Originally published on Aleteia, republished with their permission
Lent is a time during the liturgical year when the Church exhorts us to turn from our sinful ways to embrace a life of virtue. This isn’t easy, of course, but some spiritual encouragement helps to make it a reality.
One way to do this is through spiritual reading, especially reading particular books of the Bible. While the entire Bible is God’s Word, certain books are especially perfect for Lent.
These books focus on our current fallen condition, but remind us of the mercy of God, urging us to trust in a God who loves us and provides for our every need.
The book of Exodus is a powerful book about how God wants to free us from slavery and lead us to the Promised Land. It provides countless images to meditate on during Lent as we wander through the desert of life, seeking the true water that will fill our souls.
“Vanity of vanities! All is vanity.” The book of Ecclesiastes provides a potent reflection on how this world and all its pleasures are passing away. It reminds us that while we may enjoy this life, it is nothing compared to the life to come.
One of the shortest books of the Bible, the book of Jonah portrays an imperfect man who tries to run away from God’s will for his life. He eventually says “yes” to God, but is still frustrated with God, thinking that justice should trump mercy. Yet, he learns that when we turn our hearts to God, he accepts us lovingly back into the fold.
The Psalms provide ample reflections during Lent, as they are written from the heart. They speak the inner desires and honest feelings of the heart, crying out to God in repentance and love.
Each of the gospels contains the life and teachings of Jesus Christ and is the perfect reflection during Lent. You can either read all of the four gospels, or pick one of the gospels and read it in its entirety.