Lent Resource Reviews

7056_ImportantUpdateIMPORTANT UPDATE… please take note!
It has come to my attention that even though Amazon is offering Not By Bread Alone. The page for the book says that it is out of stock, will ship later – but they are NOT selling the book. Please go to the Liturgical Press website to order!

That got me thinking, what if that is also the case for Sacred Space for Lent? It also shows as out of stock. Anyway, that can be ordered via the Loyola Press website.

If you visit the Ave Maria Press website you will find Sacred Reading for Lent and the Living Gospel.

And how could I have forgotten two important resources? I did! One is absolutely free – go to the USCCB Daily Readings page to sign up for an email of each day’s Scriptures. Video reflections are also offered and can be found here.

Last but not least, I highly recommend a subscription to Give Us This Day. Yes I have a bias, I do write for them, but before that day ever dawned, I was a charter subscriber. Go have a look at their subscription page, you can even request a free sample.

 

Lent-631x295While it was my hope to have had this post out earlier, here it is at last! Lent begins on February 10, a little more than two weeks away. As has been my custom, I would like to offer up some ideas for your Lenten prayers and reflection.

Sometimes we feel too busy for Lent, but most of these resources are small enough to put in a pocket or purse, and are short enough for brief periods of prayer. The idea is not to add stress, but to create spaces, however “small” they may seem, to invite the peace of God into our lives. At Lent we truly are on a “journey” through the desert, as we make our way towards Easter. It is good to have one or more resources to accompany us – maybe think of these books as road maps pointing us toward the Triduum.

In no particular order, I present to you:

While it was my hope to have had this post out earlier, here it is at last! Lent begins on February 10, a little more than two weeks away. As has been my custom, I would like to offer up some ideas for your Lenten prayers and reflection.

Sometimes we feel too busy for Lent, but most of these resources are small enough to put in a pocket or purse, and are short enough for brief periods of prayer. The idea is not to add stress, but to create spaces, however “small” they may seem, to invite the peace of God into our lives. At Lent we truly are on a “journey” through the desert, as we make our way towards Easter. It is good to have one or more resources to accompany us – maybe think of these books as road maps pointing us toward the Triduum.

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In no particular order, I present to you: Continue reading

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The Living Gospel and The Way of the Cross – Lenten reviews and giveaways

Today we begin a series of book reviews of Lenten resources, starting with two books from Ave Maria Press.  Anyone who leaves a comment on this post will have their name entered into a drawing to win a copy of one of these books. You can leave as many comments as you would like, but you will only be entered once a day, for the book(s) that are reviewed that day. All rules will be detailed at the end of the blog post.

9781594714313.jpg.105xThe Living Gospel, Daily Devotions for Lent 2014, by Theresa Rickard, O.P.
Begin, Pray, Listen, Act, Pray. These are the guiding words of this deceptively slim volume, that is overflowing with opportunities for grace this Lent.

Following a daily format that includes those words as headings, we are invited to begin in quiet, putting aside distractions. We pray with a few brief words, is followed by a selection from that day’s Gospel for us to listen to in our hearts, along with a short daily reflection by the author. We are then given an idea to act upon, ways to make our Lenten journey real. In conclusion, once more we do what we are called to in Christ – pray.

This is a practical little book that will fit in your pocket or purse, the console of your car,  or take up a small space in your prayer area. Its size does not denote its power, this is a very lovely Lenten companion. In fact, as much as I liked the Advent 2013 version, by a different author, I can tell that I like this one even more. Highly recommended. You can purchase The Living Gospel by visiting the Ave Maria Press website.  Priced at 1.95, it is a great value. Highly Recommended.

9781594714306.jpg.105xEveryone’s Way of the Cross by Clarence Enzler, illustrated by Annika Nelson and Gertrud Mueller Nelson.
A very battered copy of an old edition of this book sits amidst my personal Lenten resources, and I am very happy to have this new one in my hand.

We tend to think of the Stations of the Cross as a communal activity done in church on Fridays during Lent – which is a good thing! That said, it has been most beneficial for me, to have a book like this to pray with as I struggle on my own journey. Short, simple, sweet- and yet very deep, I suspect that this copy will soon be as well-worn as my last one. The block print illustrations get right to the point, and offer their own visual gifts and prompts for prayer.

This book would make an excellent parish resource for those weekly Lenten gatherings. Additional it will work well as a tool for small faith-sharing groups, or friends who pray together – or again, for our individual reflection during this holy season of Lent. It is $1.50 a copy, and other editions are available in Large Print, and in Spanish as well! This is an excellent purchase that will last for years. Books are available via the Ave Maria Press website.

Both books are also available via Kindle at Amazon.

