Last year, I read NT Wright’s book “Surprised by Hope” during Lent and thoroughly enjoyed it. Reading it was a way to reflect on the Lenten season in anticipation of Easter. I invited you to read along with me and a number of you joined me.
This year, Lent begins on February 22nd and ends April 6th. I’ve chosen to read “The Art of Lent” by Sister Wendy Beckett. Sister Wendy was from South Africa. She studied English at Saint Anne’s College, Oxford, (which you may recall was an important location in “Gabriel’s Redemption”), and she sat for examinations under the supervision of Professor J.R.R. Tolkien. In fact, Tolkien encouraged her to stay on at Oxford and continue her studies, but she chose to live as a contemplative nun.
Sister Wendy was an avid student of art history and eventually became a television presenter for the BBC. Many of you may remember her series on Western art. In “The Art of Lent,” she includes forty paintings, one for each day of Lent, along with her commentary and reflections. This small volume will fit in your pocket, and I think it will offer an interesting journey through art history.
I’m inviting all of you to read along with me. You don’t have to observe Lent in order to read along; I think art speaks to all of us, no matter our beliefs and traditions. Pick up the book and join me by starting with the first painting on Ash Wednesday, February 22nd. We’ll read and reflect on a painting a day for forty days. I’ll post weekly reflections here, and you’ll be able to interact with me on social media. Also, I’ll make a special visit to the “All Things SR” podcast chatroom in order to discuss the readings. The date will be announced.
I’m hoping many of you will join me on this special journey.
All the best and thank you for reading,