Launch of Lent with St John’s Gospel by John Mann

Wednesday February 5th 2014

Lent with St John's Gospel.The Most Rev Dr Richard Clarke, Archbishop of Armagh, is to launch a new Lent book written by the Very Rev John Mann, Dean of Belfast, and published by The Columba Press.

The launch will take place at St Anne’s Cathedral, Belfast on Monday February 17 at 12.00 noon. The book is a series of 47 daily reflections (including Sundays and continuing right up to Easter Day) on selected individual verses from St John’s Gospel.

The new publication is the result of a process initiated by the Church of Ireland Literature Committee in 2012 which issued an open call for authors to produce a Lent book with the potential to be both an aid to personal devotion and also a resource for group discussion during the penitential season. Lent with St John’s Gospel fulfills this aim with daily reflections also arranged in weekly sections for group discussion in parishes or homes.

Dean Mann said: “Lent is a very special time in the Christian Year. Some may approach it with a sigh and others with joy, but one way or another it is an opportunity to try and restore equilibrium in all of the balances that we try to maintain between, for example: work and rest, activity and inactivity, prayer and action.”

He continued: “Lent may be seen as an encouragement to do more or a chance to re–find a spiritual discipline – but I feel, and it is reflected in the book, that though Lent may allow space for both of these things, it is increasingly important to see it as a time of gently directed thought, of which the element of reflection in devotion is no small part.

“St John’s Gospel, as my source of daily Biblical texts, I chose for this reason and in order to bring the focus of our Lenten thoughts on a distinct area of the Scriptures. I do hope that those who share the reading of this book with me over the course of Lent 2014 may find something of help.”

Columba Press commends the new book as one offering: “Depth, intelligence, compassion and insight in abundance … these reflections [provide] an invaluable backcloth to a thoughtful and prayerful Lent.”

Lent with St John’s Gospel will be available at the launch and thereafter at St Anne’s Cathedral Belfast and through Columba Press and various outlets. The publication will also be formally commended at Church House Dublin on Wednesday February 19.


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