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Our readersMarch 22, 2019
Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

Asked about their Lenten reading habits, respondents reported a variety of books and listed passages from Scripture and other spiritual writings. They also reflected on how their reading habits have changed over the years. The writers Richard Rohr, O.F.M., and the Rev. Henri Nouwen were the most popular among
our readers.

Respondents named the Psalms, the Gospels and daily readings, as well as the Book of Proverbs, St. Paul’s letters and the Servant Songs in Isaiah as their favorite Scripture readings for Lent.

“For many years, I read only the weekly readings at Mass,” wrote Pat Fox of Huntington Station, N.Y. “As I got older, I became a lot more engaged in reading and meditating on what I read.”

Chris Jensen of Sacramento, Calif., has “gone from simple devotions to more in-depth reading on prayer and formation.”

Chris Jensen of Sacramento, Calif., has “gone from simple devotions to more in-depth reading on prayer and formation.”

Other spiritual writers respondents listed were the Rev. William Cleary, John Main, O.S.B., and Laurence Freeman, O.S.B. Multiple respondents mentioned Tattoos on the Heart, by Gregory Boyle, S.J. Autobiographical works like Thomas Merton’s The Seven Storey Mountain and St. Augustine’s Confessions also featured prominently. Some readers said they are inclined to read philosophical works like Søren Kierkegaard’s Works of Love.

Also included were books by America editors: Kerry Weber’s Mercy in the City and Jesus: A Pilgrimage, by James Martin, S.J.

A number of respondents reported dedicating more time to prayer. “I read less and pray more than I used to,” wrote Kristeen Bruun of Weatherford, Tex. “Thinking back, there was a time when I did not appreciate Lent in the way I now do. It felt like an interference in my usual routine. Now I look forward to slowing the pace and see that as part of the calling of Lent.”

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