Reflections for Lent: 22 February – 8 April 2023
Author Kate Bruce et al.
Publisher CHP £4.99
As the daylight hours gradually increase I look forward to rising once again in the light. My morning routine, after fortifying tea, is to say the office of Morning Prayer from Common Worship – usually alone, apart from my sleepy cat, Prudence. It is a good discipline, a calm beginning for each day, taking me through the psalms, the lectionary Old and New Testament readings, the much-loved Benedictus and prayers for the church and the world. God always seems close to me around the dawn of a new day.
During Lent, I always feel the need for something extra and this slim little volume will provide it: a simple but profound series of written reflections on one of the daily readings (usually the New Testament). It is the Lenten extract from Reflections for Daily Prayer, which gives material for every day of the year, except Sundays. Some of the best writers in the Church of England have contributed and Lent authors include Kate Bruce (an RAF chaplain), Mark Oakley, Graham James and Paula Gooder – who provides the reflections for Holy Week. The quality of their insights uplifts me and their thoughts usually stay with me through the day. These are words I can trust. It is practical as well as spiritual, for I sometimes purloin their ideas for future sermons. There is useful additional material from our church leaders: Archbishop Stephen Cottrell writes on Lectio Divina, Bishop Rachel Treweeke on ‘Building Daily Prayer into daily life’; and Mark Oakley has an introduction to the season of Lent.
There is often so much good written material produced for Lent that it is hard to choose a book for the season. But if you want just one thing extra to make Lent memorable and to draw you closer to God, then this is a little gem which will sustain your prayer life. I recommend it.
Reviewed by ELIZABETH STEPHENSON
Reflections for Morning Prayer