Lent begins this week on Ash Wednesday and I want to invite you to go on a Lenten journey with me. I’ll be reading the book Grace Upon Grace by John Kleinig and posting once a week about the reading. The book has an introduction and then five chapters so we’ll take the introduction this week and meet here to discuss it next Wednesday (Feb. 27th) and then take one chapter a week until Easter.

The book is about spirituality for the christian, perhaps the most misunderstood topic and word in our modern vernacular.

Kleinig introduces the book with this:

“The modern interest in spirituality is a bit like our interest in health.  Our obsession with health is not at all healthy;  in fact, it emphasizes the problems that we have without providing much of a solution to them. So, too, with our concern for spirituality!  Despite the multitude of books on spirituality that can be found in the bookshop, Christians seem to find it harder than ever to practice what they believe.  So many aspire to be spiritual high fliers but never seem to get off the ground for any length of time.  As the failures mount, so does the fascination with what seemingly cannot be achieved.  The only thing we learn is that something is lacking in this part of our lives.  But we end up with no understanding on how to fill the void……If we have problems living the life of faith, if we have challenges in our practice of prayer, the solution is not to be found in what we do, our self-appraisal, or our performance.  The solution to our problems is found in what we receive from God Himself, in His appraisal of us, and in His gifts to us.  Like our physical life and health, our spiritual life is something that is given to us, something that is to be received and enjoyed and celebrated.  Our piety is all a matter of receiving grace upon grace from the fullness of God the Father. “

Isn’t that good stuff?  The book is chocked full of this all too rare theological truth—-that we already have everything we need from the Father and we are merely learning to live from His fullness, which was bestowed on us at our Baptism.

Too often our Lenten journeys are ‘try-hard’ failures.   We give up coffee—-for a while.    We pray daily—-until we don’t.    We pull ourselves up with our spiritual bootstraps and suffer, by-golly.

But Lent is not about our supposed sacrifice of some earthly passion.  Lent is a journey with Christ to His passion.

Lent is not a time to focus on ourselves and our own particular abundance or lack of self-discipline.  Lent is a time of self-forgetfulness, where we learn to live more in union with Christ and less from our own capabilities.

Our Lenten discipline does not make us more holy.   We have the very righteousness of Christ and His holiness already.

Our Lenten failures do not make us more wretched but serve to remind us that our wretchedness has cost our Savior His life and that  He has gone to every length to secure our ransom.

We take this journey with Him to learn from Him what it means to be His child.   To remember what it’s like to be loved by Our Father.

To learn to receive from His hand nothing more and nothing less than what He Himself gives.

Lent is about Christ and His pilgrimage to the Cross, where His love is poured out for all humanity.

Spirituality is His work in us as He creates faith and repentance.


But what does that daily spirituality look like?   Dr. John Kleinig will be the perfect study leader as we explore what it really means to be spiritual.  Join us for lenten devotions.


You may purchase Grace Upon Grace through this link and I’m donating my Amazon Affiliate funds to purchase 4 books for anyone who would like to participate in this book study but isn’t able to buy the book right now.  Just email me with your name and address and I’ll choose the first four people who respond:)

Winner of Grace for the Good Girl by Emily Freeman is Sarah Pinnault! Email me with your address, Sarah, and I’ll get the book out to you.


You can find podcasts of Dr. Kleinig’s teachings here.

35 comments on “Lenten Devotion::Grace Upon Grace”

  1. I love your thoughts about lent! And that book sounds fabulous…I already committed to going through A Place at the Table, but I hope to read this book at some point, it sounds great!

  2. Hi Edie.

    What a lovely read for Lent!  I can’t wait to follow along with you via your posts!

    BTW…I sent you an email via “contact” button.  I just wanted to make sure that you knew that I am more than willing to loan you “A Letter to Women” from Blessed John Paul II.  I didn’t know if you tracked down a copy through other sources or if you would like to borrow mine. I know that in order to purchase through ENDOW you must be affiliated with a Women’s Group/Bible Study through a local Catholic parish.

    Just let me know.  I would be more than happy to mail out to you ASAP.

    Take care,

    P.S. You can email me at vkueter@kc.rr.com or leave me a message here.  🙂

    • Hi Valerie!
      I’m so hard on books that I’m trying to locate my own but thank you so much for offering.   I have a few great Catholic friends who are on the lookout for me!  
      Blessed Lent to you, my friend!

  3. Hi there! I just started following you not long ago, and boy am I glad I did! Just picked up my copy (hope following your link and then proceeding to the Kindle version still gave you affiliate funds). I’m really looking forward to reading this book and the discussion here.

  4. I’m reading a book called Give them Grace right now.  It’s a wonderful book on parenting in the Grace that has been given to us in Christ.  I’m ashamed of how often I get caught up in the work of it instead of the grace.  God is faithfully and lovingly teaching me more and more of his grace.

    I’ve been thinking about what I’d sacrifice during Lent this year, but I kept feeling like instead of “giving something up” I need to focus more on extended time and consistent time with Christ.  Your post was used by God to confirm for me what this season needs to be.  Not me.  Not what I can surrender.  Not what I can sacrifice.  

    Him.  Him.  Him.  Him alone.  His power.  His grace.  His love.  His forgiveness.  His righteousness.

    thanks, edie.  

  5. I’m so excited! My husband & I were just looking for a great read for Lent. This is perfect! Whenever anyone asks me about the meaning & purpose of Lent I always point them to your blog post from last year. Thank you so much for shepherding us through Lent, Edie!

  6. This sounds like the perfect book for me to read on my Lenten Journey this year.  I’ve decided to give up being ugly.   Not in the physical sense, but in the mental & spiritual sense.  I need to stop being so judgy & critical.  I need to focus on the grace given to all of us through Christ & find love for humanity.  Thank you for bringing a forum together that will help me with this.

  7. Oh sister friend! I’m going to get in that with ya! And mercy I know the business of wo’man preach-uhs is a bit shaddy bid’ness depending on whom it may concern, so how bout you just become a seminary prof? 🙂 hugs and love!

  8. Sounds like a great one Edie!  I’m going to have to get this one!  I am finally starting to understand that it’s not about what we are doing for Him, but about what He did for US! 🙂

  9. I am in!  I was just talking the other day on how I wanted to be more intentional spriritually in this Lenton season.  Can’t wait to get started with you, Edie !

    • yay, Sara!  So glad you’re on board with us.   Dr. Kleinig is such a wonderful, gracious, Christ-centered teacher.
      Dinner club was so much fun.  Thank you for organizing and hosting 🙂

  10. The book is downloaded! I’d like to mention this on my blog…since moving, the ether has been an important community for me as I establish connections here. So grateful for this opportunity.

  11. This is a wonderful post!  I am glad you recommended the book and look forward to reading it as soon as Amazon gets it in stock.  thanks so much for the recommendation Edie.

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