Now that Lent is over and the Easter season is in full swing, I thought it would be a good time (!) to share two Lenten reflection books that I really enjoyed this year. Probably I should save this post for right around the beginning of February next year…but there is little chance I’ll remember at that point.
The first is No Unlikely Saints by Cameron Bellm. For each week of Lent, this book considers a different (mostly modern) saint or blessed who speaks to our current moment. I learned a lot about some holy people I knew as well as some I hadn’t met before from the reflections, and the prayer suggestions were really challenging and beautiful. I’m considering using it again next year because I know I still have plenty of growing left to do in many of the areas it addresses.
Second, my older girls and I read Letters for Pilgrimage by Sarah Lenora Gingrich and A. N. Tallent. This one is directed at Orthodox Christian young ladies, but as a Roman Catholic adult I still found the reflections helpful. (I also learned what Clean Monday is, and felt slightly guilty at how easy Roman Catholic Lent is compared to Orthodox Lent!) Again, beautiful, hopeful, challenging, and encouraging writing from women “who have survived the wilderness of life,” as their publisher puts it.
I especially love that both of these books are written by what Julian of Norwich calls our “even Christians” – women just like the rest of us, just living our lives and trying our best to follow Jesus. That means their words are both challenging and possible – exactly what my Lent needed this year.