Friday, February 21, 2014

Meditations for Lent (Sophia Institute Press)

When it comes to Church seasons, Lent is my 2nd least favorite season of the year, with Ordinary Time being the first. Sadly, there is no rhyme or reason for my dislike. Sometimes, I feel like I try and give up too much. Other times, I feel like I don't give up enough. Sometimes, I feel like the season is dragging on forever. Other times, I can't believe how quickly Easter approaches. I'm going to try and do better this Lent though and not dislike it so much. In order to do that though, I'll need to get my thoughts right. One of the best ways for me to do that is through reading. So this Lent, I'll be reading Meditations for Lent.

Meditations for Lent by Bishop Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet is the companion book to Meditations for Advent. I was not familiar with this author's name, so I did some research and found out that he was a French bishop who lived from 1627 to 1704. He was known for his sermons, and some say that he was a better orator than St. Augustine and St. John Chrysostom. Reading that statement blew my mind. These are two of the most well-known and influential saints of Western and Eastern Christendom, respectively, and some people think he was a better orator than him. WOW!

In this book, you will find a daily meditation starting with Ash Wednesday and ending with Easter. At the end of the book, you will also find two extra meditations, one for the Solemnity of the Annunciation and one for the Solemnity of St. Joseph. I appreciate that as these are two very important Feast Days in the Church, which should be Holy Days of Obligation. I admit that I did not read every meditation in this book before writing this review. I didn't want to rush through the meditations, and I also wanted them to be fresh for Lent this year. The ones I did read though were very thought-provoking, and it made me anxious for Lent to start so I could read them all.

I would like to provide you with a sample from one day, so you can see how great these meditations are. Here is a quote from Wednesday of the Second Week of Lent, which won't be read this year as St. Joseph's Solemnity has a higher rank in feast day hierarchy. Referring to James and John's mother asking for her sons to sit next to Jesus in Heaven, Jesus rebukes them and says, "Can you drink the cup that I am going to drink?" Bishop Bossuet elaborates, "You speak of glory, and you are not thinking about what must be suffered to gain it. Then he explains these sufferings to them by two metaphors, by that of the bitter cup that must be drunk and by the bloody baptism that must be accepted. To swallow every sort of bitterness, to be suffering to the point of having one's body submerged, as in baptism: this is the price of glory." This really made me stop, think, and reflect on my spiritual life. How willing am I to suffer?

For other thought-provoking meditations like this, you must pick up Meditations for Lent. It will definitely help provide you with a deeper and more-fruitful Lenten season. I can't wait to finish the whole book! This book was provided to me for free by Sophia Institute Press in exchange for an honest review. If you found this review helpful, please click the link and hit Yes!