When I think of Lent, the word 'hopeful' doesn't come to mind first. Instead, usually 'fish,' 'sacrifice,' 'suffering,' and 'pain' are the first words that I think of. But in her book, The Hope of Lent: Daily Reflections from Pope Francis, Diane Houder reminds us that Lent has everything to do with hope.
We hope that we are transformed this Lent into something better, a truer and holier version of ourselves. But we also don't live Lent just focused on the end goal. If we did, it would cause us to miss the beauty of the everyday life of Lent. Eating fish, sacrificing something, joining in Christ's suffering and pain are things that wedo during the season of Lent. But what is the most beautiful part of the season of Lent is what God does.
God came down to earth as a vulnerable baby and loved us. He gave up His life for us in the ultimate sacrifice. And He shows us mercy even while we are still sinners and in desperate need of his compassion.
Pope Francis has made 'mercy' an incredible theme of his time as Pope - even naming last year the Year of Mercy. If you, like me, are missing the Year of Mercy already, check out this book and consider adding it to your Lenten devotions.
The Hope of Lent: Daily Reflections from Pope Francis, is published by Franciscan Media. Each day, Houder introduces the time of reflection with the Bible readings of the daily Mass. Then follows a reflection on the readings by Pope Francis. Then Houder encourages her readers to do two things:
- Take the Word to Heart - she reflects on the Pope's words.
- Bring the Word to Life - she challenges her readers to an action for the day.
Then each day of reflection ends with a prayer by Pope Francis. If you're looking for a daily devotional and a way to grow closer to Christ along with our Holy Father, this is the book for you!
* This post contains links to Franciscan Media * Although this post is sponsored by Franciscan Media, all opinions are my own. * In exchange for the review of The Hope of Lent: Daily Reflections from Pope Francis, I received a free copy of the book from Franciscan Media.