This year, Bishop Susan Bell has chosen to recommend two books for Lent: Seven Spiritual Gifts of Waiting by Holly Whitcomb and The Way of St. Benedict by Archbishop Rowan Williams, the former archbishop of Canterbury.
A source of inspiration for the bishop’s most recent charge to synod, Seven Spiritual Gifts of Waiting is well suited to a time of pandemic, especially during the season of Lent. This book presents seven spiritual gifts that waiting can teach us: patience, loss of control, live in the present, compassion, gratitude, humility, and trust in God. Ideal for online book clubs or studies, this book includes spiritual exercises and reflection questions.
On the other hand, the latest work by Rowan Williams, one of the bishop’s favourite theologians, is recommended for individual study as a way growing in one’s faith and discipleship. The Way of St Benedict explores the appeal of St Benedict’s sixth-century Rule — a set of guidelines for monastic conduct—and shows it to be a document of great relevance to contemporary Christians and non-believers alike. The book speaks to the Rule’s ability to help anyone live more fully in harmony with others while orienting themselves fully to the will of God.
Both books are readily available through online book suppliers at an affordable price.