Books, books and more books! As the year comes to a close I wanted to put forth a recommended book list. Listed below are some of the books that I have read this year that I would recommend you get your hands on. They are in no particular order. Happy reading!
1. The Dialogue of St. Catherine of Siena.
This book really needs no introduction. It is one of the most prolific spiritual and theological writings in the history of the Church. This book is largely composed of Catherine's accounts of God the Father speaking to her during her locutions. This one book that can be read over and over, even on a yearly basis. I have a feeling that St. Catherine and God the Father would be considered rigid by today's standards!
2. Catherine of Siena: Spiritual Development. by Thomas McDermott
There are many lessons to be learned if one takes their time to read and meditate on the passages in this book which quotes primarily from Catherine's Dialogue, her Letters and Sacred Scripture. There are also comparisons to the teachings of some of the Church Fathers and Saints as well. The book is well written and thoughtfully laid out. It is repetitious at times but in a pleasant way that keeps reemphasizing the spiritual themes that permeate Catherine's life and her work. This allows you to internalize her thought and hopefully grow in the love of God.
3. Christian Spirituality in Catholic Tradition. by Jordan Aumann
I recommend this book to anyone who is interested in knowing where the many spiritual practices we know of today originated from, and how there came to be different emphasis on spiritual practices depending on the time it was needed in the Church. Every major spiritual school of thought is covered.
4. Faith Comes From What is Heard. by Lawrence Feingold
This 600 plus page book is packed with a ton useful information. The book focuses on the Church and how Divine Revelation is passed on to the faithful. Topics covered include, The primacy of Peter, the Magisterium, Sacred Tradition, Sacred Scripture, Biblical typology, Exegesis of Scripture, apostolic succession and more.
5. Noble Beauty, Transcendent Holiness by Peter Kwasniewski
This book is not for the faint of heart. The Mass of Paul VI is put under scrutiny and compared to the traditional Latin Mass. I don't have to say more since readers of this blog know where I stand on the liturgical changes after Vatican II.
6. Saint Dominic by Sister Mary Jane Dorcy
Saint Dominic is my favorite Saint and he has done wonderful things for me! This is a great biographical account of his life.
7. The Political Pope. by George Neumayr
Its sad to say that a critical book compiling the life of Pope Francis would make the list, but tough times call for tough measures. This book is also not for the faint of heart. The author does a good job of recounting the events of Pope Francis before he was pope and after. Don't expect fanciful prose here, just the documented facts.
8. Christ's Fulfillment of Torah and Temple. by Matthew Levering
If you desire to understand Biblical typology then this book is for you. Using Thomas Aquinas, Levering describes how the Old Testament is prefigured, transformed and fulfilled in the New Testament. This book should be in the hands of all those who take Scripture study seriously.
9. Participatory Biblical Exegesis. by Matthew Levering
This is the second book this year I read by Levering. Once again Levering offers us a true understanding of Biblical exegesis according to the Church Fathers and the theologians of the Middle Ages such as Aquinas. Levering understands the benefits and limitations of historical criticism and seeks to retrieve and restore medieval Biblical exegesis into modern Catholic Biblical scholarship.
10. Reflections. Ascent of Mt Carmel. by Marc Foley
This spiritual work is sure to prick your conscience as the author takes you on a guided trip through St John of the Cross' profound spiritual work. Pick it up daily and reflect on where your spiritual life is lacking and put into practice the recommendations given.
11. The Power of Silence. by Cardinal Robert Sarah
This writing emphasizes the importance of spending time in silent prayer. With all of the media we are bombarded with on a daily basis, the good Cardinal offers some inspiration to make time to sit in silence with God.