We often walk through Advent with our favorite Saints, and I have suggested a variety of Celtic Saints to provide adult inspiration during Lent. I try very hard to remember that there are fifty days of Eastertide coming, and to try not to rush into Easter when there are so many wonderful things about the anticipation and reflection that occurs during Lent.
There are some wonderful books for Lent. Here are a few of our family’s favorites:
I love this book about Saint Kevin of Ireland and the blackbird’s nest. It tells the story of how Saint Kevin came to gain self-discipline by having to hold a blackbird’s nest for the forty days of Lent. This story would be especially wonderful for the second grader in your house.
Saint Cuthbert, the patron Saint of Northern England, is one of my favorite Saints. I love the story of Saint Cuthbert and the otters possibly more than this story, but this one is good as well. The text is in rhyme, and it is a small book, so could be read to both small children up through adults like me who love Saint Cuthbert:
If you are looking for the story of Saint Cuthbert and the otters, I happened to find it for free here: http://www.netplaces.com/saints/holy-animal-lovers/st-cuthbert-and-the-otters.htm
I like the book “Patrick: Saint of Ireland” by Joyce Denham. I think this book is especially nice, and it has many references to Saint Patrick and the deer of the forest and the part the deer play in Saint Patrick’s life. I like that and it reminds me of Psalm 42. There is also a book about Saint Patrick by Tomie dePaola that I recommend as well.
I like this book very much; in Lent I often try to find books with a message about love and sacrifice in the stories. This Ukrainian story is about an elderly woman who makes the most beautiful blown and dyed Easter eggs and one day she takes in an injured goose who breaks them all. To see what else happens, I suggest you read the book.
A book that we don’t have in our collection but that is good includes “Petook” by Houselander. “The Legend of The Three Trees” might be another lovely book for a Lenten book basket. I don’t have it, but our church did this story as a spring musical last year and I really liked it.
One other Lenten theme to look at is stories of Queen Esther and Purim, which are so wonderful during Lent. I also really like this book about Abraham, which combines sources from The Holy Bible and the Jewish Midrash to tell the story about Abraham and his discovery of God and God’s work in the beauty of Creation.
Another source that is not Christian but that I have used for Lenten literature to pick up on the theme of love and sacrifice is some of the Native American legends. Little Jumping Mouse, for example, who gives away his eyes to help Brother Buffalo and Brother Wolf, is so powerful. Another lovely story is that of “Rainbow Crow”, where crow sacrifices her sweet singing voice and beautiful colored feathers in order to carry fire to her woodland friends that are being buried in snow.
Please leave your Lenten book favorites in the comment box below.