“To advance the useful arts is one thing,” Newman writes, “and to cultivate the mind is another.”. On a more academic note, my good friend Father Dominic Legge has authored an excellent book on the Trinitarian Christology of Aquinas. The third of three Copleston books I read as follow up to last year’s reading of his Memoir. This book is undoubtedly great for young adults, but “older folks,” will also enjoy the music scene theme. Thank you for your generosity! We’re so familiar with this story, we can overlook Verne’s brilliant idea for having the most calculating, predictable man in the world instantaneously and willingly subject himself to the unpredictability of 19th century travel. A re-read of an old favorite. Of course, the narrative flashes back and forth in time within that 36-hour framework, so we ultimately get the gist of this family’s whole story, beginning decades ago in La Paz, in Baja California. Sweeney’s emphasis on theosis (though he rarely, if ever, used the word) is especially welcome. The cupboard is bare, the monks share a prayer, but the work of the day must go on. The perfect posthumous tribute, with 64 songs proving the boxed set died too soon. In the broad realm of political philosophy, my book, The Universe We Think In, came out in April. Rachel finds solace and healing in a Catholic Church, but the focus is on accepting and asking for God’s forgiveness. As is too often the case, I’ve read very little fiction this year. It follows a group of Japanese tourists with tormented pasts visiting the Ganges in search of solace. Finally, I returned to an “oldie” that has turned out to have legs in cultural analysis. I suppose if I had to really explain myself, it would all come down to human behavior. Chambers’ epic, courageous story, and his writing—both elegant and humble—have already changed history. This belief in a special Russianness rooted in a semi-mystical amalgam of Slav, Mongol (Tatar), and numerous smaller steppe tribal groups was a dangerous sentiment to hold in Stalinist times. And in his third section on the sacraments, his jabs become straight overhand rights as those reasons for his conversion clarify and sharpen into devastating sacramental arguments against the Reformation rejection of the Church. But I did track down a copy of the not-yet-published (in the United States) novel Tombland, the seventh edition in the Shardlake series by British lawyer and historian C.J. My undisputed favorites (and yes, I was only reading them for the first time) were Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe (1719) and Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1852). Joseph Cardinal Bernardin A Consistent Ethic of Life: An American Catholic Dialogue. Happy 5th Anniversary to The Best Catholic! Finn has a way of making things look one way, and then revealing things to be exactly the opposite. I found this a marvelous book to read. The volume covers the arguments for and against such a proclamation and highlights the efforts of Cardinal Mercier of Belgium. And it is best to read the book one day at a time. The current mania for an ambiguous notion of progress, Dawson suggests, has distracted humanity from the reality that religion is the soul of a culture, and any society that has lost its spiritual roots is dying. Only Father Rutler could offer a three-sentence paragraph which begins with a vignette from the life of Marie Antoinette and concludes with a quote from the country-western singer, Dolly Parton, to convincingly make a point. The Catholic Manbook: Men of the Immaculata Conference 2018 by. This factual account of the chronology of the Church’s handling of the contentious third part of the Fatima secret (especially in the years between 1960 and 2000) does not smear high Vatican officials, speculate about unknowable unknowns, or engage in fatuous gossip. CWR editors and contributors share their favorite reads from the last year. Glover traces this history, starting from post-Bolshevik revolutionary times, when the rejection of Leninism as alien to the Russian soul kindled among certain surviving elements of Tsarist, “White Russian” society a low flame of resistance. As a Catholic bibliophile I’m always hunting for the next must-read book. This story beautifully reflects on the sometimes compassionate, yet sometimes abrasive ways that Christianity has encountered native religions and cultures. In the end we do not choose anything. Eleonore Stump, Atonement. Foote’s masterful narrative allows one not only to get a feel for all of the battles and the people involved, but also for the sheer magnitude of this four-year conflict—geographical, logistic, political, and emotional. In the area of fiction, I delved into P.G. Hounds of the Lord: Great Dominican Saints Every Catholic Should Know by Kevin Vost (Sophia Institute Press, 2015). That one’s on my personal list of best books ever, despite a cumbersome title—a better one would be What Was Right (and Wrong) About the Reformation. On the one hand, there is the rise of second-generation immigrants who are seeking to return home to their once totalitarian-occupied homelands. Scott L. Smith (Goodreads Author) Now I understand why, having been half-frozen and half-starved during