Friday, February 28, 2014

My Top Ten Favorite Catholic Books

St. Josemarie Escriva, in his book The Way, once exhorted, "Do not neglect spiritual reading.  Reading has made many saints.". Here is a list of my top ten favorite Catholic books (in no particular order) accompanied by a quote related to the theme of this blog, which is the universal call to holiness.

1.Crossing the Threshold of Hope by Pope John Paul II
Photo credit: Ryk Neethling
"It is very important to cross the threshold of hope, not to stop before it, but to let oneself be led. I believe that the great Polish poet Cyprian Norwid had this in mind when he expressed the ultimate meaning of the Christian life in these words: 'Not with the cross of the Savior behind you, but with your own cross behind the Savior." (224)

2. Rome Sweet Home: Our Journey to Catholicism by Scott and Kimberly Hahn
"The most important message of Vatican II - by far - is the 'universal call to holiness'. Basically it means that all Catholics - not just priests and religious - are called to be saints." (178)

3. Hungry for God: Practical Help in Personal Prayer by Ralph Martin
"It began to click for me what the cult of the saints and Mary could mean. I saw their transparency and how when we truly come into contact with them, we notice not so much them but Jesus within them and find our hearts and attention turning not so much to them as to the One who dwells withing them, the One whom they serve." (120-121)

4. The Fulfillment of All Desire by Ralph Martin
"It's important to realize that there is only one choice; either to undergo complete transformation and enter heaven, or be eternally seperated from God in hell. There are only two ultimate destinations, and if we want to enter heaven we must be made ready for the sight of God. Holiness isn't an "option" for those who are interested in that sort of thing, but is essential for those who want to spend eternity with God." (8)

5. The Hidden Power of Kindness: A Practical Handbook for Souls Who Dare to Transform the World, One Deed at a Time by Father Lawrence Lovasik
"The saints were saints because they were cheerful when it was difficult to be cheerful, patient when it was difficult to be patient, silent when they wanted to speak and agreeable when they felt an urge to scream. The pushed forward when they wanted to stand still. Sainthood is simply another word for self-forgetfulness and generosity." (30-31)

6.The Confessions of Saint Augustine (Signet Classics) by St. Augustine
"Late it was that I loved you, beauty so ancient and so new, late I loved you! And, look, you were within me and I was outside, and there I sought for you and in my ugliness I plunged into the beauties that you made. You were with me, and I was not with you. Those outer beauties kept me far from you, yet if they had not been in you, they would not have existed at all. You called, you cried out, you shattered by deafness: you flashed, you shone, you shattered my blindness: you breathed perfume, and I drew in my breath and I pant for you; I tasted, and I am hungry and thirsty: you touched me, and I burned for your peace. (229)

7. Sober Intoxication of the Spirit: Filled With the Fullness of God by Father Raniero Cantalamessa
"What will we ask of the Holy Spirit concerning each of these three components? For our minds we ask for light - certitude, truth - from the One who is the "Spirit of truth." For our hearts we ask for love. Finally, for brother body we ask for healing, for a strengthening of what is sick or weak." (98)

8.Divine Mercy In My Soul-Diary of Sister M. Faustina Kowalska "How very much I desire the salvation of souls! My dearest secretary, write that I want to pour out My divine life into human souls and sanctify them, if only they were willing to accept My grace. The greatest sinners would achieve great sanctity, if only they would trust in My mercy. The very inner depths of My being are filled to overflowing with mercy, and it is being poured out upon all I have created." (631)

9. Deep Conversion/ Deep Prayer by Father Thomas Dubay
"Because the gospel is without doubt the most beautiful worldview on our planet, when we live it fully sincere people are mightily attracted to its beauty and to the Church. Jesus himself plainly said that it is by our love that the world will come to know that we are his disciples (Jn 13:35). A saint is a homilist without saying a word, a powerful proclamation of revealed truth and splendor. Throughout the centuries of our Catholic history it is the saints who attract the largest members to join us." (63)

10. Jesus of Nazareth: From the Baptism in the Jordan to the Transfiguration by Pope Benedict XVI
"The saints are the true interpreters of Holy Scripture. The meaning of a given passage of the Bible becomes most intelligible in those human beings who have been totally transfixed by it and have lived it out." (78)

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1 comment:

  1. My new favorite is 33 Days to Morning Glory. Michael E. Gaitley, MIC
    A Do-It-Yourself Retreat
    In Preparation for Marian Consecration
    Marian Press - WHAT A BLESSING!