Book Review: 40 Days, 40 Ways




cover-40days40waysLent is a season of penance, but that penance shouldn’t stunt your spiritual growth. On the contrary, this penitential time should help you grow in faith and in virtue. contributor Dr. Marcellino D’Ambrosio‘s new book, 40 Days, 40 Ways: A New Look at Lent offers daily opportunities for growth in ways you might not expect.

For each day of Lent, D’Ambrosio offers an idea for a penitential or devotional practice, followed by his own reflection on this idea. Sometimes these are stories from his childhood; other reflections are explanations of what makes practices such as Eucharistic adoration or praying the Rosary so important in the lives of Catholics. D’Ambrosio’s reflections are short (2 or 3 pages per chapter) and engaging, inviting the reader to meditate upon the Gospel or other passages from Scripture while taking up a new practice or deepening a familiar one.

The Sundays of Lent are featured in the book as well, but without the penitential focus of Lent’s weekdays. For each Lenten Sunday, D’Ambrosio offers a meditation on Gospel events and their challenges for us in the 21st century.

While you can read this book start-to-finish or a day at a time, it can also be used as a spiritual shot in the arm when you’re feeling discouraged about how your Lent is going.

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Be sure to check out our Book Notes archive.

Copyright 2015, Barb Szyszkiewicz


About Author

Barb Szyszkiewicz is a wife, mom of 3 young adults, and a Secular Franciscan. She is managing editor for Today's Catholic Teacher magazine and editor at Barb enjoys writing, cooking, and reading, and is a music minister at her parish and an avid Notre Dame football and basketball fan. Find her blog at FranciscanMom and her family’s favorite recipes with nutrition information for diabetics at Cook and Count.


  1. I loved this book too, Barb, and had the same sort of thought about it: while it COULD be overwhelming, I like that there’s no shortage of easy things in it. In fact, you can make them as much or as little as you’re so inclined. 🙂

  2. Pingback: On keeping a good Lent: 10 Helpful Reading & Resource Links:

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