In the Benedictine tradition, Lent is an opportunity for reading, and for all that flows from that: meeting other perspectives, slowing down, reflecting and perhaps changing direction.
At the beginning of Lent, each monk or nun receives a book from the monastic library and reads it through “consecutively and in its entirety” (Ch. 48). No dipping or skipping!
Here I just want to recommend three books, all from the Benedictine stable. Of course, they may not be everyone’s cup of tea; they are simply suggestions. Their cost is not prohibitive.
Here they are – an echo of the unknown child St Augustine heard over a garden wall chanting, “Take and read, take and read”. He did so and was never the same again.
The Way of Benedict: Eight Blessings for Lent, by Laurentia Johns OSB, published by SPCK, 2019, ISBN 978-0-281-07581-2
This is a reflection on eight good and wise things (blessings, attitudes, values) St Benedict offers anyone truly seeking God. Sr Laurentia is a nun of Stanbrook Abbey.
Our Father: a Biblical Meditation on the Lord’s Prayer, by Sr Claire Waddelove OSB, published by Gracewing 2020, ISBN 978-0-85244-967-7
This is what it says it is. It lets the Lord’s Prayer echo forth with the help of other Scriptural passages, the Liturgy and spiritual writers. To be taken slowly. Sr Claire is a nun of St Cecilia’s Abbey, Ryde.
I have seen the Lord: Witnesses of an Encounter with the Risen Christ, published by the Weave of Manquehue Prayer, 2020, ISBN 9798554187445
This book hails from the lay Benedictine Manquehue Movement, active in Chile and the UK. It collates the testimonies to their Christian experience of some 38 persons, young and old, male and female, ordinary and extraordinary. It opens windows on the Lord’s action in our lives.
Bishop Hugh OSB