Lent will be here before we know it; Ash Wednesday always has this stealthy way of sneaking up on me! I know many of you like to choose a book to read through Lent so I thought I would compile a list, although not exhaustive by any means, of Books for Lent.
I thought I would share some of my favorite books for Lent and then ask you to leave a comment with yours. I will also include some new books, some I may not have even read yet but have read others by the same author. Let’s get to this Book Club Time: Books for Lent post started.
Book Club Time: Books for Lent
The one book that I 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 10 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.”
There are also 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 Inspire Catholic Journaling Bible this year as I try to read through the Bible for a second time.
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. I have never read this book all the way through, maybe someday, but I always return to it.
A couple of years ago I purchased In Conversation with God: Meditations for Each Day of the Year, Vol. 2: Lent, Holy Week, Eastertide. I enjoyed the daily reflections that didn’t feel overly cumbersome or heavily theological. I found this book to be a great fit.
Take Up and Read has a new Lent Devotional for Women this year, Hosanna. Although I haven’t read this one, I have thoroughly enjoyed all of the books Elizabeth has ever written or contributed to.
Blessed is She also has a new Lent Devotional for Women, To the End Lent Devotional
Have you already picked out the book you are going to read this Lent? Share it in the comments, and please Lord, let it be a book I already own so I’m not tempted to buy a new book.