Lent is next week, and even though I've been allegedly "looking ahead" since right after Christmas, but I feel ill-prepared and not a bit "ready" for Lent, whether in body, or spirit, or in books.
Many books have arrived recently with Lenten themes, and I hope to review some of them, but this will not be happening before Lent, much as I'd like to be able to tell you about them. They will have to be mid-Lent reading pick-me-ups, so look ahead for that.
Do you have a practice of spiritual reading for Lent? I usually take out my well-worn copy of St. Francis de Sales Introduction to the Devout Life, and I will do so again. I always get something new from it.
Last year, I highly recommended God Will Provide: How God’s Bounty Opened to Saints--And 9 Ways It can Open for You, Too by Patricia Treece, pointing out that the book "brims with wisdom and grace." I really love Paraclete Press books--they are always well-produced and just feel good in your hand, both because the size of the books feel "right" and the paper is very... I don't know, I'm not a book-making expert--but the paper feels heavy and nice.
Here is my Q&A with Patricia that ran last year.
Also last year, I blogged about the Prayer of St. Ephram. (And my friend Marcia also posted about this ancient prayer last week--well worth a look). I'll be printing off copies of this prayer to leave in conspicuous places (bathroom mirrors and such) for us to pray at our house. Do you have a special prayer to say as a family during Lent?
If you might be looking around for Lenten reading, here are past reviews with some ideas:
2012: This Lent, Let Mercy Lead
2011: A Good Spiritual Library is a Hospital for the Soul
Finally, on the Lenten theme, one of my most popular posts is "Do Sundays Count During Lent"? As I wrote there, I'm definitely in the taking-Sundays-off camp, but I'm always interested in hearing what other people and families do.
Do you have a plan for Lent? Care to share? I'd love to get some great ideas.