Lent will be here before we know it. Ash Wednesday is on February 18th this year, so just one month away from the beginning of Lent. I thought I would share some of my favorite books for Lent and then ask you to leave a comment with yours. So let’s get to this…Book Club Time: Books for Lent.
Book Club Time: Books for Lent
The one book that we pull out year after year is Reflections On The Passion by Charles Hugo Doyle. This is an old book given to me by a priest friend maybe seven or eight years ago. This book contains short reflections from Ash Wednesday through Good Friday. From the introduction…
Jesus Christ is alone worthy of your whole heart. But you cannot love Him of you do not know Him. It is not enough to know that “God so loved the world as to give His only begotten Son,” that, “he emptied Himself out,” and that, “He laid down His life for His flock.” We must know the details of His sufferings, if we would know the excess of His love.
This little volume–Reflections On The Passion–was written for just this purpose. It should provide the laity with short, pointed considerations for quiet prayer, the religious, with ready material for personal and profitable meditation, and the clergy, with suitable matter for before Mass reading to the faithful or for sermon seeds for Lenten courses.
Another good book for Lent is The Way of the Cross: A Treasury of Stations. There is something to be said for praying the same Stations of the Cross week after week–typically every Friday of Lent. But there is also much to be gained by meditating and pondering different reflections to avoid a stagnant prayer. The Way of the Cross: A Treasury of Stations contains thirteen different meditations and prayer intentions or prompts. Some methods are the familiar ones according to great saints: St. Alphonsus Liguori, St. Francis of Assisi and St. Leonard of Port Maurice. One of the methods is according to “Sacred Scripture and the Liturgy.” Then there are methods for various intentions or virtues: “Method for the Intention of Fraternal Charity”–I meditated on those stations a couple of years ago when we switched parishes, “Method for the Intention of Patience and Resignation,” “Method for the intention of Repentance and Confession.”
From the introduction…
The Catholic passion for the cross…is perfectly reasonable. It is simply an enthusiastic response to Christ’s invitation: “Whosoever doth not carry his cross and come after me, cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:2) The life of the Master is not some abstract image or distant ideal; it is a Way to follow, and there is no other…The Passion must move us to compassion, repentance, sorrow, reparation, and above all, love for our suffering Savior and our crosses.
I have enjoyed every book written by Jacque Philippe and I consider Thirsting for Prayer to be one of his best books to date. He is probably most known for Searching for and Maintaining Peace: A Small Treatise on Peace of Heart.
If one of your desires this Lent is to “pray more,” from chapter one of Thirsting for Prayer…
The first thing that should motivate us and encourage us to enter into a life of prayer is that God Himself is inviting us to do it. Man searches for God, but God seeks out man even more actively. God calls us to pray to Him, because right from the start, and far more than we can imagine, He ardently desires to enter into communion with us.
And then of course there are the classics:
Abandonment to Divine Providence
The Sinners Guide–a favorite of St. Teresa of Avila, St. John of the Cross, and St. Vincent de Paul. St. Teresa of Avila credited this book with having converted over a million people in her time.
And as always the Bible. This post contains a Read the Bible in a Year guide–Bible Journaling in the New Year. You can start whenever you want and where ever you are. I’m using The NRSV Notetaker’s Bible this year as I try to read through the Bible. In addition to my daily (most of the time) Bible reading, I’m also reading Divine Intimacy: Meditations on the Interior Life for Every Day of the Liturgical Year as my daily devotional.
So do you know what you are going to read this Lent? (And please Lord, let it be a book I already own so I’m not tempted to buy a new book.)