It's that time of year again, when Lent rolls around and we have the inclination or urge, or prompting of the Holy Spirit to read something to challenge us spiritually for Lent.
Obviously it's a good practice, St. Benedict was probably never wrong when it came to this type of thing, and I love reading so I really enjoy the practice of picking some type of spiritual book especially for Lent. But I know it can feel a bit intimidating as well, because there's just so much and we don't want to fail or be bored to death or not understand some heavy piece of spiritual writing. We want to feel recharged, or revitalized, or reencounter our prayer life and relationship with God in a new way.
I've come up with some books that I've read myself and which I thought were the most beneficial in one way or another. I'm giving a short description because I think the Holy Spirit will try and grab us if something jumps out at us, and if it something does jump out at you just go for it, what can you lose?!
The Practice of the Presence of God - This is a great foundational book to the life of prayer that I can't say enough about. It is so simple, beautiful, and short but completely revolutionizes the way you see God and prayer.
Abandonment to Divine Providence - Another wonderful foundational book that I found really helpful in regards to our view of God's will in our lives and how to live as closely to it as possible as well as living in the moment. The writing is a little more difficult, but it is well worth the read because there are treasures on every page. This was also a very influential work to St. Therese of Lisieux.
Story of a Soul: The Autobiography of St. Therese of Lisieux, Third Edition - Again a great read for anyone! St. Therese's philosophy and spirituality really is a game changer for anyone at any stage of their spiritual journey. I have to admit I went into reading this initially a little skeptical, and thought St. Therese would only apply to the very, very seriously spiritual. But not so - a simply amazing book.
Season of Mercy: Lent and Easter - A book of writings by Catherine Doherty on the meaning of Lent leading into the Easter season. Catherine had a very unique yet mystical view of the liturgical seasons and any reading of her writings will add so much to your understanding of Lent in the broader context of the worldwide Church, while at the same time challenging your own heart in many ways. This is also a good introduction to different themes that Catherine wrote much one. Very short, easy to read meditations for a weekly basis if I remember correctly.
Pope Emeritus Benedict wrote so much that there is a huge wealth of his knowledge to read, probably enough to last any of us a lifetime. I've read Journey to Easter: Spiritual Reflections for the Lenten Season, which contained great shorter meditations on Lent specifically. His trilogy on the life of Christ is so insightful and really worth a deep study or 40 days of dedication, more pertinent to Lent is the second book, Jesus of Nazareth: Holy Week: From the Entrance Into Jerusalem To The Resurrection. I'm hoping to get to his writing on female saints Holy Women, a collection of various homilies, talks, and reflections, this Lent.
If you're looking for a more contemporary, yet still very insightful book about prayer, the struggles of faith and friendship I'd highly recommend Love & Salt: A Spiritual Friendship Shared in Letters. It's an amazingly well written book of letters between two friends, one in the process of conversion and the other deepening her Catholic faith. Very Lent-fitting!
This year I'm also reading Lent and Easter Wisdom from G.K. Chesterton because I clearly can't get enough Chesterton. But really, I thought this would be a little lighter and it is a daily devotional which shouldn't take too much out of me, but will hopefully get accomplished everyday. This book comes from a series about Lent and Easter with compilations by tons of amazing saints and spiritual writers, if you've got another favourite you'd like to journey with through Lent this might be a series to look into.
And now for a bonus outfit!
The temperature when we got to Mass last night was -25 C. On March 1. All ye abandon hope for every wearing a skirt again! Since our old, old church also has an indoor temperature in the single digits it was a chilly Mass. But this is what I mustered!
Can we talk about the half-tucked-in-shirt look for a second? Because I tired it with this outfit and it was a miserable fail. For the record.
I'm also working on not looking so short in photos, but impossible!
Happy Sunday, and visit the rest of the best dressed at FLAP.
And look at that...7 Posts in 7 Days! Major Accomplishment!
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