come to me, and i will fill your heart

FullSizeRender(6)Well, after a few weeks of browsing and prayers of gratitude to the devil (um, amazon) who tempts me with his two day shipping, I have finally selected our Lenten Readalong book: From Ash to Water: Meditations on Lent.

I chose this book because it walks us through the forty day lenten journey, with readings that actually follow the lectionary.  So . . . Nothing extra to read!  That’s always a plus for me.  You’ll learn more about the meaning of Lent and you’ll be invited to reflect on the daily readings and respond with meditation and prayer.  Another plus: No huge projects or scary probing psychological inquiries designed to speed you along on the path to sainthood.  Just quiet reflection.  The author is Fr. Luis Granados, and his writing is straightforward and accessible rather than lofty or philosophical, and his commentary draws us closer to the sacred mysteries of the Paschal Story as it unfolds during Lent.  My hope is that this book will enrich your understanding of the liturgical season and connect you in meaningful ways to the poetry and beautiful celebrations of Lent.  A few minutes each day may not only nourish your spirit but deepen your prayer life.


So, this is your official invitation to my Lent Party! Order your copy of From Ash to Water and begin by reading the introduction to prepare for Ash Wednesday.  I will keep a reading journal over at The Province of Joy and invite you to come follow me there.  Read my reflections as time allows, and of course, I always welcome two or three (or more) to gather with me!  I so appreciate your comments or even just a quick click of the “like” button because they let me know you are there.  -rebecca.

I thirst for you. Yes, that is the only way to even begin to describe my love for you. I thirst for you. I thirst to love you and to be loved by you–that is how precious you are to me. I thirst for you. Come to Me, and I will fill your heart and heal your wounds. I will make you a new creation, and give you peace, even in all your trials I thirst for you. You must never doubt my mercy, my acceptance of you, my desire to forgive you, my longing to bless you and live my life in you. I thirst for you. If you feel unimportant in the eyes of the world, that matters not at all. For me, there is no one any more important in the entire world than you. I thirst for you. Open to me, come to me, thirst for me, give me your life–and I will prove to you how important you are to my Heart.

~ Blessed Teresa Calcutta “I thirst,”  From Ash to Water “THIRD SUNDAY OF LENT ‘The Samaritan Woman: Our Desire'” 


[dot_recommends]    Email This Post

lenten readalong update

Choosing a book for a readalong is no easy task, especially when one discovers she’d rather read novels than hefty theological tomes.  After visiting three bookshops hoping to hold the Rolheiser in my hand, I finally found it and decided it just weighed too much — in more ways than one.  Rolheiser is out for sure, but I do look forward to reading excerpts.

I’m still intrigued by Fr. James Martin’s Jesus but worry that may not be the best choice for a “retreat” type book, either.  He’s got another book called Between Heaven and Mirth: Why Joy, Humor, and Laughter Are at the Heart of the Spiritual Life, which again would be perfect if it were shorter or more snippety.  I sense most want a little reflection and not a lot of heavy chapter-length prose, even if it leads us to joy and laughter.

Traveling Your Road to Joy is another promising read I’ve ordered and should have in hand for more thorough browsing tomorrow.  This is a short 8 session Merton study, and I think it could be a great book to lead us into Pope Francis’s The Joy of the GospelWith session titles like “Living Joyfully in the Present Moment” and “A Joy that Tastes God,” brief reflections upon scripture and passages from Merton’s writings, and I presume some reflection questions for contemplative dialogue, this could be an interesting perfect read for my Lent Party!  The jury is out until I see the entire book.

Others have expressed an interest in the Lent and Easter Wisdom books for Merton and St. Therese, so either of these could be the ticket.

Do you still have some thoughts or a comment about the book(s) you like to read during Lent?  You can email me directly through the contact page or leave a comment to this post.

If you’re looking for a novel to read during Lent, may I recommend these?  I’ve read Gilead and have had Death Comes for the Archbishop on my TBR shelf for almost a year.  Dying to read it!


Shop Indie Bookstores


[dot_recommends]    Email This Post

lenten readalong

white_rabbit_oh_dear_oh_dear_i_shall_be_late_sticker-rfd398c13fe4d45b9ad5331a93a2b7ff1_v9waf_8byvr_324Oh dear ! Oh dear! Lent is almost here!  That’s right.  Around the corner, people.  This brings sighs of relief to me because Lent is always a wonderful excuse to slow down and live more intentionally, more prayerfully.  It’s a time for connection and transformation.  It’s my favorite time of the year, a time marked by grace and divine beauty made visible in the world with blossoming trees and signs of renewal all over the earth.  It should be the best book we read all year!  And so as I start to plan the 2015 Lent Party, I need your help selecting a readalong for the blog.

Last year I put together a small faith sharing group at my parish and we met each week to discuss Sarah Parson’s book A Clearing Season.  What a blessing that was for all of us!  My group of strangers drew closer to God and one another, and I hope to facilitate that journey again but perhaps with a different kind of book–one not so lessony as spiritual.  After emailing the group to let them know I’d be leading another retreat, many have responded with “here I ams” and hoorays, so I hope you, too, might consider participating in a readalong with us.  My small group will meet each week, but I will write weekly reflections for my virtual participants.  These weekly Lenten Reflections are posted on my sister blog, The Province of Joy, and I invite you to read along with us and share your own reflections.  I had many lurkers last year, people who visited and read but did not post, so my hope this year is that if two or three gather with me we can get some great conversations started.  Could it be you?

Now the idea is that you would buy the book and read it during Lent, peruse my reflections and then when you feel moved by the spirit share your thoughts, too.  Why not look over these suggested titles below and leave a comment to let me know if any of them sound like something you’d enjoy reading and discussing as part of your spiritual practice during Lent.  In the coming weeks I will consider all possibilities and announce the selected book before Ash Wednesday.


Sacred Fire: A Vision for a Deeper Human and Christian Maturity by Ronald Rolheiser, OMI



Jesus: A Pilgrimage by James Martin, SJ



Learning to Walk in the Dark by Barbara Brown Taylor



Lent and Easter: Wisdom from Thomas Merton



Lent and Easter: Wisdom from St. Therese of Lisieux



The Confessions of St. Augustine

When we pray we speak to God; but when we read, God speaks to us.

– St. Jerome

[dot_recommends]    Email This Post