Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Looking ahead to Lent

Lent starts NEXT WEEK! Are you ready? Our favorite question here in the bookstore community is "What are you reading for Lent?"
We had two employees out today (out of two), so I was on call downstairs. That gave me a bit of time to look at some of the Lenten resources we have on hand, and one book seemed especially helpful, even though the title is rather stiff (as is the font the designer chose for it!).
"Embrace Your Renewal" (by Fr. Harold Buetow) is presented as a "thought a day" but it is really much more.
I think it should be called "User's Guide to Lent" or something like that. It is more a handbook and daily guide than simply a thought a day. For example, it explains the origins of Lent, and goes into the traditional Lenten practices with some detail: what is Lenten fasting? Why do we fast? How do we fast? When do we fast? Why give alms? How to give alms in our contemporary setting? What to pray for? How does prayer of petition fit in? What other forms of prayer are there? What other Lenten practices are there that make sense in the here and now?
And then there is the "thought a day": a good four pages for each day of Lent, drawing from the day's readings, and interspersed with lots of anecdotes. If you take public transit, this is the book for you, especially because it's not such heavy reading that you need to focus all your attention on the page while keeping an ear on subway stations and bus stops.
"Embrace Your Renewal" will take you all the way to Holy Saturday in this rather extraordinarily early Lent. (The last time Lent was this early was 1913.)
So, what are you reading for Lent?


Rob said...

Good Morning Sr. Anne. I Stumbled across your blog today. Thank you for the resource on Lent. Reading has been a central part of my Lenten experience since I was confirmed 10 years ago (as an adult).

It was your title that caught my eye in my shared Google Reader list, as I've been invited to post during Lent at


We are a small group of Christ followers, some Catholic (maybe just me) from varied walks of life all over the globe who are thinking and praying and writing about Lent. Some of the writers have never practiced Lent. It's sure to be interesting.

Feel free to stop by. I'll be looking for the book, and subscribing to your blog.

xaipe said...

Thanks for the invite!

Lisa said...

What a God-incidence (my friend Nicole's expression for divine coincidences)! RENEWal is the theme of our parish lenten material that has strucj a chord with me and here you have extended the invitation to "embrace your renewal." I feel there's a defininte message for me :)