Lent seems to sneak up on us every year. But this season is central to our discipleship and friendship with Jesus Christ! Spiritual reading during Lent is a sacramental: it reinvigorates our prayer lives and gives us fresh insight into the heart of Jesus Christ.
If you need some inspiration for reading material this Lent, look no farther.
The CatholicVote staff presents what they’re reading this year and why. Join us!
The Back-to-Basics Pick
Holy Scripture is the primary way we hear the voice of God in prayer. Reading the Gospels as a family is a simple but powerful way to invite God’s living Word into our homes this Lent.
Make sure to read all four narratives of Christ’s Passion for a full picture of the Triduum of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday. The specific passages are:
- Matthew 26:14 – 27:54
- Mark 14:1 – 15:39
- Luke 22:14 – 23:49
- John 18:1 – 19:42
The Biggest-Bang-for-Your-Buck Pick
Top recommendation from CatholicVote staff! The Introduction offers accessible, bite-sized readings for busy Catholics. St. Francis de Sales is a Doctor of the Church who wrote for those Christ has called to live active lives in the world:
“Almost all those who have written concerning the devout life have had chiefly in view persons who have altogether quitted the world; or at any rate they have taught a manner of devotion which would lead to such total retirement. But my object is to teach those who are living in towns, at court, in their own households, and whose calling obliges them to a social life, so far as externals are concerned.”
The Marian Pick
We love a week-by-week reader and we love Mother Mary! Fr. Edward Looney dedicates each week of Lent to a Marian message from approved apparitions from around the world. Allow Mary to teach you
- The keys to praying silently and listening to God’s voice
- Her three ways to convert sinners
- How to pray for healing
- Her consoling words for specific crosses such as chronic illness, infertility, and domestic struggles
The Seven Last Words of Christ Pick
Father Nauhaus began work on his meditations on the seven last words of Christ as he himself lay dying of cancer. (Note: These “seven last words” are actually Jesus’ seven final statements, taken from the four Gospels; they include “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do,” and “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”) With powerful style and keen ability to apply the mysteries of the Passion to our daily life, he guides readers through questions such as “What does it mean to say Christ died for our sins? Why was it necessary? Or was it?” Enter into the Passion as you never have before.
Children’s Book Pick
CV dads confirm: this is a kids’ book that makes grown men cry. Accompanied by beautiful illustrations, this is the story of three trees whose wood ends up touching the life of Christ in different ways. It’s a profound reflection for young and old.
The Modern Spiritual Classics Pick
The Augustine Institute takes reflections from Newman’s homilies and creates a 48-day reading schedule for each day of Lent and Holy Week. Meditate on the Passion with one of the great spiritual and intellectual masters of the English-speaking world.
“Jesus wept, not merely from the deep thoughts of his understanding but from spontaneous tenderness, from the goodness and mercy, the encompassing loving-kindness and exuberant affection of the Son of God for his own work, the race of man.” ~St. John Henry Newman
The “Bring Them Home” Pick
Many of us spend Lent praying and offering sacrifices for loved ones who have left the faith. St. Monica, whose son St. Augustine lived separated from God for years, is our go-to-girl. Margaret Antonetti shares her own journey as a member of the “St. Monica Club,” and why the best way to save straying souls is through prayer, devotion, and non-confrontation. Everything is at stake, and the reward is worth the wait.
“And now you stretched forth your hand from above and drew up my soul out of that profound darkness because my mother, your faithful one, wept to you on my behalf more than mothers are accustomed to weep for the bodily deaths of their children.” ~St Augustine, The Confessions
The LIVE Streaming Pick
This lecture series is totally free during Lent from the “Science of Sainthood” spiritual formation team! Walk through St. Teresa of Avila’s teachings on prayer and the spiritual life as never before. If you have always wanted an introduction to this incredible Doctor of the Church but weren’t sure where to start… this is it! Matt Leonard offers streaming video for free to accompany his workbook The 9 Grades of Prayer.
The History Buff Pick
READ beautiful stories of heroic saints written by one of the 10th-century’s literary giants. Perfect for teens and parents, you will find this inspiring series of stories informative and life-changing. Discover saints of the past through riveting tales, and see how they brought Sigrid Undset, the Nobel-prize winning novelist of Kristin Lavransdatter, to a deeper understanding of the true meaning of life and ultimately to the Catholic Church.
The Easy Peasy Pick
If time is precious and you’re looking for quick inspiration, look no further than CatholicVote’s own Daily Reader. You’ll feel closer than ever to the Catholic Church in America – in just one page per day! To buy your own copy, click here.