes a day to read scripture?


Get “Youversion” and listen to the audio Bible on your way to and from work on your phone.

I don’t know if this is a possible solution for you but I do it every day. If not, get cd’s of different books of the Bible and listen on your way to and from work, or download on any device.


You should look for a job which does not cause you to violate your Catholic belief in a day of mandatory rest. And then use that day for Mass and reading Scripture.


I’m a law student. My new goal is 15 to 20 minutes every evening, no excuses. I’m using the Ignatius Study Bible. I read Scott Hahn’s Ordinary Work, Extraordinary Grace and was struck by his Opus Dei spirituality in this matter. Basically, he said if we build our busy schedules around things important for our spirituality, they tend to get done along with our work. If we try to do the busy schedule and then find some time somewhere for things like reading the Bible, it won’t happen. Generally, 15 minutes can be scheduled no matter how busy we are. :slight_smile:


I read while I eat my breakfast, about ten minutes each day, maybe a few minutes longer if what I am reading is especially good.

I’ve read the Bible cover-to-cover three and a half times in five years by doing this. It has become one of the joys of my life and the day doesn’t seem complete without it.

Your idea is excellent. Eat the elephant one bite at a time. Make scripture a little part of every day. God will give those five minutes back to you in so many ways.



You work 10-12 hours per day, so use some of the other 12-14 hours in the day to read the Bible. I don’t know what your situation is, nor what your goals are with regard to reading Scripture, but I feel confident that if you really want to find time to read the Bible, you’ll find somewhere to carve out that time. If that means staying up an extra 10-20 minutes at night or getting up an extra 10-20 minutes early, why not do that? Do you commute? Audio Bible. You can use an audio bible such as the Truth and Life New Testament or the YouVersion app (which was already mentioned and features both the NABRE and the D-R). I’ve used YouVersion’s reading plans before and I find them helpful.


Up until 2009 I had been a corporate slave. I actually loved my job, and to this day, I miss it. When I was downsized I was crushed, though I must say, that the company had been bought out by a pair of billionaire brothers who changed the culture to one that would be a poster child of what Pope Francis talks about when he speaks of some of the ills of capitalism. So in the end, I was better off in leaving.

Shortly after being downsized, I experienced an organ problem that had me in a bed for almost a month, most of which I was on whopper pain killers, and I could not eat solid food.
That month gave me a great deal of time to think, stare at the ceiling, and ponder life from an entirely different perspective. It was a life changing experience.

Mark 8:36 came into my mind when I read your post. My life has been full of bad choices, but also good choices. I hope you are young and healthy, and this is just a chapter in your life and not the whole book. I too was connected 24/7 to my work. I too chased the dollar, but in the end, this type of thing is not sustainable, you have to know that. I am not telling you to quit, but only think. I know nothing about your circumstances, but I do know that one of the feelings I ALSO had when they let me go was, "What did I really accomplish? What was it all for, WHO was it all for, and in the scheme of things did I throw away a precious part of my life.

It speaks well of you that you came here and asked the question. While you have some good answers, I hope that this will all lead to other important questions, WHY are we here, and WHAT do I hope to accomplish? I hope that it does not take the same crisis for you before you can ask yourself these same questions. Pray for answers and listen.



I’m doing contract work in the environmental/construction industry, which is demanding as corporate can do with you as they please. They might tell me one day to work here and the next day they might change their minds on a whim, telling me to drive 40 miles to another site. I didn’t really take this job because I wanted to but to get some work experience with the college degree I wasted all my money on. Plus, I get paid a high amount, and I am in so much school loan debt…I need to start putting money back in the bank.

The only good thing about working weekends is that I have to work no more than 3 or 4 hours, so I can still make it to Mass.

My spiritual and prayer life is completely fractured though, or maybe I just haven’t gotten used to the job yet. There’s so much stress from jobs like this where you are apparently, responsible for workers’ safety, civilian safety, and making sure no explosions result from toxic chemicals underground.

I am hoping by learning a job like this that I will be able to someday, use my experience for charity work.

So perhaps, I will start with reading scripture 5 minutes a day from my Ignatius NT.


I am sure that there are time pressures which make it difficult to read the Bible.

I have nothing but free time (I’m retired) but I can’t spend every waking moment reading the bible, either.

I am a slow reader. Most of the things I’ve read in my life cannot be read with speed reading. My study of scripture has validated that.

Disclosure: I have no financial interest in what I am about to recommend for you.

I suggest that you buy into the Intervarsity Press Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture… This is structured in the ancient “catena” style (catena = chain). What this is, there’s a few verses of scripture, followed by excerpts from writings of the Early Church Fathers (usually bishops from the first 500 years or so, in Church History).

What this does, is puts you into contact with some verses of scripture, and then there are usually verse-by-verse comments, that help you understand the depth of what scripture is in view.

So, this breaks scripture down to chunks, and then gives what is often some very insightful comments.

The downside of reading the early church fathers is that one of their methods of analysis was “allegory.” This is a type of analysis where someone may look at “sheep and goats” and then say “OH, the sheep are good people and the goats are bad people.” Sometimes this is just too much of a stretch. But, if something like that happens in the book, there are probably a slew of other comments that make more logical sense. The quotations in these books (ACCS has around 27 volumes, altogether) seem TO ME to be very good for casual reading.

Something like this may be very spiritually refreshing for you. I’ll even suggest that you get one of the gospel books, for starters. I don’t think you have to buy into the whole set of books.

In this series of commentaries, you’re looking at what the early church considered about scripture. That’s a good place to search for God.


Are there any other Catholic books that post Catholic/Church Father commentary on scripture? Preferably ones that are cheaper.

Are the commentaries you listed above any similar to the Navarre Bible books? I’ve seen the Navarre Bible books sold at the used bookstore in the past but I never gave them any second thought.

I usually find that just reading through a Bible with no Catholic commentary can be difficult, simply because I’m just reading and not really trying to understand what the passage is saying to me.


As an aside, and for the record lest someone be given a false impression of what the Holy Father actually said and didn’t say: Pope Francis never condemned “capitalism”. What he did condemn was consumerism, which is an entirely different thing.


When I was working, I used to get a half hour for lunch. I would bring my lunch from home and eat it during the first 15 minutes of my lunch break and read my Bible the last 15 minutes. I’m a rather slow reader and I still managed to read the Bible through in a year, just reading it during my lunch breaks at work.


I’ve read the Bible three and a half times this way while eating breakfast.

You eat an elephant a bite at a time. Its the same with the Bible.



if You have enough time to breathe; one can pray, love, and read.

if one does not have have a paper/written copy of the Bible then you can use a bible app ( Eg: like laudate, logos, Daily bible, etc… as many poster have recommended ) or an audio source something resembling a recording or transfer of Sacred Scripture. also don’t forget to pray the prayer included in the start of many bibles. ( there is usually an indulgence attached to the invocation )

God bless


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