This book opens with a truly edifying historical treatment of Lent-what it is, when it originated, and how it is celebrated. Even experienced Catholics may learn something new here as Ryan (the president of a Jesuit college in Nigeria) tackles Lenten symbolism, fasting, ashes and the season's traditional status as a preparatory period for those candidates seeking baptism at Easter. Ryan then goes through the Lenten season week by week, with reflections that are deeper and longer than those found in most other Lenten devotionals. The section on the Sacred Triduum (Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday) is not to be missed, while the final chapter on the "saints of Lent"-those saints with feast days occurring during the first five weeks of the season-will enhance the devotional experience for many readers. (Jan.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.