Over the weekend, I’ve been compiling 100 Catholic books I
need would really like for Christmas. Then I thought 100 was a touch excessive.
Now, I’ve narrowed it down to 25. That’s reasonable, right?
All are Catholic, all are in both paper and e-book formats, and as a veteran book scrounger, all look amazing. (In my humble opinion, of course!) The following are all affiliate links so if you want to a buy one or a couple, I get a tiny cut which means I might be able to buy one for myself too!
Also, I’ve avoided all the Lewis’, Chestertons, and Sheens because a) we all know they’re brilliant, and b) if I did, they’d be the only authors on the list… Not that any of us would have minded, methinks!
In no particular order, here they are:
In an interview published exclusively in English in the Jesuit journal America, Pope Francis speaks candidly about his historic role as the first Jesuit pope, his ideas on church governance, the moral teachings of the church and how he has learned from his mistakes.
Vibe: Looks like some Jesuit awesomeness. The book I want to read about Pope Francis!
“Simcha has taken all the things we think about NFP but feel like we can t say, brought them into the light, and addressed them with insight and razor-sharp wit. You ll laugh, you ll nod your head in recognition, and you ll ultimately walk away inspired by the kind of encouragement that only someone else in the trenches can offer.” — Jennifer Fulwiler of Conversion Diary
Vibe: You need a sense of humour when you start talking about NFP…
“One of the few classics in Catholic theology composed in English. This book should never be out of print.” — Avery Cardinal Dulles, S.J.
Vibe: Read a chapter of this for an essay, now I want it ALL — it’s that good.
Simple and clear, yet profound, this is a book which should be found in every Catholic home and on the book shelf of every confessor and director of souls. –Fr. Peter Damian Fehlner, S.T.D. Author, St. Maximilian Kolbe: Martyr of Charity
Vibe: Confession confuses me, and this looks like just what I need.
“This is the first clear and simple introduction to the Church’s hours I’ve seen, and I can’t imagine a better one.” — Mike Aquilina, author of Yours is the Church, EWTN host.
Vibe: Want, want, want!! Love the idea of praying the Liturgy of the Hours but I have no idea how to start. This is the book.
“It is hard to overstate the impact that William Lane Craig has had for the cause of Christ. He is simply the finest Christian apologist of the last half century and his academic work justifies ranking him among the top 1 percent of practicing philosophers in the Western world.” — J. P. Moreland, Distinguished Professor of Philosophy, Talbot School of Theology
Vibe: WLC is amazing and this looks like the Christian Apologetics Bible.
“With his usual spiritual acumen Father Dubay looks at this question and gives every person something serious to think about regarding personal poverty, a value that speaks to us on every page of the Gospel.” — Fr. Benedict J. Groeschel, Author, Arise from Darkness
Vibe: Ouch, this is one I don’t want to read but I think it will do me a world of good.
“Ralph Martin, drawing upon the teaching of seven acknowledged “Spiritual Doctors” of the Church, presents an in-depth study of the journey to God. This book provides encouragement and direction for the pilgrim who desires to know, love, and serve our Lord.”
Vibe: On a spiritual journey, you want practiced guides. Go with the saints.
“In this book, Father Andrew Apostoli carefully analyzes the events that took place in Fatima and clears up lingering questions and doubts about their meaning. He also challenges the reader to hear anew the call of Our Lady to prayer and sacrifice, for the world is ever in need of generous hearts willing to make reparation for those in danger of losing their way to God.
Vibe: I plain don’t get Fatima… yet! This is why I want this book.
In Between Heaven and Mirth, [Martin] uses scriptural passages, the lives of the saints, the spiritual teachings of other traditions, and his own personal reflections to show us why joy is the inevitable result of faith, because a healthy spirituality and a healthy sense of humor go hand-in-hand with God’s great plan for humankind.
Vibe: Fr James Martin? Colbert Report’s Official Chaplain? Writing on Joy? I’M SOLD.
“I’ve been a philosopher for all my adult life and the three most profound books of philosophy that I have ever read are Ecclesiastes, Job, and Song of Songs.” These are the opening lines of Kreeft’s Three Philosophies of Life. He reflects that there are ultimately only three philosophies of life and each one is represented by one of these books of the Bible-life is vanity; life is suffering; life is love.
Vibe: I love Peter Kreeft, and combining philosophy with Scriptural analysis of three more confusing books, sounds perfect.
