My second-favorite book for Lent (you can find my top favorite here) uses the readings of the Sundays of Lent to take us on a journey of healing our interpersonal communication. Out of Eden: 7 Ways God Restores Blocked Communication by Paul Soukup, SJ, is an amazing read that I plan to go back to.
The readings that are used are from Year A of the liturgical readings cycle, and for the parishes who are opt to use them–usually because they are using the RCIA rites. We are currently in Year B, so the readings won’t match in many parishes this year. But whether the readings match or not, the readings are still a fascinating journey through salvation history, interpreted through Jesuit Paul Soukup’s lens of how God heals our communication.
James Martin, SJ, praises the book in these words:
“In his beautiful new book, Paul Soukup helps us to move past fear, anger, and doubt, and into open and honest communication with God and one another. This small gem of a book uses favorite passages from Scripture to show how open hearts and open ears bring us closer to the divine, which is always in our midst.”– James Martin, S.J., author of My Life with the Saints.
Each chapter includes the Scripture reading itself, Fr. Soukup’s reflections, suggestions for “Deepening Our Communication,” and a beautiful prayer. This is a great book to use in a group, as well as individually. Chapter titles include:
Why Is Communication So Hard: The Basic Temption: Suspicion Over Trust
What Keeps Us from Listening to Each Other? Personal Communication
How Do We Build Trust? Interpersonal Communication
How Do We Hear God’s Voice? Community and Organizational Communication
Will Fear Keep Us from Listening? When Communicating Feels Like Death