With Lent approaching it is of course time to get prepared for Lent to help us to live Lent and prepare for the greatest feast Easter.
I received a copy of Rediscover Lent written by Matthew Kelly for review. This is one of the Catholic authors I had somewhat heard of, but have never read any of. The format of Rediscover Lent is the common devotional one of providing a scripture verse, reflection, meditation and prayer for each day of Lent. These follow the Lectionary readings for Lent.
The author follows what he calls the seven pillars of Catholic spirituality which include Confession, Daily Prayer, The Mass, The Bible, Fasting, and Spiritual reading. A book that starts with and emphasizes Confession starts on the right track and the book mainly continues on the right track. It provides solid nourishment for Lent and I mostly like the way it was covered. The section relating to the Bible did not skimp by ignoring Apostolic Tradition and the general presentation of the faith was nicely done.
The audience for this book I think is largely for those Catholics that really need to be introduced to the liturgical season of Lent as a daily practice and is written for a general audience. It is hard to fully evaluate a daily prayer/reflection book when you read the whole thing over a day or two, still I liked it and found some food for thought.
Though one aspect of it annoyed me in that it employed a bit of motivation-speaker-jargon such as continually using variants of “both-version-of-yourself”. The call to holiness as the “both-version-of-yourself” just did not do it for me – your mileage may vary. The section regarding the Mass had good points, but the idea of the Mass as the central act of worship of God was lacking and the emphasis was like describing the Mass “It’s about gathering as a community to give thanks to God for all the blessings he fills our lives with.” I find that statement to be rather lacking on several levels since the Mass can be said with no gathering of community other than of course the Body of Christ. Though to be fair worship is mentioned in the context of the Mass.
For myself I am going to go through St. Thomas Aquinas’ Meditations for Lent this year which are also daily reflections.