As you all may recall, I attended the Catholic Religious Education Congress in California a few weeks ago and promised to relay some of the resources I found that may be helpful to everyday lay Catholics who are looking for something interesting to read. Here are some of the books I’ve picked up...but have not read yet. They patiently sit on my coffee table for when I have time to read. Disclaimer: I am not a theologian in any sense of the word (shocking, I know) or a learned scholar on church topics or issues..I am recommending these books mostly from the point of view of a (1) mom who desires to learn more about the Catholic faith, (2) religious educator always looking for new and practical resources to pass on to families and youth, and (3) person simply trying to gain daily inspiration. I hope some of these books interest you, and if so...let me know what you think. I’ll include a title, author and a short description of the item.
1. A Mother’s Rule of Life: How to Bring Order to Your Home and Peace to Your Soul
“Motherhood and homeschooling had overwhelmed her. The house was dirty, the laundry undone. Holly felt frustrated , discouraged, and alone. She couldn’t find time to snuggle and have fun with her five children or to go our with her husband. Yes, she loved Philip and she loved God, but she had come to resent Philip’s freedom and she almost never found time for prayer.”
2. 101 Questions & Answers on Vatican II: Maureen Sullivan, OP
(BTW: I love this author so much that I want to BE her. I’ve listened to her speak on two separate occasions and have found her to be smart, fair, funny, logical, practical, physically and inwardly gorgeous, and honest. To top it all, she’s a nun...)
“For people who have heard of Vatican II but have only experienced the Council through a glass darkly, this book answers the basic question: “Just what was Vatican II?”
3. The Death of Innocents, An Eyewitness Account of Wrongful Executions: Sister Helen Prejean
“From the author of the national bestseller “Dead Man Walking” comes a brave and fiercely argued new book that tests the moral edge of the debate on capital punishment. What if we’re executing innocent men? “ Two cases in point are examined closely.
4. The How-To Book of the Bible: Everything You Need to Know but No One Ever Taught You-Karl A. Shultz
“Perhaps you know very little about the Bible...or enoughto realize there’s so much more to discover! maybe your previous attempts to read the Bible have not been fruitful, and you don’t get much out of the readings at Mass. You observe the role the Bible plays in the lives of others and feel that you're missing something.”
5.Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church ( hot off the presses)
A shorter, easier to read summary of the very popular reference book, “The Catechism of the Catholic Church”. I recommend to all youth ministry parents that they have.... at the very least ....a Catechism in their home bookshelves and a good Catholic Study Bible. When children get older, they start asking the “hard” questions. Parents need to be ready when these questions arise and frequently refer to the Catechism for answers. The compendium makes things easier to find or look up.
6. Sacred Necessities : Gifts for Living with Passion, Purpose and Grace-Terry Hershey
A short book on finding the sacred in our lives.
7. Be With Us Today: Music by Michael John Poirtier
I heard this man sing during a contemplative Mass at the Religious Education Congress and his voice, lyrics and gentle manner stirred my soul to the point that I had to run to the bathroom to grab Kleenex tissues. His music is gentle and prayerful...sometimes with only a guitar and violin. It’s the lyrics that he writes that helps the listener grow ever deeper in prayer with Jesus...in a contemplative way. He has many, many CD’s, but his current release has, in my opinion, some of his best songs. My personal favorites: I will renew your heart, and All will be well.