Here’s my weird day:
1) Dropped kids off at Grandma’s house.
2) Stopped in at local Catholic bookstore to say hello to owner, give update on catechist booklet progress, pretend I was there to buy books.
2a) Of course I knew I’d find books to buy, so I wasn’t dissembling.
3) My friend Sarah Reinhard’s lenten booklet, Welcome Risen Jesus, was smack in the center of the Books-for-Lent display. Yay for Sarah!
4) Well it isn’t expensive, and my DRE will like it, so I pick up a copy.
5) I read it.
See, here’s the situation. Look at this cover:
Do you not see the problem? I’ll give you a second to observe.
I am a curmudgeon. I’ve been grumpy and old at least since the age of reason, and I expect much, much earlier than that. My favorite people in the world are 80-something and crotchety. [They keep dying. I have to make new friends pretty often. Luckily other people get promoted. There seems to be something magic about the big 8-0 that really brings out the critical thinking skills in a new way. It gets even better at 90, but not everyone makes it that far. The world can only bear so much common sense, I guess.]
I don’t do Cute-Jesus.
Happy? Okay sure. Friendly? Yes. I like people. Even cute people. Jesus loves cute people as much as He loves anyone else. But I would not see Cute-Jesus and think, “Look at that cover! There’s a book I need to read.”
And that’s awkward, because it turns out? It’s a book I need to read.
I should not have been surprised by this. I know Sarah R. Yes, she is undeniably cuter and perkier than me. But she’s on the mark. Head on straight, clear-thinking, no-holds-barred normal Catholic lady. Of course she’d write a great book. And if it takes Cute-Jesus to get her message into the hands of people who need it, bless those Liguori artists who make it happen.
I have commissioned my children to make a Curmudgeon-Approved stamp to put on the front of these types of things, to assist any of my readers who might have been likewise thrown off by the artwork. In the meantime, here’s what you need to know:
- There’s a meditation for each day of Lent and the octave of Easter. Practical, no-nonsense Catholic spirituality.
- Each day comes with a different suggested prayer, personal sacrifice, and act of charity.
- I’d say it’s best suited to maybe ages 5-and-up.
The suggested sacrifices are very Thérèse. Don’t complain one day. Drink only water one day. Sleep without your pillow, and offer up your discomfort. I really really like the changing up of the sacrifices, because it gives some realistic focus for those of us who want to do everything, but actually we’d completely stink at even doing a couple things all Lent long.
It’s a Lent for normal people. I love it. I repent of ever thinking grumpy thoughts about cartoon-y Bible-story pictures.
Okay never mind I did not really repent I am not that holy. But seriously. Good book. 100% buy-recommend for readers who want some good solid achieveable Lenten goals, no saccharine, no goofiness, just reliable practical advice grounded in every thing that one particularly sensible parish priest you had* was trying to tell you all those years. You could cover it with some nice gargoyle stickers if that would help you.
UPDATE: The boy has applied the stamp of curmudgeon-approval:
*He’s 80 now. Or was for a while. Or looks younger but actually, yes, he’s fully grown-up on the inside, don’t let the smooth skin fool you.