“Weigel at his astringent and prophetic best.” — George Cardinal Pell, Archbishop of Sydney
Vibe: Want to read this to see how much I agree (Because you know, me and George Weigel have roughly same cred!)
In The Forum and the Tower, Glendon examines thinkers who have collaborated with leaders, from ancient Syracuse to the modern White House, in a series of brisk portraits that explore the meeting of theory and reality.
Vibe: Love the look of this from one of America’s foremost female academics.
In this cogent and multifaceted introduction to the great Saint’s work, Edward Feser argues that you cannot fully understand Aquinas’ philosophy without his theology and vice-versa. Covering his thoughts on the soul, natural law, metaphysics, and the interaction of faith and reason, this will prove a indispensable resource for students, experts or the general reader.
Vibe: When it comes to Aquinas, I’m definitely a beginner.
“It’s a masterwork: exhilarating in scope and a joy to read. If you want an unforgettable account of the fullness and drama of the Christian story, read this book.” — Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap., Archbishop of Philadelphia
Vibe: I’m always cautious about histories covering such a long period. This, however, looks incredible.
In this deeply moving narrative, Thomas Howard describes his pilgrimage from Evangelicalism (which he loves and reveres as the religion of his youth) to liturgical Christianity.
Vibe: On the power of the liturgy from one of my favourite authors.
Adam and Eve after the Pill examines as no book has before the seismic social changes caused by the sexual revolution. In examining human behavior in the post-liberation world, Eberstadt provocatively asks: Is food the new sex? Is pornography the new tobacco?
Vibe: Very keen to read this account! Our moral tradition will always seem bizarre until we can fit it into an historical narrative. (So says the History Major, anyway!)
A crystal clear and compelling case for Sacred Tradition, on the basis of logic, history and Scripture. It is simply the best I have found. –Scott Hahn, Author, Rome Sweet Home
Vibe: Mark Shea is a brilliant apologist and this looks like a great book on a hugely important topic.
Renowned in the blogosphere as The Anchoress and as Catholic Portal editor of the popular Patheos.com, Elizabeth Scalia offers a powerful critique of the “gods” we worship today, reminding readers that life’s deepest desires can be satisfied only in Christ.
Vibe: The Anchoress first “real” book
One of the most respected journalists in the United States and the bestselling author of The Future Church uses his unparalleled knowledge of world affairs and religious insight to investigate the troubling worldwide persecution of Christians.
Vibe: This is an incredibly important issue and one we don’t care nearly enough about it.
Dr. Ralph Martin’s Will Many Be Saved? contributes significantly to a richer understanding of our faith, helps restore confidence in the gospel message, and engenders a desire to share the truth of Christ’s message. An important contribution to the pastoral strategy of the ‘new evangelization.’ — Donald Cardinal Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington, D.C.
Vibe: Another one that looks like a confronting — but necessary — read.
One of Cardinal Ratzinger’s most important and widely read books, this remarkable elucidation of the Apostle’s Creed gives an excellent, modern interpretation of the foundations of Christianity. Ratzinger’s profound treatment of Christianity’s basic truths combines a spiritual outlook with a deep knowledge of Scripture and the history of theology.
Vibe: Everyone recommends this book. Don’t be fooled by the title. This is no mere introduction.
“[A] superb new history of the Council of Trent…Thanks to John O’Malley, a veteran Jesuit historian of the Counter-Reformation, we now have a beautifully clear and honest reappraisal of the tangled story of Trent, in all its complexity, paradox, achievement and lost opportunity.” –Diarmaid MacCulloch, author of Reformation: Europe’s House Divided
Vibe: An actually good book on Trent?? Praise the Lord!
“Clear, profound and practical – you do not want to miss this book.” — Dr. Scott Hahn, author of The Lamb’s Supper and Signs of Life
Vibe: The super theonerdish and book-loving Monica recommends this book. That’s good enough for me! Besides LOOK AT IT!
“Gregory’s insightful and compelling narrative invites us to recognize the surprising extent to which we are still what the Protestant Reformation and its heirs made us, a society of conflicting and contested truth claims. As he spells out the consequences–and the interest is in the detail–we become more sharply aware of sometimes unrecognized aspects of our present condition.” — Alasdair MacIntyre, author of God, Philosophy, Universities
Vibe: This is my absolutely must-have, need-right-now gimme-gimme one. Religious history + social trends = LOVE.
So there you have it! 25 books that are on my wishlist this Christmas.
Are there any books you’re really hanging out for this Christmas?