The Irrational Season by Madeleine L’Engle

Every time I read another of Madeleine L’Engle’s Crosswicks books I find myself amazed at her talent. Somehow she is able to take the liturgical calendar and turn it into a thoughtful, rambling, cyclical book about faith, writing, and motherhood. What I love about this series of books is how beautifully they reflect the seasons of life. A Circle of Quiet and The Summer of the Great-Grandmother both show different aspects of growing up and maturing. This book shows Madeleine’s spiritual development. It’s refreshing, but it’s also confusing.

Maybe it’s mental fatigue here at the end of the semester, but I had trouble keeping up with this book. L’Engle is incredibly intelligent, and it shows–The Irrational Season is full of philosophical points and arguments about Christianity. I found myself having to re-read paragraphs to make sure I understood what she was saying.

There are a lot of really wonderful and thought-provoking insights in this book, but at a few points I found myself saying, “She’s lost me there.” I disagree with some of her arguments, and since this book reads like an account of her personal understanding of theology, I felt that some of her beliefs didn’t match up with what I know to be true.

All in all, I’m glad I read The Irrational Season because it did make me think about Advent in a different way, and I find the liturgical calendar very interesting. If you’re interested in the church’s calendar I would recommend The Book of Common Prayer–it has collects and readings for different days in the different seasons. It can be a great way to jump start your devotional time. If you’re looking for a different take on the liturgical calendar, I would recommend The Irrational Season, which includes a lot of L’Engle’s own poetry and excerpts from her novels. I don’t think I’ll add it to my annual Advent readings, though, and I will probably be taking a break from her more philosophical books until later in 2016! 🙂

Don’t forget that I’ll be posting quotes from Watch for the Light (which is amazing, by the way!) and my favorite Advent devotional, Behold the Lamb of God, on Twitter and Facebook all month. I’d love for you to follow along!

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