Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Book Review- Bringing Lent Home with St. Therese of Lisieux: Prayers, Reflections, and Activities for Families

Using St. Therese of Lisieux as a spiritual guide, author Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle effectively assists families in experiencing a deeper spiritual growth and conversion during the holy and penitential season of Lent in Bringing Lent Home with St. Therese of Lisieux. The daily devotional begins with Ash Wednesday and ends with Easter Sunday, providing prayers, reflections, and activities for the entire family. Each day, the family gathers together in the morning or evening to read a quote from St. Therese, reflect on points to ponder, read a brief excerpt from the life of St. Therese, discuss and choose fasting and almsgiving suggestions, and pray a simple, yet poignant prayer.  In this way, the three essential components of the Lenten season are fulfilled: prayer, fasting, and almsgiving.

I was very impressed with both the spiritual depth of this book for families, as well as the practicality of the format. As a Doctor of the Universal Church, whose spiritual doctrine consists of the Little Way, St. Therese is an excellent spiritual guide and model of holiness for both children and adults. Cooper-O’Boyle clearly and concisely articulates and explains the saint’s spirituality in a manner that is easily understood, even by children.  Each day’s devotions are short enough to fit into the average family’s schedule, while leaving a lasting impact on the heart, mind, and soul.  The suggested activities for fasting and almsgiving are creative, innovative, and doable for families.

In summary, Bringing Lent Home with St. Therese of Lisieux is a beautiful spiritual companion for your family this Lent and many future Lenten seasons to come. I highly recommend it.

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