Your Essential Lenten Reading List

By Danielle Kuboushek

Lent is almost here! This liturgical season is a time when we focus on our spiritual life, weeding out our vices and growing in virtue. The Catholic Church encourages prayer, fasting, almsgiving, and going to Confession, and it is a great time to be intentional about what we’re reading.

There are many, many resources out there that aim to guide us through this beautiful liturgical season—so how do we choose? Below are a few suggestions to help you stay focused and make the most of Lent this year!

Digital Options

1. Bishop Barron Lenten Gospel Reflections
Sign up to receive an email every morning with a written reflection on the Gospel from Bishop Robert Barron.

2. Best Lent Ever
Journey through Lent with short videos sent to your inbox each day. This year, they are taken from Matthew Kelly’s I Heard God Laugh: A Practical Guide to Life’s Essential Daily Habit.

Books with Podcast Reflections

1. The Abiding Together podcast has Lenten book studies, so you can read along with them and also hear their reflections and insights. Each of these books would be excellent reads during Lent, whether or not you tune into the podcast!

Life of the Beloved by Henri Nouwen

Searching For and Maintaining Peace by Fr. Jacques Philippe

Return of the Prodigal Son by Henri Nouwen

This Present Paradise by Claire Dwyer


1. Lenten Reflections from a Father Who Keeps His Promises by Scott Hahn

2. Lenten Grace: Daily Gospel Reflections by the Daughters of St. Paul
Pray your way through Lent with this daily companion that uses Lectio Divina for each day’s Gospel. This is a book you can use over and over again every year!

3. Lift Up Your Heart: A 10-Day Personal Retreat with St. Francis de Sales by Fr. John Burns

For Women

1. “Set a Fire” Catholic Lent Devotional from Blessed Is She

This year’s devotional is all about living a life that is guided by the Holy Spirit. These devotionals are always very well done, with a theme for each week, Scripture passages, inspiring reflections, and room for journaling.

For Children

1. Brother Francis “Let’s Learn about Lent”
This 10-minute video teaches what Lent is and how we observe it as Catholics.

2. Lenten Activities for Catholic Kids
This is a fantastic resource for activities to do with the whole family throughout Lent and Holy Week.

This is a fantastic resource for activities to do with the whole family throughout Lent and Holy Week!

3. Set a Fire for Kids Lent Journal
This journal has something to do every day of Lent, from journal prompts, to stories and prayers to coloring pages. It helps kids ages 6-12 to think about how to listen to the Holy Spirit in their own lives.

Note: Blessed Is She offers a great bundle price if you buy the women’s and kid’s devotionals together!

For Teens

1. Lent: One Day at a Time for Catholic Teens
This daily devotion written by Katie Prejean McGrady (our Mission speaker in 2020!) and her husband Tommy McGrady offers “realistic and engaging spiritual guidance for Lent that includes timely topics for teens such as relationships, being your best, competition, control, fear, and forgiveness.” There is a free companion video series by the authors that you can find at the link above that will help teens walk through Lent with purpose and intention, giving practical ways to grow in relationship with Christ.

Hopefully this list of resourcs helps you find something that will lead you closer to the Lord this Lenten season!

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