I read a lot. And for 2019, I made a commitment to be more intentional about what I was reading. I wanted a book list that was not only relaxing, but also fulfilling for my mind and my soul. So, I created this list of 19 Catholic books to read in 2019.
I will admit that I defined “Catholic books” loosely. These are books written by someone who is Catholic, about a Catholic topic (like theology) or simply recommended by a number of Catholic friends. If you have suggestions of your own or any insights on these books, please share them in the comments section below!
- Evangelium Vitae by St. Pope John Paul II - You can’t get more Catholic than a book written by a pope about the value and dignity of life.
- A Simple Path by St. Mother Teresa - A very quotable book full of wisdom and hope from a person who has given us an amazing model of love in action for our time.
- The Confessions by St. Augustine - A spiritual classic from the ancient Bishop of Hippo. Who doesn’t love a good conversion story?
- The Marketing of Evil by David Kupelian - I’m baffled by the celebration of evil in our society. I hope this book will provide some insight into how the infestation of and fascination with evil in our culture has evolved.
- The Abolition of Man by C.S. Lewis - Anything by C.S. Lewis is acceptable on this list! (I know he is not Catholic, but all the Catholics read his books!) Originally delivered by Lewis as lectures, this book covers the importance of objective value and natural law.
- The Cloud of Unknowing by an unknown author - This is an anonymous work of Christian mysticism written in the latter half of the 14th century. It encourages coming to know God more deeply by surrendering to God’s mystery.
- The Lamb’s Supper by Scott Hahn - The Eucharist is one of my favorite parts of Catholicism! I can’t wait to deepen my understanding of the Mass and the Blessed Sacrament.
- Life of Christ by Fulton Sheen - This biography of Christ will be my Lenten read. I have no doubt that it is written in Sheen’s characteristic voice, one of deep poetic insight paired with down-to-earth simplicity.
- I See Far by Friend of Medjugorje - This is a testimony on the challenge and fruits of giving up television for good!
- St. Thérèse: Doctor of the Little Way by various authors - This unique book combines the insights of 23 different authors who reflect on the life and spirituality of St. Thérèse.
- The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky - Both a spiritual and literary classic, this book was Dostoevsky’s final work. It is quite an undertaking due to its length, but well worth it (I have been told) for its ethical, philosophical and artistic value.
- The Divine Pity by Gerald Vann O.P. - The book has been waiting patiently on my bookshelf for a long time. It covers the Beatitudes, the Gifts of the Holy Spirit and the Sacraments of the Church through the lens of the Sermon on the Mount.
- The Ethics of Abortion by Christopher Kaczor - I picked this book out to help me in my pro-life work. It does not discuss religion at all. Instead, it defends the pro-life stance through logic, reason and philosophy.
- Interior Freedom by Jacques Philippe - Jacques Philippe is a holy man and gifted with a simple clarity of spirit. The theme of this short book is that “we gain possession of our interior freedom in exact proportion to our growth in faith, hope and love.”
- The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien - You just can’t have a Catholic book list without Tolkien. This fictional trilogy needs no introduction!
- Furrow by Josemaria Escriva - Escriva was the founder of Opus Dei, and Furrow is the fruit of his own interior life and his experience working with souls in spiritual direction.
- Theology of the Body Explained by Christopher West - West unpacks and translates St. Pope John Paul II’s theology of the body in depth. This is a great second step after reading Christopher West’s Theology of the Body for Beginners.
- Unconditional Love by John Powell S.J. - This book is a reflection on love founded on self-gift.
- Fast With the Heart by Fr. Slavko Barbaric - In this book, Fr. Slavko reflects on fasting, why it is important for us and how it has changed his own life.
Have you read any of these before? What is on your Catholic reading list? Let us know in the comments below.