Staff picks for March 2014

Here are the Crux Staff picks for March.

Ed: The Cross of Christ by John R.W. Stott

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Cindy: Bread and Wine: Readings for Lent and Easter

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If you enjoyed Watch for the Light: Readings for Advent and Christmas then this is the Lenten and Easter devotional for you!  Done in the same format with contributions from a variety of authors (including C.S. Lewis, Dorothy Day, G.K. Chesterton, Henri Nouwen, and Madeleine L’Engle, along with many others) the book contains selections grouped around themes such as temptation, crucifixion, resurrection, and new life. This is a beautiful collection that can be returned to throughout the year for spiritual insight and reflection.

Heather W. (The Doctor): Acedia & Me by Kathleen Norris

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Norris writes books on the spiritual life that challenge me to think outside the box I unintentionally put around spirituality. Acedia & Me: A Marriage, Monks, and A Writer’s Life is an excellent book to pick up for Lent. Norris examines acedia — soul-weariness — and uses this old term to discuss very modern cultural maladies.

Alain: God is on the Cross by Dietrich Bonhoeffer

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Sheila: The Great Lent: Journey to Pascha by Alexander Schmemann

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As usual, I had a hard time picking just one book for March. Allow me, please, to quote from my second choice to explain the first. The Unicorn, Jewel, in The Last Battle by C. S. Lewis, upon realising that his company is in Aslan’s Land, cries: “I have come home at last! This is my real country! I belong here. This is the land I have been looking for all my life, though I never knew it till now. The reason why we loved the old Narnia is that it sometimes looked a little like this. Bree-hee-hee! Come farther up, come farther in!”  Father Schmemann in his book, The Great Lent: Journey to Pascha, reminds his readers that God is inviting us even now to “come farther up, comer farther in!”  Lent is a time set aside to ponder anew what draws us away from God and to learn again the hope in the mystery of our risen Lord.  For those seasoned in Lent and for those approaching it for the first time, the essays in this book encourage readers to explore more deeply the liturgical tradition as part of our spiritual journey.  A longing to be with Christ is awakened most poignantly and we are called again to worship.

Connor: Lent with Benedict XVI

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Carolyn: Free of Charge by Miroslav Volf

In this highly readable book, Volf offers challenging and thought-provoking reflections on forgiveness, reconciliation, grace, and giving. Painful personal stories offer a poignant credibility to his insights. This was the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Lent book in 2006.

Andrew: Undoing of Death by Fleming Rutledge

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Heather L. (The Deacon): Beloved by Henri Nouwen

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Henri Nouwen’s Beloved talks about the transformation of loneliness in his own life and his journey to a life that showed moment to moment what it means to be beloved by God AND it comes with an audio CD of Henri Nouwen himself! A perfect companion for your Lenten disciplines!
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