The season of Lent (which begins this year on February 26) is often a time when people of faith commit to increased spiritual reading and prayer. A quick look at our Book Notes archive will yield plenty of full-length spiritual books, but there are also many daily devotionals available that can easily fit into your schedule. We’ve even found some for kids, teens, and the whole family. These short devotionals, smaller than full-length books, can fit into your handbag, briefcase, backpack, or diaper bag — or the glove compartment of your car, if you find yourself with 5 or 10 minutes here and there as you wait for your kids to finish basketball practice or dance rehearsal.
For the whole family
Treasure in Jars of Clay: Family Devotions and Activities for Lent by Steve and Sue Givens offers daily Scripture readings and short reflections to pray and talk about together. Each day’s entry also includes an activity based around a large jar or bowl that will hold visible signs of prayers, concerns, requests, and offerings. This book is best suited to families with school-age children. Available from Creative Communications for the Parish.
For children and teens
My Lenten Journey! A Stickerbook of Ways to Praise for 40 Days by David Mead. Young children who can’t read yet can still match the sticker to the right place in this booklet as their parents or older siblings read the daily prayers and questions to think about. Second- and third-graders will be able to read this on their own. Cheerful cartoon illustrations add to the tone of hope that’s maintained throughout the booklet. Available from Creative Communications for the Parish.
A is for Ashes: Praying Through Lent from A to Z actually does stretch through the full season of Lent, as some letters are used more than once. Each day’s reflection is based on the letter association for the day: ashes, boat, covenant, idols, Jerusalem, Lamb of God, and many more topics are covered in this pocket-size booklet for elementary- and middle-school students. Available from Creative Communications for the Parish.
Lent is A-maze-ing: Devotions for Teens and Young Adults is not a puzzle book, but the tone is kept light while deep topics are considered. These daily devotions can be used around the dinner table, at youth group, or as journal prompts for individual prayer. Available from Creative Communications for the Parish.
Lent with the Saints: Wisdom from the Church’s Holy Ones by Connie Clark offers a brief biography of a group of inspiring saints and reflection on some aspect of each saint’s life. This page-a-day booklet is not tied to the liturgical calendar and includes some familiar saints and some whose names will be new to readers. Lent is a wonderful season to learn about — and from — the saints. Available from Creative Communications for the Parish.
Living God’s Word: Scripture and Reflection for Each Day of Lent by Terence Hegarty is a devotional and journal in one. Citations for the daily Mass readings for each day are included, and a verse or two is highlighted in this booklet, which contains ample space for personal reflection and a short daily journal prompt. Available from Creative Communications for the Parish.
The Living Gospel: Daily Devotions for Lent 2020 by Deacon Greg Kandra provides daily reflections on the Gospel of the day. Each day’s entry comprises Bible verses, prayers, a short meditation, and a call to action, but is brief enough to fit on two pages of this pocket-size booklet. Available in both ebook and paperback format. Published by Ave Maria Press.
Messages of Trust for Lent 2020: 3-Minute Devotions by Michael White and Tom Corcoran offers 5 devotions each week, based on Scripture. Each Saturday, a selection from the psalms is shared, and on Sundays the authors offer a look at the theme for the upcoming week’s devotions, which include a prayer prompt at the end of each selection. Available in both ebook and paperback format. Published by Ave Maria Press.
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Copyright 2020 Barb Szyszkiewicz, OFS
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