There are very few Lenten meditation books that take us to new places; most of them are retreads of familiar ideas. Kevin Scully, a priest based in the parish of St. Dunstan and All Saints, Stepney in the East End of London, has written a dramatic and imaginatively rich account of Jesus' Passion. The chapters focus on five scenes (the Last Supper, the Garden of Gethsemane, the arrest and trial, the walk to Golgotha, and the suffering and death on the cross) as experienced through the senses (touch, smell, sound, sight, and taste). In addition, these events are seen from two perspectives — that of Jesus and that of those who were watching.

We live in a sense-luscious world and yet many Christians have underplayed this dimension of life, linking it to the sinful flesh and the evil realm of pleasure. It is important to remember that Jesus related to the world through the radar of his senses. Scully has done us a great service by helping us focus on the feeling textures of life and death as experienced by Jesus Christ.

Through these imaginative meditations, you feel the touch of Jesus as he washes the feet of his disciples. You smell the aroma of betrayal as Judas draws near in the Garden of Gethsemane. You hear the shocked and conspiratorial whispers at his trial. You see the ground at his feet as he carries the cross. You taste the growing dryness in his mouth as he hangs on the cross and dies. Sensing the Passion: Reflections During Lent by Kevin Scully will change forever the way you experience the last days of Christ.