20 Quotes from Praying the Bible by Mariano Magrassi

praying the bible mariano magrassiI recently finished reading Praying the Bible by Mariano Magrassi. It was incredible, and I plan to do a full review on it in the future. For now enjoy these twenty quotes that stuck out to me:

Vital hearing requires loving, calm, reflective, personal poring over the text. -p. 6

The lectio sacra is the natural complement of ecclesial proclamation. There the soul digs deeper and deeper into the riches of an inexhaustible text. There it is surprised by those inner and often unexpected flashes that shed new light on the message. At last we perceive the true meaning of a text we have heard a thousand times before–a meaning that can nourish and direct an entire life. -p. 7

If we speak to God in prayer, it is because God already speaks to us first in reading. -p. 16

Lectio divina is prayed reading. -p. 18

Inspiration is not just something that acted once on the sacred writers, resulting in the inspired texts. It is an ongoing and ever-present influence at work within the Books themselves, which are and remain inspired. The presence of the Spirit who once dictated the Scriptures insures their perennial youth (to borrow a phrase from Irenaeus) and continues to breathe life into them… Since it is a living word, Scripture implies the presence of the lifegiving Spirit and the Word of God expressed therein. The Spirit’s instruments, from Moses to John, are of course dead; their task is finished. But the task of the Word of God and his Spirit is not finished. He is present on every page, still speaking to us and revealing his power from beginning to end, touching the depths of our soul like the edges of the universe. -p. 27-28

No one can stand before the Word as a spectator. I must grasp the full “dramatic” value of this Word as a Person who reveals himself to my openness, challenging me to commit myself to him. This is not simply an encounter with a piece of writing, even though divine. It is an encounter with the living God. -p. 31

Since it constantly receives life from the indwelling Spirit, the Word contains in itself the power to save… It is not only truth; it is power. It not only teaches; it is at work in us. -p. 31-32

Christ is the one center where all the lines of the biblical universe meet. And if it is true that every sentence of Scripture, since it contains an unfathomable mystery, has many senses, it is even more true that every sentence of Scripture always has only one sense. -p. 44-45

Climates change and exegetical methods are refined, but the believer who reads the Bible with faith always finds only Christ there. -p. 50

At first, the Word was only “audible,” but now it is also “visible and tangible.” No longer is it “written and silent” but “incarnate and living”… [Christ], the one object of exegesis, is also its subject. He is the Book that opens itself. His whole life is exegesis “in act”… -p. 50-51

We need to create in the day’s rhythm a contemplative pause where the hubbub of business does not intrude to disturb us… In the place where we do our personal Scripture reading, we must create, as it were, a little monastic alcove–if not in our external surroundings, at least in the sanctuary of our heart. -p. 63-64

We cannot venture into the Bible as tourists; we must become inhabitants of the land. We need to retrace our steps, stop and reflect at each site in order to explore it in depth. To become part of this world we must enter it, immerse ourselves in it in order to be absorbed by it. Then it will reveal to us the charm of its secret places. –p. 68-69

We all know the real risk of Bible study that becomes nothing but philology at the scientific level, and a pedantic exercise in the cold accumulation of facts at the textbook level. The very soul of Scripture perishes in such research. Surely that is not why God has spoken. -p. 72

A saint is a living Word, a sacred page by which God speaks to the world; a Gospel that flows from within, filled with new realism, because it is written on a soul not with ink, but with the Spirit of Christ. -p. 86

The Bible is not only a book to read, to learn, to pray over–an interesting and moving story. It is essentially a story to be relived. It presents me with things I cannot contemplate passively, as if it were an interesting story but one that did not concern me. I must react; I must relive the religious experience contained in the text. “To understand Scripture we must stop acting like mere spectators” (Barth). -p. 89

[The Word] speaks to all–to the entire Church–and at the same time it speaks to each of us in our most personal and irrepeatable situation. Our task is to let this universal message sink into the very fabric of our existence. Then the text is internalized and individualized. -p. 94

“When I read I pray, and when I pray I contemplate” (Hugh of Mortagne). Reading bears fruit only in contemplative prayer. And the latter must flow from reading in order to avoid becoming lost in vain fantasies or sentimentality. -p. 104

We must create within our heart a flexible space of resonance, so that the Word can penetrate its deepest parts and touch its innermost fibers. -p. 109

The two activities [reading and prayer] complement each other. They are two moments in the mystical dialogue, harmoniously alternating. -p. 113

In order to pray, we do not need to rack our brains artificially evoking interior acts, thoughts or excessively refined affections. All we need to do is react in the presence of the text with free and spontaneous prayer. And when this spontaneous outpouring stops, we return to the text for fresh nourishment… Too often prayer dies on our lips or takes refuge in mechanically repeated formulas. Or if we insist on pressing our inner faculties into service, it vacillates between dry reasoning and sentimental daydreaming. Lacking nourishment, it runs on empty. There is only one remedy for this: to nourish prayer with the rich deposit left in us by the Word… -p. 114


2 thoughts on “20 Quotes from Praying the Bible by Mariano Magrassi

  1. Great. These statements have indeed “recovery qualities”. A great encouragement to come to the Word in a living and profitable way. Here speaks someone from the standpoint of personal experience. I can only
    testify that I have a big “Amen” in my spirit to this. “Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart.” – Jeremiah 15:16


Post a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s