New Books for Lent



Today, I thought I’d do something a little different. Instead of review my favorite Lent books, I compiled some of the best-looking new releases from some of my favorite Catholic publishers. I emailed a number of my contacts at publishers, and here’s the list I have. Let’s just say maybe my Lenten reading isn’t as set as I thought

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Totally Catholic! A Catechism for Kids and Their Parents and Teachers, by Mary Kathleen Glavich, SND (Pauline Books & Media, 2013) *not an affiliate link

cover-totallycatholicContaining extensive information on what Catholics believe and how they live as members within the community of believers, this manual not only equips you with knowledge of the faith, but also encourages you to engage in it. Each chapter is framed in the form of a question and contains useful sections. While not specifically targeted for Lent, I think this could be a great addition for any teen, family, or even adult. Also available at the Pauline website for a 20% pre-release discount.

A 40-Day Spiritual Workout for Catholics, by Bob Rice (Servant Books, 2013)


Each of the forty days includes a Scripture quote, a quote from a saint or the Catechism of the Catholic Church, a short reflection, thought-provoking questions, and a prayer. Your spiritual workout borrows concepts from physical training, including stretch, cardio, muscle-building, hydration, fat-burning, and cool down. Rice talks about the importance of prayer for a Christian: Prayer isn’t an option for Christians. It’s what we do.

Lenten Reflections From A Father Who Keeps His Promises, by Scott Hahn (Servant Books, 2012)


From Genesis to Jesus, these Lenten reflections based on A Father Who Keeps His Promises highlight biblical characters such as Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, and David that lead us to Christ and his sacrifice for us. Delving into the rich history of God’s covenant with us, each day’s reading gives the reader much to reflect on throughout Lent, culminating with Easter and ending with Divine Mercy Sunday. In addition to the reflection, there is a daily Scripture verse, a prayer, and a relevant question, all designed to deepen the reader’s Lenten experience.

Fast, Pray, Give: Making the Most of Lent, by Mary Carol Kendzia (Franciscan Media, 2013)


This is a six-week study program for Lent that can be used by small groups and individuals alike. It focuses on key concepts of Lent in a fresh, contemporary way that will inspire readers to see Lent as an opportunity for spiritual growth and renewal. Each chapter contains quotes from Scripture and the Catechism of the Catholic Church, questions for reflection and discussion, a saint for the week, a Lenten practice, and prayer. There is also ample space for journaling, as well as a list of resources for further study. here is a 30-minute DVD available for use with the book that will enhance use in parish programs and study groups. The DVD gives additional content on Lent, as well as brief presentations on the Year A readings for the Sundays of Lent.

Praying Freedom: Lenten Meditations to Engage Your Mind and Free Your Soul, by Vinita Hampton Wright (Loyola Press, 2013)


Author Vinita Hampton Wright discusses how being spiritually free requires self-awareness and prayer, imagination as well as good intention, and practical activity in addition to belief. Through Ignatian spirituality principles, imaginative techniques, and the power of God’s grace, we can become more spiritually mature and free to live as God wants us to live.

A Book of Lenten Prayers, by William G. Storey (Loyola Press, 2013)


This title emphasizes the graces of Baptism and Penance, offers traditional Catholic devotions and prayers that are still relevant and meaningful today, and gives insight into the rich treasury and history of Lenten prayers.

Louder Than Words: The Art of Living as a Catholic, by Matthew Leonard (Our Sunday Visitor, 2013)


We’re called to have such faith that when others meet us they actually see Christ. But how do we do that in a world where Notre Dame means football and not Our Lady?Author, lecturer, and Catholic covert Matthew Leonard combines the stories of the saints triumphs and struggles along with his own personal anecdotes and wry humor to show us all a fresh take on the art of being truly Catholic in a contemporary world.

The Eucharist: A Bible Study Guide for Catholics, by Fr. Mitch Pacwa (Our Sunday Visitor, 2013)


It is called the “source and summit” of our Catholic faith – The Holy Eucharist. But do we really understand its true meaning? In this book, you will see the essential connection between the Eucharist and the Scriptures, and through reflection and discussion you’ll learn to apply the principles in your own life.

Totus Tuus: A Consecration to Jesus through Mary, by Fr. Brian McMaster (Our Sunday Visitor, 2013)


This fresh look at Marian consecration takes the themes and structures of St. Louis de Montfort’s preparation for total consecration and incorporates the teachings and insight of Blessed John Paul II, including prayer, contemplation, and resolutions that will open your heart to the life of the Holy Trinity. Through these thirty-three days of spiritual exercises you will discover how you can grow closer to Jesus through the heart of Mary, while becoming the very best version of yourself in a life of consecration.

