Looking Towards Lent

Keeping-a-Holy-LentAlthough it may be hard to believe, Lent begins in less than three weeks, on Ash Wednesday, February 18. For many of us, Lent offers us the time to re-orient ourselves through prayer, fasting, and almsgiving.  As we walk with Jesus in the desert, we are given gifts which may appear heavy and burdensome, as we are confronted with the weight of our own sin. That said, we are also given the gift of change and transformation, ultimately dying and rising with Christ our Lord.

Long before Lent begins, I am on the lookout for prayer resources to use during that season. This year, I have before me, three books, each one offering different gifts of prayer that you may Continue reading

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!