Return

A Guided Lent Journal for Prayer and Meditation
Illustrated by: Josiah Henley
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Format: Paperback

Publication date: January 27, 2023

Description

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.

Product Details

Pages: 224

Trim size: 5.5 x 8.5 inches

ISBN: 9781646802166

Imprint: Ave Maria Press

  • “This journal challenges you to take a hard look at your relationship with God.”

    “Fr. John Burns reminds us that Lent is meant to be hard—that we are supposed to forget ourselves and give everything we've got to loving God through prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. This journal challenges you to take a hard look at your relationship with God and to set goals for moving closer to him through the sacraments, prayer, and liturgy.”

    Kristin Reilly and Jill Greenwood
    Founders of Many Hail Marys at a Time

  • “A Lenten journey you won't forget.”

    “This journal invites us into deep, intimate union with our Lord, which bears fruit in every area and aspect of our lives. Because of Fr. John Burns's heart and desire to communicate and convey the goodness and mercy of God, the depth of our love can go places we never knew existed as we practice the beautiful Catholic notions of fasting, penance, and self-sacrifice. This is a Lenten journey you won’t forget.”

    Jenna Guizar
    Founder and creative director of Blessed Is She

  • “Simple and direct.”

    “Simple and direct, Return evokes the deepest calling of Lent: to repent and believe. This journal will challenge you every day of Lent and in doing so, transform your relationship with God. Rooted in the prayers of the Mass, this resource can easily be used in conjunction with the daily Mass readings and parish life.”

    Fr. Josh Johnson
    Host of the Ask Fr. Josh podcast

  • “Get the most out of Lent.”


    “The mission of Lent is to journey forty days and on Easter Sunday to be more like Christ. Fr. John Burns has once again delivered a deep interior dive not only into the heart of Christ but also our own hearts—a must-read for anyone wanting to get the most out of their Lenten season.”

    Sarah Swafford
    Author of Emotional Virtue

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