Lenten Books

(A Lenten) time-gift allows us ample time each year to escape from the jerky, helter-skelter Saint Vitus’s dance of instant gratification and mindless distraction that is piped 24 hours a day by the devil. It provides time-conditions sufficient to recover the deep rhythms of meditative prayer that can be assimilated into our daily work as unhurried melodic obedience and praise.
Eugene Peterson
from the forward to:
The Passionate Journey
Some good resources for your Lenten journey.

Bread and Wine: Readings for Lent and Easter (Orbis Press) $18.00 This handsome paperback has brief readings from some of the world’s leading spiritual writers (from C.S. Lewis to Phil Yancey, from Frederick Buechner to Dorothy Day, from Wendell Berry to Watchman Nee.) As you can see, this is really diverse, delightful, thoughtful. A wonderful devotional, with each several page excerpt linked to a brief Biblical text.
Reflecting the Glory: Meditation for Living Christ’s Life in the World N.T. Wright (Augsburg) $14.99 This is just brilliant, with NT doing his New Testament reflections. Solid and stimulating Biblical mediations, one for each day…
Power & Passion: Six Characters in Search of Resurrection Samuel Wells (Zondervan) $14.99 Every year the Archbishop of Canterbury suggests one book for Anglicans to read together during Lent. This is the one this year, and it is marvelous. Wells is a good writer, provocative and thoughtful, now serving as the Chaplain at Duke. This one is arranged for six weeks, with discussions questions after each week; each chapter focuses on a particular person who figures into the passion story.
Thank God It’s Friday: Encountering the Seven Last Words from the Cross William Willimon (Abingdon) $12 This is obviously seven chapters (and an afterward) using the standard set of texts from Good Friday. I’d recommend reading everything Willimon writes, and I intend to use this myself. Marva Dawn writes a good introduction. (I wish there were study questions which there are not.)
Chocolate for Lent: A Creative Approach to Your Lenten Journey Hilary Brand (Daughters of St Paul) $11.95 You may know Ms Brand as the co-author of a book we often promote, Art & Soul, whose other author was Adrienne Chaplin. Here, she uses the film Chocolat as the springboard for reflecting on how not to “give up” something for Lent, but to enter in to a more mature Christian worldview. Fascinating and very insightful. And tasty. (Sorry.)
The Passionate Journey: Walking Into the Darkness Towards the Light of Easter Marty Bullis (Regal) $17.99 This nice hardback has a forward by Eugene Peterson; it is written by an acquintance, a Presbyterian pastor from here in Central PA. A strong reminder of the ultimate sacrifice made by Christ on our behalf. Very nicely arranged, with guided reflection, journaling, silence, Scripture and prayer.

Quantum Grace Judy Cannato (Ave Maria Press) $9.95 This one is just a bit different, written by a Roman Catholic, with all some very contemporary insights. I like this because it tries to reflect perhaps on the dangers of an overly ascetic view of Lent, and rejects a spirituality that is Gnostic, or anti-creational. I like it’s emphasis on healthy relationships and the formation of our spirituality. It is tender and visionary, but always rooted to the lectionary texts of the day. So each section is, in fact, a Bible study, with space for reflection, journaling and such.
The Sacred Way: Spiritual Practices for Everyday Life Tony Jones (Zondervan) $12.99 This isn’t a Lent study, but would sure serve this purpose. It really is a fabulous resource, offering a little on the theological and historical background of various spiritual practices—-from contemplative prayer to using the rosary, from crossing oneself to prayerwalking—and offers brief excercises to help you encounter God by engaging in this practice. Fabulous.

10% off any Lenten book
read@heartsandmindsbooks.com 717.246.3333

One thought on “Lenten Books

  1. Byron,I picked up Bread & Wine from you at staff seminar. I’m really fond of this series and I have the Advent and Christmas edition as well. Thanks for continuing to nuture CCO staff and college students.I saw Willimon’s book at Jubilee and I almost bought it. There was a devotional from Willimon in the Advent/Christmas edition that really spoke to me. I’ve been wanting to pick something up from him. Would you mind telling me a little bit about his other books when you get a chance?God’s peace to you,Christie

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