In her book Listen with the Heart, Sister Joan Chittister writes that The Rule of Benedict “does not ask for stringent penances during Lent. Benedict asks that we ‘withdraw some food and add some reading.’ The relationship is clear: Lent is the time for filling ourselves with ideas that will nourish the soul in the way that nothing else can.” Sister Joan Chittister also notes that by calling for more reading, Benedict is “calling for change, not invariability. The spiritual life is a process of growth, not a checklist of religious activities.”
There are any number of books I’ve read that have challenged me, provoked me, brought me to a new place. Yes, books are a companion for me in my spiritual life, moving me and moving with me in a process of growth.
Have you added reading to your Lenten discipline? It’s not too late to pick up a book today.
This is based on “What are you reading this Lent?” written by Linda Post Bushkofsky that was first published in 2011 on the Women of the ELCA blog. Today we remember Elizabeth Fedde, deaconess, who died in 1921.