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Forums => Catholic General Discussion => Topic started by: Paul on January 17, 2014, 01:46:22 AM

Title: Memorizing Scripture
Post by: Paul on January 17, 2014, 01:46:22 AM
Lately, I've been thinking about Scripture memorization. It's popular among Bible-believing Protestants, I haven't heard it talked about much by Catholics.

Here's what I've been thinking. We are soldiers for Christ Jesus (2 Timothy 2:3), commanded to put on the full armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18), in which the only weapon is the "sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God" (v. 17); as such, we should have our swords with us at all times. This was Jesus's only defense when He was tempted (Matthew 4). Since it is impractical to carry our Bibles everywhere and search for the verse we need, what remains is to memorize the verses we know we will need. It's dangerous to go alone; why go unarmed?

Also, meditating on Scripture is a good practice, and the more we memorize, the more we can do this away from our Bibles (and the better our Rosaries will be). The more time we spend memorizing, the more time we can spend "in the Word."

Furthermore, as you've all probably noticed, the world is becoming more and more hostile toward Christians. There could easily come a time when anyone caught owning a Bible will have it confiscated, and anyone found to be a Christian will be arrested, which is the case in many countries today. If we have no access to our Bibles, what will we do? This could happen while some of us are still alive. Even if this doesn't happen, we may still have to spend a long time with no access to any kind of spiritual reading, for whatever reason; what then?

Some people have memorized large sections of the Bible. I read about a couple who spent a year memorizing Romans. Some people learn Greek or Hebrew, but this seems to be a better use of our time and mental space. The Internet has taught us to forget anything we can look up, and many of us have carried this mentality to our faith.

If somehow, you had no access to spiritual reading of any kind, what would you do? How well prepared are you?

What do you all think?

Title: Re: Memorizing Scripture
Post by: odhiambo on January 17, 2014, 03:10:17 PM
It would certainly be a blessing for one to memorize large sections of the Bible. It would be like having the Bible with you at all times. One can just sit in a corner and be deeply involved in bible study without turning a page!
St. Lawrence of Brindisi reportedly knew the whole Bible by heart! Another Saint I had read and posted about earlier but cannot recall at the moment, was able to learn by heart the whole Bible in just one year. That was the condition he had been given to be able to enter the seminary. No one thought for a moment that he would succeed.
During the terrible years of persecution of the Church, authorities ordered the burning of of Bibles and I guessed many people feared owning bibles then.
I feel that it is a gift to know the Bible well and be able to quote it appropriately as and when needed. I wish I could memorize the texts of all the mysteries of the Rosary. It would help me save time trying to find the relevant references from the Bible for reading  and meditation.

Title: Re: Memorizing Scripture
Post by: Patricia on January 18, 2014, 02:00:56 AM
Yes, this is an area where Catholics are seriously lacking.  Protestants are taught from a very early age to memorize scripture via fun activities. I wish I could memorize easily but it may be difficult for me at my age. I forget very easily.   No harm in trying though. :D

Title: Re: Memorizing Scripture
Post by: Paul on January 18, 2014, 05:29:18 AM
The book Memorize the Faith by Kevin Vost has been very helpful for me. It describes a method of mental pictures, used by St. Thomas Aquinas.

Another method is simple repetition, or setting the words to music. Both of these help a lot.

Or first letter mnemonics ("every good boy does fine" for the E G B D F of sheet music); this is how I memorized 2 Peter 1:5-7. "And you, employing all care, minister in your faith, virtue; and in virtue, knowledge; And in knowledge, abstinence; and in abstinence, patience; and in patience, godliness; And in godliness, love of brotherhood; and in love of brotherhood, charity." F, V, K, A, P, G, L, C. If you forget the order, you can think, "Four very kingly anteaters played golf last Christmas."

A lot of people say they can't memorize, but most of us know thousands of trivial things from popular culture. We know the names of hundreds of celebrities, we know many movie quotes, we know all kinds of nursery rhymes from childhood... It's amazing how much we learn without thinking about it.

Title: Re: Memorizing Scripture
Post by: Shin on January 18, 2014, 06:44:22 AM
I am one of those sorry people who has trouble memorizing! It's sad to say, but I admire it much! If only I was good at it.. well, since I am not I at least I suppose try to accomplish different things because of that..

Of course one more admires folks who properly know the meanings of the verses at least in the basics, rather than the Protestants who memorize to misuse often enough, sadly to say, and besides from hit or miss translations!

Over time certain favorite verses stay with me, but I rarely remember the chapter and verse #, just the words. Because they have a meaning. I'm not one for mnemonics, I can't do stuff like that to my brain, thinking of kingly anteaters would disturb my peace of mind! Hahaha!  ;D

'The time has come, you must wake up now!' that always stays with me.. But I do have to look up the location. Rom 13:11.. Well that should be easy enough to remember if I did try.  :D

Title: Re: Memorizing Scripture
Post by: Paul on January 18, 2014, 03:28:28 PM
The verse that keeps coming to my mind on this subject is John 9:4: "I must work the works of him that sent me, whilst it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work."

Also, "Pray without ceasing." (1 Thessalonians 5:17)

Title: Re: Memorizing Scripture
Post by: Shin on January 19, 2014, 12:39:44 AM
Very inspiring Paul!  :D

Title: Re: Memorizing Scripture
Post by: Patricia on January 21, 2014, 03:54:25 PM
Thanks for the tips, Paul.  :D Where there is a will there is a way. I remember how determined I was to learn the Hail Mary and Our Father in Latin and managed to do so , a bit at a time.  :crucifix:

Title: Re: Memorizing Scripture
Post by: CyrilSebastian on September 21, 2023, 10:29:52 PM
I have noticed that some Protestants have memorized certain Bible verses.   
They can quote the verses down to the exact chapter and verse.

Title: Re: Memorizing Scripture
Post by: Shin on September 23, 2023, 07:13:43 AM
It is too bad they do not memorize many of them with a proper understanding and translation.