Good Books for Lent and Holy Week

Here are some suggestions on books to read during Lent and Holy Week. With link to free eBook versions of some of these works.

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1. Life of Christ, Fray Luis de Granada

Reflections on our Lord’s life, especially his Passion. Helpful for grasping the value of suffering and sacrifice done out of love, and for fostering generosity in one’s self-giving to God. Of benefit to all.

2. The Sacred Passion, Luis de la Palma

A simple and sober account of our Lord’s Passion, presented with sound doctrine and piety. Helps the reader to know and love Christ, and to grow in a spirit of mortification, contrition and atonement. Useful for all. (Online version available here).

3. The Sadness of Christ, Thomas More

Commentary on the Gospel accounts of our Lord’s prayer in the Garden of Olives. Rich in doctrine and piety, helping one to contemplate Christ’s life and become his friend. The author brings the Gospel scenes alive, applying them in practical ways to ordinary life.

4. The Way of the Cross, Saint Josemaria Escriva

Published posthumously, it contains brief commentaries on the 14 stations, fruit of the founder of Opus Dei's personal prayer life. It seeks to help people to pray and, with God's grace, to grow in a spirit of reparation -- of love-sorrow -- and of gratitude to our Lord, who has rescued us at the cost of his Blood.

5. Life of Christ, Fulton Sheen

This Life of Christ is the result of many years of research. In it, the author studies the inseparable unity formed by Christ and his cross, the central thought of the work. The book offers a dramatic and dynamic exposition of the significance of Jesus Christ as Savior of the world, as well as his significance for today's humanity.

6. Why the Cross? Edward Leen

This book contrasts the tree of death in the Garden of Eden that ushered in sorrow, pain and death, and the tree of life (the Cross on Calvary) which brought about our salvation and redemption. It draws applications to Christian life in today’s world. The author writes with faith and piety. Recommended for people with some cultural formation.

7. Jesus of Nazareth, Benedict XVI

The three volumes of this work by Benedict XVI don't need much introduction. They can be described, following what the author explains, as a "life of Jesus" as the ones that Karl Adam or Romano Guardini once published. Each chapter focuses on a theme tackled with different approaches: there are some more meditative chapters, and others more argumentative; in some, questions are dealt with more extensively than others, and so on.

Jesus of Nazareth can be considered an important book in the development of biblical exegesis at the beginning of the 21st century. Not so much because of what it says in fact - which is already interesting and enriching - but above all because it shows with facts that taking biblical studies seriously can and must also be fruitful from the spiritual point of view.

Link to free eBook versions of some of the above books.

More spiritual books can be found at this link.