Rorate Caeli

A year-long cycle for Lectio Divina according to the Classical Roman liturgy

Don Paco of Ite ad Thomam has compiled and posted his own plan for reading all of Scripture in one year, broadly following the annual cycle of the ancient Divine Office of the Roman Rite. As he explains:

Now, since what I want to do is read all of Scripture (yes, I am rather obsessive about continuity and completeness), I have decided to follow the order prescribed in the Breviary only in broad outline. So rather than reading exactly that which is prescribed in the Divine Office, I am going to read every book of the Bible at the time in which the Divine Office prescribes selections from that book. Also, in order to cover all of the books that the Divine Office does not prescribe, I will follow our friend Paul's advice, to read "Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Josue, and Judges from Septuagesima through the IV Week of Lent, one per week. Add Ruth to September, and Paralipomenon and Esdras to the weeks of Pentecost, after Kings. Canticles can go with the other Wisdom books, in August, and Baruch with Ezechiel and Daniel, in November. You could read the Psalms each day, repeating them twice in the year, or read half during the Easter Octave and half during the Octave of Pentecost. Or read two Gospels each week, or read a portion throughout the year."
Advent is about half-way through but it shouldn't be too late for anyone who would like to (at least partly) follow this plan for lectio to start now.

I invite our readers to comment as well on Bible-reading and lectio divina from a Traditional Catholic perspective.

Photo: St. Catherine of Alexandria by Onorio Marinari. Source.


Gregorio Muratore said...

Scusate, scrivo in lingua italiana perché no conosco bene l'inglese.

Domanda: conoscete un metodo per leggere tutta la Bibbia in un anno, ma che sia adatto al Novus Ordo? Forse un Lezionario Biblico del Ufficio delle Letture?

ChrisG said...

A. To the faithful who read the books of Sacred Scripture for at least a quarter of an hour, with the great reverence due to the divine word and after the manner of spiritual reading:
an indulgence of three years is granted.
B. To the faithful who piously read at least some verses of the Gospel and in addition, while kissing the Gospel Book, devoutly recite one of the following invocations: “May our sins be blotted out by virtue of the words of the Gospel,” “May the reading of the Gosepl be our savlation and protection,” “May Christ teach us the words of the Holy Gospel”:
an indulgence of 500 days is granted;
a plenary indulgence is granted, under the usual conditions, to those who daily for a whole month act in the same way indicated above;
a plenary indulgence is granted at the hour of death to those who have often during life performed this pious exercise, as long as, having confessed and received Communion, or at least having sorrow for their sins, they invoke the most holy name of Jesus on their lips, if possible, or at least in their hearts, and accept death from the hand of God as the price of sin.

Post-reform of indulgences- which I no more accept than liturgical reform

READING OF SACRED SCRIPTURE. While a partial indulgence is granted to those who read from Sacred Scripture with the veneration which the divine word is due, a PLENARY INDULGENCE is granted to those who read for at least one half an hour.

Clare Mulligan said...

It would not be possible to go through all of Scripture using the method of lectio divina. This kind of prayer savors scripture -- sometimes even one word at a time. Not all reading of Scripture is lectio divina.

Daniel Arseneault said...

Just wondering, why don't you "accept" post-reform indulgences?

shane said...

For those wanting simple traditional guides to the Old Testament, you may find the Old Testament series in my collection of help. (Just click on covers to read in PDF.) This and this may also be of relevance.

Augustinus said...

"This kind of prayer savors scripture -- sometimes even one word at a time. Not all reading of Scripture is lectio divina."

Indeed, and not all lectio divina consists in savoring Scripture word for word. One method also frequently practiced was / is that of stopping for a very short time after each verse to say a short prayer, before going on to the next verse. So, of 30 minutes devoted to lectio divina (for example), 15 would be devoted to reading, and 15 to short prayers and aspirations or to moments of meditation.

Kate Edwards said...

The modern (and modernist) idea that lectio divina doesn't require intellectual effort, merely savouring the odd word or two should be discarded forthwith!

Just reading is fine if you have a good theological formation already, but most people will need some help to read Scripture, such as from a good traditional commentary.

Lectio divina can (and indeed should) involve substantial intellectual engagement with the text - those monks acquired huge libraries of patrsitic and other texts for a reason!

Dom Delatte's magisterial commentary on the Benedictine Rule recommends the following stages of the process:read, think, study, meditate, pray, contemplate, work.

And Pope Benedict XVI reiterated the same point in his post-Synodal Exhortation on Scripture:

Daniel Arseneault said...


The idea that one needs a theological background to understand Scripture has discouraged generations of Catholics from becoming acquainted with Scripture. While Scripture can be difficult to understand, much of it is readily accessible to a properly Catechized adult without a commentary. The full meaning may not always be grasped, but there is a wealth of spiritual benefit available to anyone who takes the time to read.

There's no doubt that reading scripture can lead to private interpretation and heterodoxy. But if Catholics ignore Scripture, they ignore their Faith, which is no better.

Daniel Arseneault said...

Here is an anecdote which occurred this morning. I was motivated by this post to take up reading the entire Bible, so I started in Isaias. In chapter XII, I came across this verse:

Et egredietur virga de radice Jesse,
et flos de radice ejus ascendet.
Et requiescet super eum spiritus Domini:
spiritus sapientiae et intellectus,
spiritus consilii et fortitudinis,
spiritus scientiae et pietatis,
et replebit eum spritus timoris Domini

I had always assumed that the gifts of the Holy Spirit were formulated by medieval theologians or something, not that they actually appeared textually in Scripture. Imagine my surprise when I saw all seven of them there together in the Old Testament. Fortunately, I was reading a traditional version of Scripture (you don't get any more traditional than the Clementine Vulgate). All the modern translations I checked don't use the traditional terms I was acquainted with (sagesse, intelligence, conseil, fortitude, science, piété et crainte de Dieu).

My point: Knowledge of Scripture is necessary to know the Faith, and proper Catechesis is all that is needed to read Scripture.

Kate Edwards said...

Reading Scripture outside of the context of Tradition is what gave us protestantism.

If you are well catechized, you will certainly get something out of it without much more by way of aid, but hwo many today are truly well catechized?

On the one hand ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ; but on the other, the Bible has to be viewed as a book that can only be properly understood in the light of tradition.

Certainly those who developed and practised the lectio divina tradition assumed much more than just reading Scripture and hoping for inspiration from the Holy Ghost.

It doesn't really take much to add a simple commentary into the mix: for the Gospels, use the Catena Aurea, explicitly translated in the hope that families would use it by Blessed Cardinal Newman. For the rest Bishop Knecht's A Practical Commentary provides a straightforward introduction pointing to key typologies etc. For the more advanced, De Lapide is a good choice.

Tony said...

"Post-reform of indulgences- which I no more accept than liturgical reform"

Why would you not accept any indulgence granted by Holy Church? Is it that important to you that you "know" that a partial indulgence is worth 500 days or seven years? You don't even know what that means.