One of the practices many churches and Christians embrace is the reading of a specific book through the season of Lent. Needless to say, it is a practice that I fully embrace. So, for those of you looking for Lenten reading; here are a few suggestions:
- Free of Charge by Miroslav Wolf. Wolf's underlying thesis is that we are at our most human when we are giving and forgiving. His book is about how to be more gracious in a culture stripped of grace.
- The Cost of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Warning; this is one dense read. That said, it is also one of those "besides the Bible" books that changed my life. Bonhoeffer lays out what it means to follow in the way of Jesus, a way that always comes with a cost.
- Our Sound Is Our Wound by Lucy Winkett. Winkett's book on contemplative listening helps to clear up the misunderstanding of stillness as time wasted and then fleshes out what active listening can mean for a world filled up with noise.
- Sacred Rhythms by Ruth Haley Barton. Barton explores the spiritual disciplines not as a set of rigid rules, but as activities that open us up to God's transforming love. Her Invitation To Solitude and Silence is also excellent.
- New Seeds of Contemplation by Thomas Merton. I'll let Merton speak for himself; "Every moment and every event of every man's life on earth plants something in his soul. For just as the wind carries thousands of winged seeds, so each moment brings with it germs of spiritual vitality that come to rest imperceptibly in the minds and wills of men. Most of these unnumbered seeds perish and are lost, because men are not prepared to receive them: for such seeds as these cannot spring up anywhere except in the soil of freedom, spontaneity and love."