We’re approaching the third Sunday of Lent and, therefore, are close to half way to Easter. It’s long been a custom for Catholics, perhaps stemming from the practice St. Benedict outlined in his Rule, to step up their spiritual reading for Lent. This spiritual reading is usually planned for some days before the season begins on Ash Wednesday. If you’re like me, however, that doesn’t always happen; Ash Wednesday comes and goes and suddenly you find yourself getting little or no spiritual reading done at all. Then, like all good procrastinators, you say to yourself, I’ll do better next year and give up on the idea altogether. Shame on you, it’s never too late to set things right.
To assist all you procrastinators out there, I’ve come up with a list of five books that make good Lenten reading, in fact good reading, no matter if you start on time or not. I’m not saying you should try to read all five books between now and Holy Saturday, but you might pick one, possibly two of them and start reading today. Then, come Holy Saturday, you might have firmed up your spiritual reading habit and decide to read the other three or four books to finish the list.
What are these five little books? Here’s the list.
- The Spiritual Combat, Lorenzo Scupoli
- This Tremendous Lover, Eugene Boylan
- In Silence with God, Benedict Baur
- Seasons of Celebration, Thomas Merton
- Bread in the Wilderness, Thomas Merton
Why these five books? Well, I have a reason for selecting each of these books as candidates for a belated Lenten reading program, but I leave you with a challenge – after you’ve read the books on the list, tell me why you think I consider them candidates for reading during Lent, even if you start late.
Looking forward to hearing from you.