“The issue is now quite clear. It is between light and darkness and every one must choose his side.” G. K. Chesterton

Friday, August 24, 2012

7 Catholic Books for Friday

To say I love to read may be an understatement.  If I have a spare few minutes, I usually have a book in my hand (well, nowdays it's usually my Kindle, the one electronic gadget I don't think I could live without).  And usually, that book is about my favorite subject--the faith.  It was reading Thomas Merton's Seven Story Mountain that led me to Christ twenty years ago;  it was hundreds of books that helped me grow as a Christian; and dozens more that have formed me as a Catholic revert.  I don't think I can even remember every book I've read, but here are seven (really, you had to ask how many--what day is it?) that have influenced me the most.

--- 1 ---
The Bible.  Obviously, everything begins and ends with Sacred Scripture.  I've read Scripture from the time I first came to Christ; it was a constant companion while I was a Protestants.  As a Protestant, that's all I had.  But now that I'm back in the Church,  my love of Scripture has grown.  Now I see throughout its pages  a depth and a richness I didn't see before.  I still read Scripture everyday, as every good Catholic should; remember, we had it first--we wrote the table of contents.
--- 2 ---
The Catechism.  In my post the 5 Joys of Being Catholic, I said having the Catechism was one of the things I loved most about being Catholic.  In one relatively compact place are all the teachings of the Church about almost every subject.  I try to read some from it every day.  Marcus Grodi's Coming Home Network offers a reading plan that will take you through the Scriptures and the Catechism in a year.
--- 3 ---
The Story of a Soul, by St. Therese of Liseaux.  One of the great spiritual classics, and one I've read several times.  Her simple spirituality of doing even the smallest thing for the love of God has had a great impact on me.  If you tend to be more intellectual in your approach to faith, like I do, then this book with remind you that our Lord is honored by the simplest thing done in his name.  As important as knowledge is, without love, as St. Paul reminds us, our faith is nothing.
--- 4 ---
Abandonment to Divine Providence, by Jean-Pierre de Caussade.  Another work I've read several times, this slim volume deserves to be better known than it is.  The concept of accepting whatever God brings you is very liberating; de Caussade's example of the Blessed Virgin is a model for us.
--- 5 ---
The True Devotion to Mary, by Louis de Montfort.  I've only read this recently, but it's had a profound effect on my spiritual life.  I'll admit that the entire concept of consecration to Mary made me uncomfortable; I thought in the beginning that it was raising Mary to too high a level.  But about half way through I realized the power of what de Montfort was saying.  I went through the 33 day preparation and made my consecration on August 15, the Solemnity of the Assumption.  I can recommend not only the book, but consecration to Mary as well.
--- 6 ---
Catholicism, by Father Robert Barron.  As good as the series was, the book is better.  Fr. Barron manages to pack a lot of information in a compact, beautifully written volume.  The chapter on Mary alone is worth the cost.  This is destined to become a Catholic classic.
--- 7 ---
In this House of Brede, by Rummer Goden.  This is actually Susan's favorite, and the one that had more influence on her becoming Catholic than any other.  She read the book the first time when she was 11 and read it at least once a year from that time, committing whole passages to memory in the process.  The story revolves around a career woman in London who gives up everything to enter an English Benedictine convent.    Interestingly enough, Goden also brings in the stresses between the old and the new brought about in the Church by the Second Vatican Council.

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1 comment:

  1. I love In this House of Brede. When things get really hectic at home, I imagine living in a cloister. Of course, my imagination is undoubtedly not the reality. Annette