Lent is just around the corner and I’m beginning to pray about how I can grow deeper in my relationship with God throughout the season.
One practice that brings a lot of good fruit for many people is to have some sort of spiritual reading to do during Lent. It’s a good idea all year long, but there are certain selections that I’ve read during Lent that really helped me enter into the spirit of fasting, prayer, and almsgiving in a deeper way. If you’ve never tried it, choose one or two from the list and give it a go!
MY TOP 10 LENTEN READS
- Sacred Scripture | Praying with Scripture daily is wise anytime, but Lent is a great time to make it a habit again if you’ve been away from it. Make sure you have a good Catholic translation of the Bible and start small – take one of the Gospels and work on a few verses a day.
- Catechism of the Catholic Church | Something I love doing is taking a section of the Catechism that deals with a struggle I’m having or trying to teach my kids and reading a small paragraph each day. I’ve read the entire Catechism front to back and I do NOT recommend reading it like an ordinary book for the spiritual benefits! Take it slow, and stick with one section at a time. (If you don’t have the most up to date second edition copy, you can view the entire Catechism online here.)
- Consoling the Heart of Jesus | My husband and I went through this at-home personal retreat style book last Lent together and it was wonderful. It’s simple to read and follow, and if you take the extra time to pray with each section like he recommends, the spiritual fruit is undeniable.
- Seven Last Words of Jesus and Mary | This book is short but packed with a lot to reflect on during Lent. It goes through moments of the life of Jesus and Mary from Cana to Calvary and unpacks the love story behind it and example we can live by.
- Praying with the Saints for the Holy Souls in Purgatory | This is another short book and is really eye opening in regards to the value of our fasts and prayers for the holy souls in Purgatory. I appreciated reading it during Lent because it gave a deeper meaning to what I was doing and also helped me experience Holy Thursday and the power of the Eucharist in a new way.
- Happy Are You Poor | Fr. Thomas Dubay wrote this on the universal call to embrace poverty as a condition for building the Kingdom of God. It is challenging but incredibly transformational. I love this book during Lent because it helps humble me and bring me back to the central message that this life is about our relationship with God and others, not about material things.
- Divine Mercy in My Soul (Diary of St. Faustina) | This is a huge book and much like the Catechism or Scripture, I wouldn’t recommend reading it front to back. It’s the actual writings of St. Faustina including words spoken to her by Our Lord and the Blessed Virgin. The theme of mercy is on every page which is especially appropriate for this Lent during the Year of Mercy in the Church. This is a powerful mystical reading and has helped me countless times through my life especially when going through difficult trials.
- Interior Castle | St. Teresa of Avila wrote this on the spiritual life and the progress the soul makes as it grows in union with Jesus. She compares the soul to a castle that has many different rooms and the inner-most room being the place of spiritual union with Jesus. It’s a spiritual classic and definitely one I go back to often.
- The Imitation of Mary | This book is great to take in small portions and reflect on throughout the day. I love how simple it is written and how it helps keep me humble and focused on trying to love like Mary which is perfect for Lent.
- Abandonment to Divine Providence | This is another spiritual classic that I’ve found particularly fruitful to read during Lent. I probably end up reading at least a portion (it not all of it) once a year.
What are some of your favorite books to read during the season of Lent? I’d love to hear from you in the reply section below!