Embrace the Grace: Books for Understanding God's Mercy During Lent

Raise your hand if you’ve ever broken one of your Lenten promises.

Okay, you probably didn’t actually raise your hand, but after considering the reality of breaking a Lenten fast or resolution, you most likely thought to yourself, “Oh boy, I’ve broken way more than one” or “was there ever a Lent where I didn’t fall short somehow?” And that can feel really discouraging, especially when we are so far into these forty days, and we don’t feel like we’ve done our best.

Something to consider in these moments is that God’s grace and mercy are far more powerful than we can imagine.  We often believe that our sins are too great to forgive, that our shortcomings are too egregious, and that we will never be worthy of God’s love.  But this is very flawed thinking in and of itself.  It is actually a form of pride to believe that we are too damaged for God to heal us.  As James 4:6 reads, “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”  

So, the first step in accepting God’s grace is acknowledging two things: first, that we are not perfect and that we need his grace, and second, that our failings do not outweigh God’s love for us. 

Even after we complete that step, mercy and grace can be tricky for us to understand and even harder to actually accept.  If you’re struggling with these concepts, we recommend these three titles: 

In Real Mercy: Mary, Forgiveness, and Trust, you will learn about the many fruits that come when you trust in God’s mercy, and what that mercy looks like on a practical level.  The Prodigal Son focuses on the classic parable and its main theme- an unworthy child being granted mercy from a most loving, forgiving father and learning to begin again.  In The Meaning of Grace, Journet delves into the complex topic of God's grace, providing a helpful philosophical, scriptural, and historical perspective on the subject. 

The next time you fail and start to get discouraged, think of these words from Pope Benedict XVI:   “We must trust in the mighty power of God’s mercy. We are all sinners, but his grace transforms us and makes us new.” And as Jacques Philippe writes in Real Mercy, “Every time that Jesus looks at us, he sets us free, he gives us a new life. Let us allow Jesus to look at us.”  

To better understand how to accept God’s grace and mercy in your life, check out these titles today!