Emilie Griffin is the author of several books including Wonderful and Dark Is This Road. She is a founding member of the Chrysostom Society, a national group of writers of faith. She begins this sturdy little book of daily meditations for the holy season of Lent with this observation:

"Lent is our chance for a fresh start, a new page. We consciously let down our defenses against the grace of God. We admit to ourselves our need for improvement. We notice how hopeless we are. We tell God we're doing our best but we wish we could do better. We put ourselves in God's hands."

This six-week slice of time gives us a chance to look at ourselves and our relationship with God. Griffin sees it as an opportunity to begin with what she calls "small surrenders." Grace comes little by little and not in large doses or spectacular displays. The minute choices we make to be more attentive to God, to put others ahead of ourselves, and to let ourselves be surprised by joy are steps on the Lenten path that signal our desire for transformation.

Here are some of the small surrenders Griffin discusses in these meditations:

• solitude
• pain
• contemplation in action
• attentiveness
• the spiritual practice of reading
• acknowledging God's boundless patience
• giving up self-preoccupation
• growing in virtue