Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Reading for Lent

About five years ago I discovered the wonderful Advent reader, Watch for the Light. Composed of daily readings through the Advent and Christmas season, Watch for the Light contains works by many notable Christian authors, poets, thinkers, theologians, and preachers across the centuries. It has become a staple of my Advent diet, as I return year after year to these deep reflections on the meaning of the Incarnation.

A few months ago I noticed there is a companion volume to Watch for the Light. It showed up in my Amazon box a few weeks ago.

Bread and Wine: Readings for Lent and Easter carries the reader into and through the next great season of the Christian calendar. It contains 46 readings to take us through the season of Lent and Holy Week (divided into four sections: Invitation, Temptation, Passion, and Crucifixion), and then another 25 for Easter and the days following (divided into Resurrection and New Life). Included are poems, essays, and reflections by authors such as Oscar Wilde, Kathleen Norris, Walter Wangerin, Thomas a Kempis, Fleming Rutledge, C.S. Lewis, Brennan Manning, John Donne, Blaise Pascal, Wendell Berry, Martin Luther, Mother Teresa, Dorothy Day and Amy Carmichael. Most of the writings are 2-4 pages long, making them useful for a morning's reading over coffee and breakfast, a reflective reading to end the day, or even a lunch-time pause in the hectic pace of daily life.

Now, I must admit. I haven't read this book yet. I'm waiting until Lent begins next week before I dig in, so this is a recommendation based more on overall appearance, and the fact that I enjoy the companion Watch for the Light so much. However, some of you may be looking for this sort of thing, and should I wait until after I've read it, it would be too late, as Lent and Easter would be over. So there you go.

In the meantime, may your reading be deep and meaningful in these days of shallow and transitory, and may the Lord reveal himself as we enter into Lent, preparing ourselves once again for the Celebration of Christ's Resurrection.

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