Here are some of the books that I read as I started to question my faith and WHY I should stay a Catholic:
The Lamb’s Supper: The Mass as Heaven on Earth by Scott Hahn – Ever wonder exactly what happens at Mass? Don’t be that clueless Catholic, read up!
Rediscovering Catholicism: A Spiritual Guide to Living with Passion and Purpose by Matthew Kelly – This book was offered for free at many parishes in 2012 and I would say is responsible for many Catholics who came home. Very moving and touching as well as full of great ideas on how to Fit in Your Faith. 🙂
Praying with St. Paul – St. Paul just happens to be my favorite saint and apostle. For some reason I was drawn to him. It makes sense since he wrote 40% of the New Testament. But if you’re looking for a book you can pick up once in awhile and read one short passage and a reflection, this is it. I keep this on hand just to refer to once or twice a week to meditate on one of his nuggets of wisdom.
The Holy Longing: The Search for a Christian Spirituality by Ronald Rolheiser – If I had to call one book a masterpiece, I would say this would be it. It should be re-titled “How to be a Good Human Being.” Because, that’s basically what we are all called to be.
Theology of the Body Resources
Obviously, I am huge TOB fan. The teachings of TOB have been the turning point in my life and have transformed me in ways I can’t quite explain. But the good news is, all of us who have read TOB say the same thing. And chances are, once you read it, you will have a new set of eyes to see the world.
Start here: Theology of the Body for Beginners – This is a short read. You can get through it in a week or two weeks. This book absolutely changed my life. Some might be scared to read it. But, “Be not afraid.” God is merciful and although you might have to face your brokenness head on while reading it, you will have God at your side.
Theology of the Body Explained – This is Pope John Paul II’s writings with the explanations written by Christopher West. This is a huge undertaking to read but you’ll want the actual book and not the Kindle version for the sole reason of having to highlight and underline whatever moves you. Think of it like a textbook. Of course it’s not necessary that you read it but most people find that they want to immerse themselves in the TOB and this is one of the best ways to do it.
Fill These Hearts – God, Sex, and the Universal Longing – A short read as well. Christopher West blends pop culture into Christianity. What does your favorite musical group or singer or artist have to do with God and sex? Everything. 🙂
The Good News About Sex and Marriage – This one might be difficult for married or engaged couples to read because of the lies that the secular world has told us. But it’s extremely important to your faith to read it so you have the foundation for a good marriage. And even if you think you have a great marriage (woohoo! that’s awesome!) there is always something to improve upon or explore. This is set up into chapters as a Q&A so it’s tempting for people just to skip ahead to the section they want to read about (usually divorce and contraception since those are the most controversial ) but it’s extremely important you read it in it’s entirety to understand the full message, especially if you have NOT read TOB for Beginners.
Beyond the Birds and the Bees – Don’t you wish there had been a book your parents would have had when they had “The Talk” with you? Or maybe you were raised on the “starvation diet” and you weren’t told anything about sex? The authors of this book have blended theology with psychology so you can raise your kids to be holy and wholesome. No, they won’t be perfect. But they will embrace their sexuality as a gift from God. It’s an ongoing discussion, not one awkward TALK.
Theology for His Body/Theology for Her Body – Parents of teenagers will want to pick up this super short read for their kids. What’s great is that it’s two books in one and kids are encouraged to read both sections. No dividing the class into girls and boys – this invites them to have an understanding of what their teenage counterparts are going through. Of course, the parents should read this too. This is the book you WISH you would have had growing up.
The Shack – A story about the Trinity, although you wouldn’t think so from the title alone. It’s being made into a movie so I would read it now before the movie spoils it. 😉
Once an Arafat Man – This man’s story of conversion from a sniper shooting Muslim to a Christian is jaw dropping. But that’s the power of God, is it not?
Have a book you recommend that I read? I’m always interested in reading new spiritual material! Email me and let me know what I should have on my bookshelf. FittingInFaith@gmail.com