Book Giveaway Rules – You may comment as many times as you like, and on multiple blogs, but your name will only be entered once!  (This blog is published in two locations, here and at the Albany Times Union blogging platform, and the reviews will also be posted on my two parish blogs, The Parish Blog of St. Edward the Confessor and Pastoral Postings of Immaculate Conception Glenville.)

Names will be randomly drawn and you will be informed by email if you are a winner. You will need to provide me with your full name and address in order to receive your book. On double book posting days such as this, I can not guarantee which book you will win. Thank you for reading and entering. Please feel free to share this post via social media!

Resources for Lent – Book Reviews and Round Up Coming Soon

sign-for-lent-with-integrated-crossThis week I will post some reviews and a general round up of Lenten resources. Lent is only a couple of weeks away, and I am behind in posting this! You should still have time to order what you need, and you may even end up winning a copy of one of the books!

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Books that will be reviewed include, although not necessarily in this order:

Plus, I may have some other surprises for you! If you are not already a subscriber or follower of this blog, this may be a good time to do so. Also, you can follow me on Facebook,  “like” the blog Facebook page, or follow me on on Twitter, to get your updates in those places. Thank you!

Books of Holy Waiting, Part 1

waitingAdvent is a time of holy waiting, a kind of patience that we are unused to in our lives. Every year I try to enter into the season with an intentional and prayerful presence.

Now if there has been one thing that has both helped and hampered my Advent practices, it is working at Church! Well, hurt is too strong a word, but I can assure you that a parish office in December is many things, but a place of Holy Waiting is not necessarily one of them!

Yet, I have my morning prayer practice and during Advent I use a booklet to help guide my way. Today I will review two and then I will review two more. I hope that you find these mini-reviews useful.

It just works out that I have four books, two from one publisher and two from another. Today I begin my reviews with two books from Ave Maria Press.

9781594714368.jpg.232xThe first is part of a longtime series that I truly love, the Sacred Space series. These books are from the Irish Jesuits and their Sacred Space website. This small, slim volume, Sacred Space for Advent and the Christmas Season 2013 (96 pp, $1.25) , is easy enough to tuck into a purse or pocket, is divided up into chapters based on each seek of Advent and then a chapter for Christmas week up to Epiphany.

Each chapter begins with some words about coming days, the presence of God, the Word, and other prayerful elements. Each day offers a reflection that concludes with a prompt and/or question.

One of the things that I like about Sacred Space is that each days pattern is the same, the reflections are brief, but they leave plenty of room for spacious contemplation in what might be a shorter time span. Yes, I know that sounds contradictory, but it has worked well for me in the past.

There is a second portion to the book which offers an Advent retreat. I really like this element as well, and it makes the book so much more attractive to me.

My assessment – highly recommended. This book also has an attractive price point and can be bulk ordered for a parish. It also makes a lovely gift!

9781594713835_rev.jpg.232xAlso from Ave Maria Press is, The Living Gospel, Daily Devotions for Advent 2013, by Brendan McGuire (64 pp, $.1.50). This too is a portable prayer resource that will not challenge your wallet.

I have not used this book before, but I love the format. Each day of Advent offers a Begin, Pray, Listen for the day, followed by a reflection. These are short, but meaningful and very nicely done. At the end of the reflection there are invitations to act and pray. This is a great little book that I would recommend. If there is a downside for me, it is that the book ends with Christmas. I wish that it went to Epiphany, or better yet, the Baptism of the Lord, when the Christmas season truly concludes. Overall though, I really liked it.

Both books are small and simple enough for a wide variety of readers, yet are not “dumbed down” in any way. Each offers those of us in a busy and distracted world, one full of noise and impatience, a way to enter the season of Holy Waiting that approaches.  The small investment in either one, or both for that matter, will be worthwhile.

Tomorrow… two more resources for your consideration.

Chris Haw Blog Tour – an excerpt and book giveway

Today it is my great pleasure to host the blog tour for Chris Haw’s new book, From Willow Creek to Sacred Heart: Rekindling My Love for Catholicism. We will have three posts today; a video intro that went up earlier, this excerpt, and a book review. If you want to win a book, please go to the Times Union to read the excerpt, and please leave a comment to have your name entered for a drawing.

From Willow Creek to Sacred Heart: Blog Tour intro, video, book giveaway

“It’s fascinating to walk into a church where it often feels like… a lot of people are walking out.”

Chris Haw

Carpenter, Author, Speaker, Potter

Welcome to today’s special features that are part of the Chris Haw Blog Tour, for his new book from Ave Maria Press, From Willow Creek to Sacred Heart: Rekindling My Love for Catholicism. With a quote like the one above, you know you are about to meet someone with an interesting story to tell. You can read all about it at the Times Union. Want to win a free book? Leave a comment over there to be entered into a drawing!