In the Rule, Benedict writes: “during this time of Lent each one is to receive a book from the library, and is to read the whole of it straight through.” It continues to be our practice to choose a book to read during Lent. Sister Joanne and I share reflections on our Lenten reading below.
Sister Joanne: Mary Gordon, the author, comes to Holy Wisdom Monastery when she travels to Madison. On a recent visit she presented the sisters with an autographed copy of her latest book, Reading Jesus. It was my choice for Lent; I gained new insights into Jesus’ life and teaching. Half-way through my reading the sisters visited a seriously ill friend. When I recommended we loan the book to this woman the sisters agreed. Although I’ve not completed it, the book now has new meaning for me and will be all the more precious when it returns.
Sister Lynne: This year I am reading Things Hidden: Scripture as Spirituality by Richard Rohr. Rohr lifts up three symbols running throughout the biblical text that serve as indicators of the divine union God offers us. First, there is the symbol of water signifying “God’s constant and gracious invitation to union, God flowing out to us.” The second signpost on our journey to God is blood symbolizing “the transformative experience, the dying before you die that so many religions talk about.” The third symbol is bread: “fullness and satisfaction in God.” Rohr invites us to read the Bible looking for these code words as a way of seeing God’s gracious invitation to share the divine life.
Perhaps you too will become aware of how these symbols arise in your own Lenten journey.
What are you reading for Lent? We invite you to share your response with others by commenting on this blog post.