The purpose of a Lenten discipline is to adopt a practice that will help us to grow in love. A practice, of course, does not “earn” you grace, but it does place you in the position to notice when you stumble upon it. Sometimes, that means giving something up; other times, it means taking something on.

There are any number of possible Lenten practices to choose from, but one possibility is to read a spiritual book throughout Lent.

Below is a list of recommendations from our associate priest, The Rev’d Dr. Deborah Meister, ODM.

Bread and Wine: Readings for Lent and Easter  from Plough Publishing House
This is a compilation of short texts from a variety of major Christian writers. You could read a few pages a day.

In the Sanctuary of Women by Jan Richardson
While not specifically geared to Lent, this set of non-traditional takes on women’s stories prompt non-judgmental self-examination.

Etty Hillesum: A Life Interrupted  translated by Eva Hoffman
This journal by a young Jewish Dutchwoman living in the 1940s is a story of profound and unorthodox spiritual growth.

The Yoke of Jesus: A School for the Soul in Solitude  by Addison Hodges Hart
This is an excellent guide to building your spiritual life.

The Night is Long but Light Comes in the Morning  by Catherine Meeks
This book is a series of meditations for racial healing by a much-loved lay leader in the Episcopal Church.

Things Seen and Unseen  by Nora Gallagher
A rich and thought-provoking story of a year in faith.

Take This Bread  by Sara Miles
This is a spiritual autobiography of an edgy, justice-oriented, lesbian journalist whose life is “ruined” when she is found by Christ.

Ragamuffin Gospel: Good News for the Bedraggled, Beat Up, and Burnt Out  by Brennan Manning
A spiritual classic, this book will be helpful for all weary, messed-up people. It is particularly ground-breaking for those wrestling with addiction.

Into the Silent Land  by Martin Laird
This book is an excellent choice for those seeking to begin or deepen a practice of contemplative prayer or meditation.

A Wind in the Door  by Madeleine L’Engle
A children’s fiction tale, offering a powerful lens on living authentically and on Christian sacrifice. It is great for adults, too, whether or not they are reading to children.

Meditations of the Heart  by Howard Thurman
This book is food for the soul by a revered African-American spiritual teacher and theologian.

Celtic Benediction  by J. Philip Newell
This is an extravagantly beautiful prayer book which provides a simple and evocative template for daily morning and evening prayer.