While most Catholics are familiar with the tradition of giving up something during Lent, St. Benedict informed his monks that they were required to select a new book to read during the Lenten season.
St. Benedict explains this tradition in his Rule that governs the life of Benedictine monasteries.
Choosing a new book to read during Lent is a fairly simple and easy task for many to do, though some may find it difficult.
Reading, especially reading from a printed book, is becoming less common in our modern world, and is a consequence of our extremely low attention spans. Everything has to be put into bite-sized chunks, so we can scan through every article we read, only retaining what we think is worth our limited time.
This is one of the reasons why reading a full-length book can be a perfect Lenten sacrifice, forcing ourselves to sit down and read for 20-30 minutes a day.
What should you read? There are countless options out there, from a spiritual classic such as the Introduction to the Devout Life to a rich work of fiction by a Catholic author, such as Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings.
Whatever you read, be deliberate about it, make time in your schedule and offer it up to God.