Homeschool Reading Plan for Lent

Wow!  It always seems that Lent arrives just when I need it most! 

Tomorrow is ASH WEDNESDAY….this year the priest is going to sprinkle the blessed ashes on top of my head…am I ready??? It always happens that I feel so dry right about now; I feel overwhelmed. Then, by the grace of God, in comes the season of Lent. 

God is so good to us. 


He gave us an entire season, forty days, to ready our hearts for the most glorious of all times: Easter, Jesus’ Resurrection

It always happens that I feel so dry right about now; I feel overwhelmed. Then, by the grace of God, in comes the season of Lent.  God is so good to us. He gave us an entire season, 40 days, to ready our hearts for the most glorious of all times: Easter, Jesus’ Resurrection.

Being the bibliophile that I am, my knee jerk reaction to Lenten preparation is to line up a reading program!

The following is my humble attempt to offer some favorites to help you, and your family ready their hearts this Lent.

One of my favorite sources for ideas is the fabulous book, Around the Year with the Von Trapp Family by Maria Augusta von Trapp. Over twenty years ago a thoughtful customer lovingly gave me a used, well-worn copy of her favorite book, back when it was out of print. I treasure it. 

Now it’s back in print! See….

Maria offers this in her book: A Lenten Reading Program for yourself and the children. 

This idea is echoed in the booklet Celebrating the Faith in the Home – The Forty Days of Lent, by Teresa Zepeda and Laurie Gill. Sadly, this is out of print, too. But I have an old copy, so here are some marvelous ideas gleaned from the booklet along with ideas from my own family’s favorites!!

“Divide our reading into three parts: something for the mind, something for the heart, something for the soul.”

Maria Augusta Trapp

Something for the MIND:

Something about Church History, or the sacraments, ethics, dogma, scholarly life of Jesus, or encyclicals.

This category is easy to fit into your daily school time as part of your religion class. Just pick any books from your religion curriculum or read a chapter each day of Lent from one of the following books:

For Children:

Angel Food for Boys and Girls by  Fr. Gerald T. Brennan

St. Patrick’s Summer A Children’s Adventure Catechism byMarigold Hunt

St. Joseph Picture Books Series by Father Lovasik (Catholic Book Publishing)

For Teens and Adults

Pick a favorite Pope and read several of his encyclicals (just go to www.vativan.va)

The Revolution Against Christendom by Warren Carroll, or any of his other titles

Ten Dates Every Catholic Should Know by Diane Moczar

What Jesus Saw From the Cross by A. G. Sertillanges

Something for the HEART:

I truly believe the saints call us! Pick out two or three favorite family saints from any saint collection you have handy at home and read a chapter each night! These saints then can be your family patron saints for the liturgical year.

For Children:

Vision Books – Wonderful series of Saint Stories written by well-know and beloved authors

Encounter the Saints Series by the Daughters of St. Paul

Twenty Tales of Irish Saints by Alice Curtayne

For Teens and Adults:

St. Gianna Molla by Pietro Molla (Yes, written by her husband, lovely!)

Edmund Campion: A Life by Evelyn Waugh

Any of the Louis de Wohl titles, my favorite one is about Catherine of Sienna titled Lay Siege to Heaven.

Something for the SOUL:

This requires spiritual reading of a high order from works of the saints or saintly writers, prayer books, religious poetry, or picture books of the life of our Lord.

For Children:

My Path to Heaven by Caryll Houselander ( This is actually an mini retreat for kids!)

Speak Lord I am Listening By Christine Haapala

Program for Achieving Character Education– Faith is the best way to teach virtuous behavior

Follow Me (Stations of the Cross meditations with companion Saints that exemplify the virtues portrayed along the via delarosa)

For Teens and Adults:

The Story of a Soul :The Autobiography of the Little Flower

The Weight of Glory by C.S. Lewis

Handbook of Prayers: Student Edition compiled by James Socias

…and specifically for Lenten meals, try:

Twelve Months of Monastery Soups by Brother Victor-Antoine d’Avila-Latourrette

A Continual Feast: A Cookbook to Celebrate the Joys of Family &Faith throughout the Christian Year by Evelyn Vitz

What will you be reading this Lenten season? Please leave a comment!

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3 Comments

  1. Marcy

    The 12 Months of Monastery Soups cookbook as well as Brother Victor-Antoine’s other cookbooks have been a staple in our cookbooks for well over 20 years. There is something quite special and delicious about preparing dishes that are named after Saints and Catholic Seasons of the year. The saint biographies written for children are NOT JUST for children but have been enjoyed and gifted to many adults! The Vision Books are Excellent as well as the many books by Mary Fabyan Windeatt. The Story of a Soul also is so beautiful and has been gifted to many people even those without knowledge of any Christian Faith. It is simply so beautiful and speaks to the pure beauty of the love of God! So uplifting for anyone to read and accessible for many levels of readers! Thank you for all these beautiful suggestions Paola! God Bless your work!

    Reply
  2. Armelle S.

    Dear Paola,

    Thank you so much for this list! My personal favorite is Fulton Sheen’s “The Cross and the Beatitudes.” It is short (96 pages) and packed with wisdom. For ages 10-15, I recommend “The Spear” by Louis de Wohl — powerful historical fiction. And for younger ones, as you pointed out, “My Path to Heaven” is excellent!

    Reply
    • Paola Ciskanik

      Thanks Armelle! Ooo, I will look up the Fulton Sheen book as he too is a family favorite!

      Yes, love The Spear too, perfect recommendation for Lent! I also love the sequel to that story that is worth finding used or perhaps from the library, The Glorious Folly a novel about St. Paul. We guard our copy carefully, haha!! As you mention Louis De Wohl novels though do cover more mature themes so they are best suited for older teens and adults.

      Reply

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