I try not to duplicate material that is readily available all over the Catholic internet world and even in your local parish/diocese. I had no intention of doing an Ash Wednesday/Lenten entry today until early this morning, truth be told, when I realized that for some of you the Café is your link to “Catholic World,” and so I provided some links here for Lenten spirituality in the fashion of the daily posts.
America Magazine introduced today a daily Lenten podcast called “The Examen,” a daily reflection/examination of conscience taken from the Jesuit regimen of prayer. Available on Apple Podcasts and Google Play for free, this daily 12-minute selection is an excellent introduction to Ignatian spirituality, i.e., from St. Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits.
Paulist Press has a “Liturgical Seasons and Reflections” collection at its publishing site which includes Lenten and Easter books for prayerful reflection. Liturgical Press’s Lent and Easter collection is quite varied and includes a wide range of products including eBooks and “sermon-helpers” for priests.
Loyola Press will email you at no expense a daily copy of “Living Lent Daily,” unique reflections on the mysteries of Lent. The general catalogue of Loyola Press Lenten/Easter reflections and publications is quite rich, and it, too, draws heavily from the Jesuit tradition of spirituality. I am also including a link to Loyola’s 2018 trade catalogue, which includes material oriented to youth. This may be useful to parents attempting religious dialogue in their own homes with their minor children. [I am delighted to see my old friend Amy Welborn has now published her twentieth work on spirituality and the young, and these are carried in the Loyola catalogue. Amy was a pioneer in Catholic blogging and her “Charlotte Was Both” blog may be the richest daily posting in Catholic blog-world.]
St. Mary’s Press has another rich selection of aids for catechists in the field, but again this material may be very useful for parents as organized Lenten observance in the home.
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has several free resources for adult observance of Lent. The USCCB provides a three-minute daily reflection via YouTube. Today’s offering is available here. And, in another example of your Catholic tax dollars at work, you can have the Lectionary Scripture readings of the day emailed directly to you. I use this service seven days a week.
While on the subject, I wondered if a small version of the Lectionary was available for anyone to own, particularly in the leather binding that has sacramental quality when held in the hands. I could not find a stand-alone Lectionary for sale on-line except the very large red books you see in your church, which run from $75 to $1500. I had the sense that e-versions of daily and Sunday readings have perhaps cut significantly into the demand.
I was proven wrong, though, when I discovered that Catholic Book Publishing is doing a lively business in marketing daily and Sunday missals which include the day’s Scripture readings. I have links here to the Sunday volume and the two weekday volumes; the full investment comes to about $100. I am seeing people in my own congregation bringing them to Mass, as all the Mass prayers are included.
In my own prayer-book-nook I have two Lenten reads: Courage and Convictions (2018) by Anthony J. Gittins from Liturgical Press; and A Lenten Journey with Jesus Christ and St. Thomas Aquinas (2012) by Paul Jerome Keller, O.P. from Christus Publishing, a rather low-profile publisher; the book is selling at good volume and favorable reviews on Amazon. I look forward to both.