The beginning of Lent is coming up a week from Wednesday. I love the seasons of Lent and Advent because they invite us to a deeper level of reflection, a retreat in the midst of everyday life. The 40 days of Lent comes from the 40 days Jesus spent in the desert in preparation for his life of public ministry. It is a time of increased prayer and purification that we find in other religious traditions such as Ramadan and Yom Kippur. This season gives us an opportunity to move more deeply into practices that are inviting us to deeper commitment and in the process prepare ourselves to listen for and respond to the call of the holy that emerges from within us.
This is the book I am going to be reading mostly this season, I like the variety of quotes from different sources: Bread And Wine: Readings For Lent And Easter
Other books I have enjoyed:
Show Me The Way: Readings for Each Day of Lent (readings from Henri Nouwen)
Lent: The Sunday Readings : Reflections and Stories (Lent) (stories by Megan McKenna)
I will begin my Lenten reflections here on the blog next week with a homily I was privileged to share last year at my previous church on Ash Wednesday. In it I call for a commitment to lamenting sorrows and injustice and I think this is a practice I am going to return to since we are sadly still at war. One of the things I suggest in the homily is that Lent is not meant to be a second chance at New Year's resolutions but a call to something much deeper.
What are your favorite books or web resources for the season of Lent? What practices are you considering for these 40 holy days?
RECOMMENDED RESOURCES ADDED: (emailed to me by readers)
The Lenten Labyrinth: Daily Reflections for the Journey of Lent (Daily Reflections for the 40-Day Lenten Journey) by Edward Hays (a wonderful storyteller)
Sacred Space for Lent 2007 (published by the Jesuits)
Living Lent: Meditations for These Forty Days by Barbara Cawthorne Crafton
And I forgot to add that one of my favorite movies for the Lenten season is Chocolat, the sermon the priest gives at the end on Easter is short but beautiful.
-Christine Valters Paintner @ Abbey of the Arts