Spiritual Reading – Formation or Information?

The American Book of Common Prayer invites us to the observance of a holy Lent, in part, by reading and meditating on God’s holy Word. The invitation, however, is not just to read the words but to let the Word read our lives.

The goal of reading is the application, in our lives, of what we read. Not to learn it by heart, but to take it to heart. Not to practice using our tongues, but to be able to receive the tongues of fire and to live the mysteries of God. If one studies a great deal in order to acquire knowledge and to teach others, without living the things he teaches, he does no more than fill his head with hot air. At most he will manage to ascend to the moon using machines. The goal of the Christian is to rise to God without machines.

Elder Paisios, 1924-1994

Monk on Mt. Athos

Elder Pasios - Orthodoxphotos.com

The issue is not just what we read but how we read. Is it for information or formation? How do you live what you are reading and studying? How is it living in you? Is it forming you in the likeness of Christ?


  1. An obvious truth we all to often overlook.

    “May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable to you O Lord”

    Thanks for the reminder.


  2. When I catch myself reading about prayer more than praying, I know I’m in trouble. Thanks for writing.


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