Catholics have a richly different way of hearing the Word of God. God's Word is for everyone, not just for educated individuals. We see this regularly at Mass, where the Word is read to us as an assembled body, including people who cannot read or write.
Our God speaks to us, and we can reply - and be sure of a hearing. Listening to the Word together, we become a strong community, which grows by celebrating the Sacraments and constant prayer.
The Canon of Sacred Scripture (Catechism 120)
The Pentateuch (the Torah)
Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy
The historical books
Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 and 2 Samuel, 1 and 2 Kings, 1 and 2 Chronicles, Ezra and Nehemiah, 1 and 2 Maccabees
Tobit, Judith, Esther, Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, the Wisdom of Solomon, Sirach (Ecclesiasticus), the Song of Songs
Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Baruch, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zachariah and Malachi
Matthew, Mark, Luke and John
The later history
the Acts of the Apostles
The letters of S. Paul
Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 and 2 Thessalonians, 1 and 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon, the Letter to the Hebrews
The letters of the Apostles
the Letters of James, 1 and 2 Peter, 1, 2 and 3 John, and Jude
Revelation (the Apocalypse)
- The Holy Bible online (NAB)
- The Conference of Bishops dedicated event page
- How to do lectio divina
- Biblia Clerus, an online programme from the Congregation for Clergy that provides Scripture alongside commentaries based on Sacred Tradition and the teachings of the Magisterium.
- S. Paul's Centre for Biblical theology, a non-profit research and educational institute that promotes life-transforming Scripture study in the Catholic tradition.
The Church is built on the groundworks of Scripture; we listen to what our God is saying to us before we take action. Such listening may be achieved by a few companions who gather regularly to hear the Gospel of the upcoming Sunday Mass and share their prayerful responses to it. The Seven Steps are a good tried and tested way of doing this. A network of Seven Steps groups is growing across the Diocese. More information will be provided about this presently.
The Seven Steps
- Invite. Remembering that the Risen Lord is present with the group, somebody present invites Jesus in a prayer and welcomes him.
- Read. Everybody opens their Bibles to the arranged place and somebody present reads to the group.
- View with wonder. The group picks out words or short phrases, reads them aloud prayerfully and repeates them three times, silence being preserved after each repetition. The texts are then reread aloud by somebody present from a different version of the texts.
- Listen. Silence is maintained for five minutes, to allow God to speak to the group.
- Share. The group members now share, without discussion, which word has touched them personally. The group may decide together which word may be chosen as their Word of Life for the coming week.
- Plan for action. The group discusses what task they may be called to do in their neighbourhood, or parish.
- Pray. Anybody present who would like to may pray spontaneously. The group ends with a prayer or a hymn known to all.
Regional representatives for the Seven Steps:
- Derbyshire: the Rev. Mr. Richard Walsh
- Leicestershire: the Rev. Mr. Seamus O'Looskan
- Lincolnshire: the Rev. Mr. Warren Peachey
- Nottinghamshire: the Rev. Mr. Anthony Cordes
"The Church has always venerated the divine Scriptures just as she venerates the body of the Lord, since, especially in the sacred liturgy, she unceasingly receives and offers to the faithful the bread of life from the table both of God's word and of Christ's body. She has always maintained them, and continues to do so, together with sacred tradition, as the supreme rule of faith, since, as inspired by God and committed once and for all to writing, they impart the word of God Himself without change, and make the voice of the Holy Spirit resound in the words of the prophets and Apostles. Therefore, like the Christian religion itself, all the preaching of the Church must be nourished and regulated by Sacred Scripture. For in the sacred books, the Father who is in heaven meets His children with great love and speaks with them; and the force and power in the word of God is so great that it stands as the support and energy of the Church, the strength of faith for her sons, the food of the soul, the pure and everlasting source of spiritual life."
- Dogmatic constitution on Divine Revelation, Dei Verbum, paragraph 21.