40 Days, 40 Ways is Dr. Marcellino D'Ambrosio's latest book. You might remember his previous one, which I also reviewed, called When the Church was Young! In his latest book, he attempts to get us to look at Lent in a new way. Most people dread Lent, and just try and find something to give up to satisfy the requirement and have their "card punched." Dr. D'Ambrosio (aka Dr. Italy) instead provides us with devotions, prayers, or other tasks we can do. He tries to make Lent more about what we can do and not what we cannot do.
Each day is about two to three pages long, and starts with a suggestion on what to do, not just this day in Lent, but the whole season. Some of the tasks are "easy," like pledging to say the "Our Father" three times a day. Other tasks require more effort like going on a contemplative retreat during Lent. After the task, we are then given a long reflection on the specific task for the day. For example, on the day that tells us to pledge to say the "Our Father," Dr. Italy discusses the word father, its meaning, and how personal it is that we can call God our Father. In addition to covering the 40 days of Lent, there are reflections (but no task to complete) for each Sunday during Lent, as well as Easter Sunday. There is also a helpful section of resources at the end, which includes prayers, devotions, books to read, etc.
I found this book to be a refreshing change of perspective on Lent. Be sure to read the Preface, I didn't my first time through and thought the book was a bit overwhelming. However, reading the Preface he encourages you to read through the Table of Contents, and pick a few tasks you can accomplish this Lent. A lot of the tasks are easy enough to accomplish, but if you try and do too many, you might find yourself burnt out trying to change too much, too quickly. I think I will re-read this book during Lent and try and incorporate some of the ideas and maybe gradually over several Lents, I will have accomplished everything in this book. If you're looking for a book that makes you think and re-evaluate what Lent is about (growth and doing stuff, not just giving stuff up), then pick up a copy of Dr. Italy's latest book.
This book was provided to me for free by Servant Books in exchange for an honest review. If you found this review helpful, please click here and hit Yes!