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.”
What a great idea – I’m always ready to add some reading to my schedule!
Since last fall, I’ve joined two book groups, so I’m already doing a lot of reading; but this Lent I’ve been reading Fragments of Your Ancient Name by Joyce Rupp, sitting with the daily meditations that Rupp offers.
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? What books have pushed you to change? What books have helped you grow in your spiritual life?