Ever wanted to find a Bible passage about a specific topic, but don’t know where to look? Want to pray with Scripture, but can’t remember any relevant verses?
Don’t worry, there are a couple ways you can find just the Bible verse you need.
First, if you’re looking for a passage that addresses a particular situation or issue, one excellent resource is a Bible concordance. A concordance is basically a hard-copy Google search of the Bible. You look up the word in the Bible concordance and it tells you all the places where that word appears in the Bible. As the reference to Google suggests, one no longer needs to own a concordance to conduct such a search, as all this can now be done from one’s computer. For the Revised Standard Version-Catholic Edition of the Bible, I find this search engine to be most helpful.
Second, you can do pretty much the same thing with your copy of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Use the extensive index at the back of the book to find the sections of the Catechism that address the topic of interest. Not only will you get a succinct presentation of the wisdom of the Church on the subject, but chances are several biblical passages will be cited in the Catechism which can then be prayerfully read.
Third, while it’s good to have favorite verses to turn to in times of need, Scripture is much more than a mere “spiritual pharmacy.” When we have a certain physical ailment we go to the drug store and get whatever specific medication we think we need to remedy the problem. When it comes to Scripture, though, the Word of God is “living and active” (Heb. 4:12); it’s life-changing. Further, St. Paul tell us: “All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work” (2 Tim. 3:16). With that understanding, we can confidently open the Scriptures in faith and expect God to speak to our hearts, telling what we need to hear, which may or may not be what we wanted or expected to hear.
All Christians benefit from the regular reading of Scripture as a principal means of nourishing our faith and deepening our relationship with the Holy Trinity. This could come about through participation in the Sacred Liturgy (Mass and/or the Liturgy of the Hours), private reading, or participation in a group Bible study. However it’s done, this practice, when done in the context of prayer and not simply as an academic exercise, will lead us to greater spiritual insight and help us truly make the Word of God a light for our paths in every circumstance.