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Reading List

Are you interested in learning more about the Catholic Faith? You’ll find a list of books that I highly recommend below. Some of them are basic introductions to or explanation of Catholic teaching. Others are books on how to grow spiritually or explanations of the history of the Church. Do be careful when selecting resources. There are many good ones out there now, but, unfortunately, there are a number of books out there that either water down the faith or present outright false information. You can’t go wrong if you stick to good Catholic publishers like Ignatius Press, Ascension Press, Sophia Institute Press, Our Sunday Visitor, Emmaus Road Press, Catholic Answers Press, and Scepter Publishers.

A Map of Life
A short, but packed with food for thought, explanation of what Catholics believe.

A Refutation of Moral Relativism
This is a great guide for people who need to understand the arguments for the existence of absolute moral truth.

Bible Timeline Seminar
Ok, so this isn’t really a book. However, it’s the best thing out there for an authentic Catholic Bible Study.

Cathechism of the Catholic Church
The official summary of what the Church teaches.

Catholic and Christian
This book explains the most commonly misunderstood Catholic beliefs in a non-argumentative fashion.

Catholic Christianity
A good comprehensive summary of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

Catholicism for Dummies
A very user-friendly guide to what the Church teaches that is faithful to the Church. Read this and stay away from The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Understanding Catholicism.

Christ the King: Lord of History
A history book that gives the real story of the influence of Christ and his Church on the events of history.

Christian Dating in a Godless World
This is THE book to get on courtship and marriage for someone trying to pursue a spouse as a Catholic.

Citizens of the Heavenly City
If you are looking for a good book on Catholic Social Teaching, this is the one I recommend.

Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church
The official abbreviated summary of what the Church teaches, in question and answer format.

Consoling the Heart of Jesus
This is a great retreat in book form about loving and trusting God, even in our weakness.

Consoling Thoughts of St. Francis de Sales
A series of consolation and spiritual direction from a Doctor of the Church.

Family Virtues
This book gives some great guidance on the big picture of how we want our kids to develop virtue.

Holy Bible: Revised Standard Version, Catholic Edition
This is the translation that I prefer and that is preferred by a number of good Catholic scholars.

How to Profit From Your Faults
What is the attitude we should have towards our sins? This book may surprise you.

I Believe in Love
A retreat based on the teaching of St. Therese of Lisieux.

In Conversation with God Series
This is a daily meditation that really gives you the meat and potatoes of Catholic spirituality.

Interior Freedom
One of the best modern spiritual writers explains true freedom.

Introduction to the Devout Life
The classic work of St. Francis de Sales that explains that holiness is possible for anyone.

Jesus of Nazereth
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI’s scholarly account of the life of Christ. It’s a good antidote for some of the false scholarship of today.

Making Choices
An excellent book on the basics of moral decision making.

Navarre Bible Commentary Series
An excellent Scripture commentary. It’s extensive yet readable and understandable.

Overcoming Lukewarmness
Does your love for God not seem to be like it once was? This book will help you understand what has been lost and can be regained.

Prayer for Beginners
An excellent introduction on how to pray.

Prayer Primer
Another good introduction to prayer.

Praying the Mass
Do you want to get more out of Mass? Read this book.

Search and Rescue
A great guide for how to bring people you love into, or back into, the Church.

Something Other Than God
A story of one woman’s conversion from atheism that is both entertaining and informative.

Spiritual Combat
The classic work on spiritual warfare recommended by St. Francis de Sales.

Surprised by Truth
One of a three part series of conversion stories.

The Compact History of the Catholic Church
An introduction to the history of the Church.

The Everyday Apostle
This one is hard to find these days, but it’s a great book for practical suggestion on how to evangelize in everyday life.

The Faith Explained
The title pretty much says it.

The Faith Explained Today
This is a newer and more expanded version of The Faith Explained, written by a different priest.

The Spirit of the Liturgy
This really gave me a better understanding of what the Mass is and how it should be celebrated.

The Truth About Therese
A biography of St. Therese of Lisieux that shows that she was no sugary saint.

The Virtue Driven Life
A book on virtue by one of the best modern spiritual writers.

The Virtues of Holiness
This is a great introduction to the basic elements of a spiritual life for anyone seeking holiness.

The Way of Trust and Love
A retreat based on the life of St. Therese of Lisieux.

Theology for Beginners
The title explains it all.

Theology of the Body for Beginners
Pope St. John Paul II’s Theology of the Body is a great antidote for both our permissive culture and other false ideas about the human body.

Time for God
This is probably my favorite of the three introductory books on prayer that I recommend.

Vatican II: The Crisis and the Promise
Dr. Schreck could have named this “What Vatican II Really Said,” but I think he’s a more humble man than that. This cuts through the nonsense that has been promulgated in the name of the “spirit of Vatican II.”

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