My Lenten Reading This Year



Am I the only one looking forward to Lent?

Yes? Well then.

It happens to me most years. After the chaos of November and December and the bleak cold of January and February, I’m ready for Lent. I just am.

Though there are tons of great new Lenten books available this year (more about those in a future Book Notes post), I’m going to be focusing my Lenten reading on two books. Yes, just two. (Or that’s what I’m planning. God has a way of taking my plans and…modifying them.)

It seems to help me to have something special to read during Lent, and it’s usually only one or two books. One year, it was Mother Teresa: Come Be My Light, and that book really impacted me that Lent.

This year, I think there’s a potential for big impact, just as there was that year.


Jesus of Nazareth: Holy Week: From the Entrance Into Jerusalem to the Resurrection, by Pope Benedict XVI (2011, Ignatius Press)


I was so struck when I read Jesus of Nazareth: The Infancy Narratives (which I mentioned ever-so-briefly here and listed among the best nonfiction I read in 2012). I think it impacted my Advent in a good way and made me pay attention to different aspects of Advent.

It also brought Jesus to life in a way few things ever have for me. Pope Benedict’s writing is so dear to me, and though this book is FAR thicker than The Infancy Narratives, I am looking forward to at least beginning the journey to Holy Week with this in hand.

Bring Lent to Life: Activities and Reflections for Your Family, by Kathleen Basi (2011, Liguori Publications)


Because no, I can’t use my own book, and because yes, my kids and my family deserve something. My eight-year-old, in particular, is conscious of Lent this year. She makes her First Communion on Divine Mercy Sunday, so this Lent is super-extra-scrumdillyspecial for all of us. And we need to do it together. So I’m letting Kathleen (Kate) Basi lead the way and from what I’ve seen of this book so far, I’m in good hands.

I loved Kate’s down-to-earth approach to Advent: it echoes the longing I have to observe these seasons and the competing temptation to being overwhelmed by all the choices. I haven’t yet dug into this book, but I plan to do it in the next few weeks so that I’m ready to share this season with my family!

What are your plans for Lenten reading?

I’d love to hear about them in the comments

Be sure to check out our Book Notes archive.

Copyright 2013, Sarah Reinhard


About Author

When she’s not chasing kids, chugging coffee, or juggling work, Sarah Reinhard’s usually trying to stay up read just one…more…chapter. She writes and works in the midst of rural farm life with little ones underfoot. She is part of the team for the award-winning Catholic Mom’s Prayer Companion, as well as the author of a number of books. You can join her for a weekday take on Catholic life by subscribing to Three Shots and follow her writing at Snoring Scholar.


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  2. Lisa@SoundMindandSpirit on

    My past blog writings on Lent ideas are FILLED with things to do for Lent. We always go overboard in choosing many, many things. Some we followed through with and some not so much. It’s just that I love Lent! But I really like your idea of only tackling 2 things. One for yourself and one for family. Hmmm. I’ve been wanting to start blogging on my ideas for Lent this year and now you’ve given me something else to think about. I might have to reevaluate my plan. Thanks Sarah.

      • Lisa@SoundMindandSpirit on

        Ha Ha! I love it. Maybe acknowledging that I can’t do it all should be part of my Lenten resolutions.
        I do love that you recommended Jesus of Nazareth – Holy Week. It is sitting on my bookshelf unread. Maybe I’ll join you and plan to read it this Lent.

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