When it comes to Lent, many of us think of fasting from foods, items, and habits we enjoy, like chocolate or screen time. But what if Lent could be more than this? The Christian tradition of Lent (February 14 through March 28 this year) offers all of us a time of intentionality and rest, a time we can all benefit from, whether we celebrate in the Christian tradition or not. The books below invite us to discover a different kind of Lent, a time when we can let go of the constant busyness and distraction and make space in our souls to focus on what truly nourishes us.
Clarify your true hungers—and nourish your soul. Contemplative author Christine Valters Paintner explores seven unique fasts tied to spiritual practices, for Lent or a time of focus, to discover our truest hungers and our deepest spiritual reserves. Drawing on desert wisdom and contemplative practice, A Different Kind of Fast helps us enter into our own journey of spiritual growth, both for Lent and beyond.
For millennia, humans have been shaped by the Psalms. And before the Nazis banned him from publishing, German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer published this book on the Psalms. In the pages of Psalms: The Prayer Book of the Bible, discover the richness this book of Scripture held for Bonhoeffer, and learn to pray psalms along with Christ. First published in 1940, this classic reveals how the Psalms are essential to the life of the believer and offers Bonhoeffer's reflections on psalms of thanksgiving, suffering, guilt, praise, and lament. This expanded edition features an introduction by Walter Brueggemann, excerpts from the Psalms, and a biographical sketch of Bonhoeffer.
The ordinary moments of life can be sacred, if we simply take a moment to notice. From gifted poet and empathetic pastor Meta Herrick Carlson, Ordinary Blessings collects blessings for loving yourself, enduring hard things, authenticity, living with others, and the rhythms of each day. Pause, take a deep breath, and open these pages to find that you've been standing on holy ground all along.
When the Spirit speaks to him in his daily prayers, Choctaw elder and spiritual explorer Steven Charleston takes a pen and writes down the messages. This stunning collection of more than two hundred meditations introduces us to the Spirit Wheel and the four directions that ground Native spirituality: tradition, kinship, vision, and balance. We are all searching for belonging and a vision of the world that makes sense. Together we can turn toward the wisdom of our ancestors, kinship with all of Mother Earth's creatures, the vision of the Spirit, and mindful balance of life.
Throughout millennia and across the monotheistic religions, the natural was often revered as a sacred text. As we grapple to make sense of today's tumultuous world, one where nature is at once a damaged and damaging source of disaster, as well as a place of refuge and retreat, we are called again to examine how generously it awaits our attention and devotion, standing ready to be read by all. Weaving together the astonishments of science; the profound wisdom and literary gems of thinkers, poets, and observers who have come before us; and her own spiritual practice and gentle observation, Barbara Mahany reintroduces us to The Book of Nature. We needn't look farther for the divine.
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