With the beginning of Lent, here are some book suggestions, if you are looking for them. This is a mix of some classics, some favorites of mine, and some new ones, in no particular order. The first is an old friend to many of us in these parts, a few are by friends who have helped me in my faith and still do. Bridget of Sweden and Fr. Ciszek are probably the most intense. I had to include Fr. Ciszek because I read Fr. Alfred Delp, S.J. for Advent and Fr. Ciszek seems in keeping with that.
1. Death On A Friday Afternoon: Meditations On The Last Words Of Jesus From the Cross by Fr. Richard John Neuhaus
2. Made for Love, Loved by God by Fr. Peter John Cameron, O.P.
3. Conversion: Spiritual Insights Into an Essential Encounter with God by Fr. Donald Haggerty
4. Hurting in the Church: A Way Forward for Wounded Catholics by Fr. Thomas Berg
5. The Seven Sorrows of Mary by Fr. Romanus Cessario, O.P.
7. The Magnificent Prayers of Saint Bridget of Sweden is a just a little devotional from her writings. If you want to dive deeper into the Passion, Birgitta of Sweden: Life and Selected Writings is a good place to go. She had a big influence on my deciding to do that Year with the Mystics book.
8. He Leadeth Me by Fr. Walter J. Ciszek, S.J.
Some new to this year selections:
10. This is one a day reflections (they do a new edition annually) — 2020 Magnificat Lenten Companion — $2.99 for Kindle
11. Lenten Journey with Mother Mary by Fr. Edward Looney
12. Living Memento Mori: My Journey through the Stations of the Cross by Emily DeArdo
I’m planning to start re-reading St. Teresa of Avila’s Interior Castle later today, which I haven’t read since college or before. Doing so at the recommendation of a friend who is doing the same. If you join the book club, let me know.
And, of course, there is A Year with the Mystics: Visionary Wisdom for Daily Living, which you can begin anytime. Dear Francisco Gonzalez from the National Review Institute started at the beginning the year like some others did, and I was so humbled and delighted to see that today’s entry for those who did seems on point for starting Lent. But whenever you start, or just dip in and out, I pray it’s a help to know God better and love more purely from a deeper knowledge of His love.
And one last thing: If you have suggestions to add, feel free to put them in the comments, or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I’ll maybe do another one of these in a little deeper into Lent with your suggestions and with some of the others I didn’t include here that are spiritual treasures, too.