11 Books That May Also Help Keep Your Faith Alive
The Holy Bible
For us Christians, the Sacred Scriptures contain the Word of God and, because they are inspired, they are truly the Word of God (DV24, CCC135). The Holy Bible is a product of the Sacred Tradition handed to us by the Holy Apostles and the first disciples of Jesus. It was compiled only in 380 A.D. by Pope Saint Damasus I. The Holy Bible is the only book that sold at least five billion copies. Bibles are everywhere; they are in houses, in schools, in offices, and in other establishments.
The version that I prefer is the Christian Community Bible: Catholic Pastoral Edition because of its easy to understand translation and commentaries. This is the book that I read almost every day. I cannot imagine life without the Bible.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church
The Bible has been read by billions of people before us and has been interpreted officially by that Church that Jesus built. Private interpretation is prohibited (2 Pt 1:19) to avoid a divided Christianity into different sects and cults. There is only one God and One Church. The church came up with catechisms to sum up the beliefs of the faithful. This copy of the official Catechism of the Catholic Church (one in Spanish) is a work of Cardinal Ratzinger during the pontificate of Pope Saint John Paul the Great.
The Starved and The Silent
A holy priest, now a Venerable Servant of God, went to Korea to carry out missionary works. The country, recovering from the devastating war was at one point one of the poorest countries in the world. Monsignor John Phillip Aloysius Schwartz or Father Al wrote his own account of his own struggles and the many kinds of suffering of the Korean people. The heartbreaking story of his young friend Michael Rhi is the highlight of the book.
YouCat or Youth Catechism of the Catholic Church
Created especially for the young ones, this abridge version of the Catechism of the Catholic Church comes in an easy to read question and answers form accompanied by tidbits of interesting trivia in the side notes – a must have for the youth. I love the layout, fonts styles, and the images in the book.
Las Cronicas de Narnia
This is Spanish for ‘The Chronicles of Narnia’. It’s one of C.S. Lewis’s best sellers that contains seven interrelated stories. Films were made for the three of those stories namely, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005), Prince Caspian (2008), and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (2010). The fourth film The Silver Chair is on its way. Narnia is my first choice of all works of fiction out there because of its strong Christian messages.
The Sermons of the Cure of Ars
When I feel the need of something to boost my lukewarm soul I turn to the words of Saint John Marie Vianney, the Cure of Ars. His sermons are so striking one could imagine being admonished by God himself. Some would say his messages does not apply to our own times but for me personally they remind me of the God’s love for each of us.
The Liturgy of the Hours
I have this one volume set of the Liturgy of the Hours bought by my wife for my birthday. Other names for this is The Divine Office or The Breviary. They are mostly used by the religious and the ordained but the laity are also encouraged to pray it. I love praying and reading the Liturgy of the Hours especially the first readings of the day. I love the fact that old testimonies, letters, sermons of great saints of the Church are made available and accessible for us to read.
Handbook of Catholic Apologetics
Authored by Dr. Peter Kreeft and Fr. Ronald Tacelli this book is a must have for Catholics especially those who are doing studies in Apologetics, Philosophy, and Theology. I heard one time in the radio Trent Horn (Catholic Answers apologist) saying this is one of the books that has helped him in his studies in the past and would recommend it to everyone.
Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska: Divine Mercy in My Soul
Saint Faustina wrote in her diary her private conversations with Jesus. Her hand written account was converted to a book and this became the result. She wrote her life story from her childhood days until the time she received the message of the Divine Mercy and started to propagate the devotion.
Cries of Jesus from the Cross: A Fulton Sheen Anthology
I recently received this book from Catholic Answers. I was surprised to see and love its content. Our dear Venerable Fulton J Sheen links the seven last words of Jesus from the cross to the deadly sins of anger, envy, lust, gluttony, and pride. He counters these vices with the practice of virtues in order to overcome them.
I was fortunate to grab this 1960 copy of this book in a church book sale in Malaysia. It’s a story of a young orphan boy left (when he was infant) in a Franciscan monastery because of civil unrest in the nearby village. The boy became a joy of the entire community despite of his misbehavior. Things changed after an encounter with someone alive who has been staying for a while in the friary’s upper room. I wont go further :-).
I already knew about the story in a Spanish movie Marcelino: Pan y Vino prior to reading the book but I assure you I appreciated the story even more when I read it.
Let us serve Christ and the Church in all circumstances!