Top Lenten Resources 2018

Big Sur, California backpacking trip c. 2002 || 📷 Ryan Moore

Big Sur, California backpacking trip c. 2002 || 📷 Ryan Moore

Here's my round-up of the best books and online resources for Lent 2018.

My personal recommendation is Walter Brueggemann's Lenten guide A Way Other Than Our Own. I read this last year for Lent and give it two big thumbs up. Each day's readings are only a couple pages long, but they pack a punch. 

Another guide I can vouch for is Phyllis Tickle's Eastertide, the Lenten months gathered from her yearlong Divine Hours series. They are designed to be used three to four times daily in the monastic tradition of praying the hours. You won't find any commentary or devotional fluff, just a nice rotating selection of scripture and prayers. Taken in regular but short doses throughout the day, they can help build a contemplative rhythm of prayer into your life. 

Lent Madness is one resource I'll be trying out this year as fun and quirky way to learn some saintly wisdom. Each day users vote on their favorite saint in a tournament-syle bracket. Think NCAA March Madness for saints, 

  "The first round consists of basic biographical information about each of the 32 saints. Things get a bit more interesting in the subsequent rounds as we offer quotes and quirks, explore legends, and even move ino the area of saintly kitsch."

Breakforth is an online Ignation Lent project focusing on racial and economic justice. Farther James Martin is a contributor, among others. 

City Church San Francisco offers a Lenten guide based around the Examen. Get the free PDF here. 

Those looking to dive deeper into an Ignatian perspective during Lent can check out  An Ignatian Prayer Adventure. This is a wonderful online series drawn from a full-length book. It's adapted for an eight week journey through Lent and Easter—I highly recommend it and it's free! 

This is a pilgrimage and travel blog, so I'll highlight a couple related offerings. In the book list below you'll find Pilgrim Road: A Benedictine Journey Through Lent. It's drawn from the author's pilgrimages through Europe and the Holy Land.  Unhurryup! Into Easter: A Lenten Pilgrimage is crafted around pilgrimage themes and looks excellent from the bits I've read, though I haven't read the entire book yet.

Either of these would make nice travel companions for those currently on the road or those at home with a desire to stay connected to the pilgrim's spirit. 

Below are my recommended books, along with links to Powell's Books in Portland, OR (when available) and Amazon. You can help support my blog by clicking through the links below, I'll get a very small referral payment if you buy something. 

Buy from Amazon (Kindle $9.49)

Lent for Everyone by N.T. Wright

"Lent for Everyone: Matthew, Year A provides readers with an inspirational guide through the Lenten season, from Ash Wednesday through the week after Easter. Popular biblical scholar and author N. T. Wright provides his own Scripture translation, brief reflection, and a prayer for each day of the season, helping readers ponder how the text is relevant to their own lives. By the end of the book, readers will have been through the entirety of Matthew, along with Psalm readings for each Sunday." 


Buy from Amazon (No Kindle version)

The Great Lent: Journey to Pascha by Alexander Schmemann

"Schmemann draws on the Church's sacramental and liturgical tradition to suggest the meaning of Lent in our life. The Lenten season is meant to kindle a 'bright sadness' within our hearts. Its aim is precisely the remembrance of Christ, a longing for a relationship with God that has been lost. Lent offers the time and place for recovery of this relationship."


Buy from Amazon (Kindle $9.99)

Preparing for Easter by C.S. Lewis

"Together in one special volume, selections from the best of beloved bestselling author C. S. Lewis’s classic works for readers contemplating the "grand miracle" of Jesus’s resurrection.

Preparing for Easter is a concise, handy companion for the faithful of all Christian traditions and the curious to help them deepen their knowledge and consideration of this holy season—a time of reflection as we consider Jesus’s sacrifice and his joyous rise from the dead."


Buy from Amazon (Kindle $8.99)

Unhurryup! Into Easter: A Lenten Pilgrimage

"Are you longing for more during this Lent season? Would you like a seasoned guide? Then you've come to the right place! unhurryUp! to Easter: A Lenten Pilgrimage is a terrific guidebook to help you walk with meaningful intention through one of the holiest seasons of the church year. And Paula Gamble, a seasoned spiritual director, retreat leader and fellow pilgrim, is an able guide."


Buy from Amazon (Kindle $6.15)

Wondrous Encounters: Scripture For Lent by Richard Rohr

"Richard Rohr, one of today's most prophetic voices, invites us to self-disclosure and to enter the wondrous divine dialogue with clarity, insight--and holy desire! These daily meditations for Lent are his gift to us for our transformation into our original image and likeness, which is the very image of God."


Buy from Amazon (Kindle $13.99)

Show Me the Way by Henri Nouwen

"Nouwen invites readers to join him on a 40-day Lenten path as fellow pilgrims, from the solemn beginning of Ash Wednesday to the joyous climax of Easter. This inspirational "search for the way" speaks directly to the heart during this time of reflection and prayer."


Buy from Amazon (Kindle $9.99)

Pilgrim Road: A Benedictine Journey Through Lent by Albert Holtz

"In the view of St. Benedict of Nursia, the Lenten journey is an inner pilgrimage with Christ into the deepest parts of ourselves, to be marked not so much by external observances, such as fasting and self-denial, as by a deepening of our relationship with God. Benedictine monk Albert Holtz develops that journey theme through meditations written during a fifteen-country pilgrimage while on sabbatical. At the heart of each reflection is the lesson it teaches about our inner spiritual journey."


Buy from Amazon (Kindle $8.00)

A Way Other Than Our Own: Devotions for Lent by Walter Brueggemann

"Lent recalls times of wilderness and wandering, from newly freed Hebrew slaves in exile to Jesus' temptation in the desert. God has always called people out of their safe, walled cities into uncomfortable places, revealing paths they would never have chosen. Despite our culture of self-indulgence, we too are called to walk an alternative path--one of humility, justice, and peace. Walter Brueggemann's thought-provoking reflections for the season of Lent invite us to consider the challenging, beautiful life that comes with walking the way of grace."


Buy from Amazon (Kindle $9.99)

God for Us with Luci Shaw, Scott Cairns, Richard Rohr, Lauren Winner, Kathleen Norris & more...

"Explore the meaning of Lent, its importance in spiritual formation, its significance in the preparation of Easter, and the holy season of Easter itself. Reflections from leading spiritual writers in North America reveal what one theologian has called the "bright sadness" of Lent — that it is not about becoming lost in feelings of brokenness, but about cleansing the palate so that we can taste life more fully. Lent and Easter reveal the God who is for us in all of life — for our liberation, for our healing, for our wholeness. Lent and Easter remind us that even in death there can be found resurrection." 


Buy from Amazon (Kindle $14.99)

"In her acclaimed trilogy, The Divine Hours, Phyllis Tickle introduced modern Christians to the time-honored practice of "praying the hours." In this exquisite new volume, she provides a vibrant program of prayer dedicated to the anticipation of Christ’s resurrection. 
Beginning with Ash Wednesday and moving through Lent and on to Easter Sunday, Eastertide provides the daily prayers that bring practitioners into the full spirit of this season. Each day is filled with psalms, readings from the Bible, and hymns of praise and worship, just as they appear in the larger volume, The Divine Hours: Prayers for Springtime."