Return: A Guided Lent Journal for Prayer and Meditation

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Reorient your mind and heart this Lent so you can more fully experience the joy of Easter—Christ’s victory over sin and death.

In this beautiful guided journal for prayer and meditation, Fr. John Burns—author of the bestselling and award-winning book Adore—invites you to strip away your confusion, attachments, and sin so you can return to the Lord and undergo real and lasting conversion.

In the liturgy’s first reading on Ash Wednesday, the prophet Joel call us to wholehearted conversion: “Even now, says the Lord, return to me, with your whole heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning, rend your hearts, not your garments, and return to the Lord, your God” (Jl 2:12–13).

Each week throughout Lent, Burns breaks down these two verses:

  • Week 1, return to me—recognize the need to reorient our lives through Lent;
  • Week 2, return to me with your whole heart—reorient not only the mind but also the heart to the Lord;
  • Week 3, return to me with fasting—acknowledge hardness of heart and the value of discipline;
  • Week 4, return to me with weeping and mourning—bring forward personal agonies and unbind hidden bitterness that divides us from God; and
  • Week 5, Rend your hearts, not your garments, return to the Lord, your God.

Then, during Holy Week and the Resurrection on Easter, you are invited to weave your own stories into that of the Paschal Mystery.

Burns uses the opening prayer of each day’s Mass—called the Collect—as a starting point for your meditations through the forty days leading up to Easter Sunday. He also focuses on the traditional Lenten practices of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving, which come together as our sacred penance during this solemn season, and ultimately lead us to heaven.

Each day of Return includes the prayer from the Collect, an inspiring meditation, thought-provoking reflection questions, and a prayer. There’s plenty of space for journaling as well.

Return features stunning original art by Josiah Henley of Heart of IESVS. Free weekly companion videos, a downloadable discussion guide, and other resources make this book perfect for parish-wide, individual, and book club use leading up to Easter.

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