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By Conrad Pepler, O.P.

The Season of Lent pushes and pulls the Christian people to the foot of the Cross. The Scripture readings for Lent, in the words of Conrad Pepler, O.P., are chosen so as “to lead every Christian to identify himself with Christ hanging on the Cross,” and thus allow their full participation in the mystery of mankind’s salvation. In her wisdom, the Church has selected from the Old and New Testaments those passages which offer essential insights for attaining this Lenten spirit, unfolding day by day “the way of Christian asceticism.” Engagingly written and widely informative in matters liturgical, devotional, and penitential, Lent: A Liturgical Commentary on the Lessons and Gospels presents the main themes of the Lenten Lessons and their implications and inspirations for a life—in the words of the Ash Wednesday admonition—of repentance and belief in the Gospel. 

Lent is the Church’s spring when the ground should be plowed and opened for the seed of grace. It is a time of repentance, when God can turn our darkness into light. (Conrad Pepler, O.P.)

Originally published in 1944, Pepler’s commentary follows the Lectionary of St. Pius V. Despite the obvious variances and points of discontinuity between that Lectionary and the Lectionary used in the current Ordinary Form promulgated by Pope Paul VI in 1969, “the spirit of Lent” conveyed in the Scripture readings and Pepler’s commentary remains animated and accessible. A work of tremendous value for all Catholics (especially for those who worship in the Tridentine Rite), Lent is both a work of significant historical interest and a masterpiece of spiritual literature.

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Conrad Pepler, O.P. (1908–1993) was an English Dominican priest who, in sixty-plus years of religious life, generously served in a wide variety of roles, from student master and librarian to editor of Blackfriars and Life of the Spirit and author of numerous books. Raised at Ditchling, where his father co-founded a guild for craftsmen and artists, Pepler’s vision and work are marked by a love of art and a profound appreciation for the centrality of the liturgy. His books include Riches Despised: A Study of the Roots of Religion (1957), The Three Degrees: A Study of Christian Mysticism (1957), and Sacramental Prayer (1959).

Paperback: 344pp.

ISBN: 978-1685952822