The Living Gospel: Daily Devotions for Lent 2013, by Fr. Scott Hurd (Ave Maria Press, 2013)


Written by R. Scott Hurd, a priest of the Archdiocese of Washington, each daily devotion offers simple prayers, a pertinent reflection on the gospel reading for the day, and a specific challenge for ongoing spiritual growth. As a popular homilist, speaker, and blogger, Hurd is immersed in day-to-day pastoral care and leadership. He gracefully draws the cares, concerns, and joys of his fellow Catholics into the larger story of the Lenten gospel readings and provides a simple blueprint for prayer, reflection, and renewal.

Sacred Space for Lent 2013 (Ave Maria Press)


Using the simple six-step method first developed by St. Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuits, this booklet provides the same daily readings and prayer starters, accompanied by the weekly Lenten themes found in the larger book. Inexpensive and portable, it is ideal for people on the go who want to grab a few moments to read, reflect, and pray in the midst of their busy days.

Cravings: A Catholic Wrestles with Food, Self-Image, and God, by Mary DeTurris Poust (Ave Maria Press, 2012)


The themes of Cravings are ideal as we enter this season of feasting and fasting. Poust helps readers spot ways they use food to avoid or ignore their real desires–for acceptance, understanding, friendship, love, and, indeed, for God. Poust draws from scripture and the great Catholic prayer forms and devotions to assist readers in making intentional changes in their use of food. She also offers reflections on fasting, eating in solidarity with the poor, vegetarianism, and the local food movement.

Navigating the Interior Life: Spiritual Direction and the Journey to God, by Dan Burke (Emmaus Road Publishing, 2012)


What is spiritual direction and my spiritual direction? What are my “blind spots” and how can I uncover them? What keeps me from all the spiritual riches Christ has for me? How can I better understand where I am in my spiritual progress? This book will give you the tools you need to understand how and why we grow and die in the spiritual life and what we can do about it.

The One Thing Is Three: How the Most Holy Trinity Explains Everything, by Fr. Michael Gaitley (Marian Press, 2012)


The “One Thing” Is Three How the Most Holy Trinity Explains Everything Fr. Michael E. Gaitley, MIC With humor and ease, Father Michael Gaitley, MIC, deftly unlocks the “one thing,” the key to the Church’s wisdom, and the greatest mystery of the Catholic faith: the Most Holy Trinity. Far from being a scholarly or academic read, The “One Thing” is Three makes deep theology accessible to every-day Catholics. What’s more, it makes even what’s familiar or forgotten appear in a way that’s new, exciting, and relevant. Thus, The “One Thing” is Three brings its readers a unique and powerful experience of the faith. Billed as the perfect book for the Year of Faith, it’s also ideal for Lent.

A School of Prayer: The Saints Show us How to Pray, by Pope Benedict XVI (Ignatius Press, 2013)


Benedict begins considering what we can learn from the examples of prayer found in a wide range of cultures and eras. Next, he turns to the Bible’s teaching about prayer, beginning with Abraham and moving though Moses, the prophets, the Psalms to the example of Jesus. With Jesus Christ, Pope Benedict considers not only the Lord’s teaching about prayer, but also his example of how to pray, including the Our Father, his prayers in the Garden of Gethsemane, and prayers on the Cross. The prayers of Mary, the Mother of Jesus, and the early Church are also explored. Benedict also draws on insights from spiritual masters, the saints, and the Church’s liturgy. He challenges readers to live their relationships with God “even more intensely, as it were, at a ‘school of prayer’.” Although Benedict provides a sweeping survey of great figures of prayer, his discussion centers on Jesus Christ and even invokes him in the study of prayer.

Contemplative Provocations, by Fr. Donald Haggerty (Ignatius Press, 2013)


For those who are spiritually courageous and full of desire for God, this book cannot but provoke them to begin or to persevere in this ultimate adventure in life the more complete discovery of the living God. Thematically unified by the notion of God’s ultimate transcendence to our limited human knowledge, Contemplative Provocations offers a rich profusion of insights on the life of prayer and the pursuit of God. The format and style of this book has a contemplative appeal. The reflections based upon the Church’s rich tradition of contemplative prayer are short and concise, stimulating the intuition. They can be read independently a few at a time, or as a series of connected thoughts. Most importantly, they provoke a desire to enter more generously into one s own relationship with God.

The Way of the Cross, by Juliette Levivier (Ignatius Press, 2013)


Help your youngsters meditate on the Stations of the Cross. Beautifully illustrated and simply written, this little guide is a wonderful introduction to an important prayer and ancient devotion of the Church. The book begins with a description of the events of that first Holy Week, when Jesus suffered, died and rose from the dead. There is also a brief history of the Way of the Cross devotion, which began in Jerusalem. Each station includes a Scripture verse, a brief text to help children imagine the scene, a four-color illustration, and a prayer. This lovely book can be used by the whole family at church or at home.

Have any you’d like to share?

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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