and after the war, they emigrated to Canada, heated their home to an unbearable 85 degrees, drank coffee and smoked cigarettes like mad, and applied masses of butter, cream, and sugar to almost everything! My post Good Catholic Books for Catholic Preschoolers and Kindergarteners is one of the most searched and read on this site, so today I was inspired to write a similar post aimed at Catholic teens. An absolute “must have” book for any serious student of Scripture. Two books that go together very nicely are The Catholic All Year Compendium, by Kendra Tierney, and Around the Year with the von Trapp Family, by Maria von Trapp. Daniel J. Mahoney’s The Idol of Our Age: How the Religion of Humanity Subverts Christianity diagnoses the reign of secular religion, even in the Church, in a startling way. His baseball columns—on Dizzy Dean and Joe DiMaggio and Connie Mack and many more—are particularly wonderful, especially at this all-football-all-the-time part of the year. Replete with Old Testament references upon which the imagery found in Revelations is based and with a particularly interesting discussion of the Seven Letters to the Churches, the reader is led to a deeper relationship with Our Lord through a greater understanding of Jesus as the Risen Christ ruling in Heaven. The Perfection of Freedom: Schiller, Schelling and Hegel. The National Catholic Register is a service of EWTN News, Inc. in Irondale, AL. Books I read and entered into the canon or already in: 1. The list below might puzzle some. Look up clips from Attenborough’s specials from the 1960s on YouTube and compare them with today’s Planet Earth or Blue Planet—the technological advancements are amazing. But there is one unforeseen effect of her mental breakdown. But she is surrounded by people who are unstable and even wicked: they resent her purity and gratitude to God, and so try to undermine her at every turn—much like today’s secularists try to shake committed Christians. 10 Best Catholic Bibles 2020 Dating back over 2,000 years, the Roman Catholic religion 10 Best Christian Books 2020 Prayer is the cornerstone of a strong, stable, and 10 Best Vegan Books 2020 For those who already practice a vegan diet and Our Advent Book List. In the second section, on the authority of the Church, Father Bouyer opens up a bit on the anti-magisterial weaknesses of Protestant approaches to Scripture. St. Francis of Assisi, G.K. Chesterton. It was the best book I read in 2018. She and Dominic decide to hide the invitation. Intriguing account of the characters behind the archaeological dig that uncovered the bones of St. Peter beneath the Vatican. Even so, it was fascinating to read what was, in effect, an Oklahoma high school girl’s interpretation of high school boys, especially those deemed “outsiders.” It was also a delight to read a story about strong male friendships without those relationships having to be homosexual. My program of reading—one I try to pass on to the seminarians I teach—is to have at least one book of theology, one of spirituality, and a book in some other genre (fiction, poetry, history, etc.) While in England this summer, I met Father Anton Guziel, CO, who is the owner of adorable Pushkin and the author of this entertaining tale of Pushkin’s meeting with Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, who like me is a cat lover. Destroyed by Henry VIII, revived in modern times, Walsingham is now extremely popular and the new handbook is a response to pilgrims’ needs: it has prayers, hymns, litanies, the story of the shrine, and more. Brian Kolodiejchuk’s 2016 book A Call to Mercy: Hearts to Love, Hands to Serve is a must-read for all interested in St. The Table has also won two 2018 Catholic Press Association Awards; 1st place for Best Book Category and 3rd place in Catholic Novels. Cardinal Müller’s interview with Father Carlos Granados is filled with many great insights and much hope for the future of the Church. His drawings and paintings include places and events beyond the texts of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. He reminded me of some of Chesterton’s comedic characters. Tolkien: Faithfulness in a Disenchanted Time by Conor Sweeney (Angelico Press, 2018). Scott’s novel about King Richard the Lionheart, his trusted knight Sir Wilfred of Ivanhoe, Robin Hood and his familiar band of Merry Men, and some of the major themes of early-Medieval England (e.g., the ongoing rivalry between the Saxons and their Normal conquerors) make for a rousing literary visit to an age of glory, chivalry, brutality, and dedication to God and country. Not only is it theologically sound, but also spiritually uplifting. Questions and Answers About the Life, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus by Carl Olson (Ignatius Press, 2016). Dugin’s writing and lecturing, in classic Russian tradition, draw on contemporary European thought, resulting in a shape-shifting hybrid post-modernism. It this incisive work, Lewis asserts that, “For the power of Man to make himself what he pleases means…the power of some men to make other men what THEY please.”. Episodic and anecdotal in style, held together by theme rather than story arc, Lord’s book is essentially a collection of stories drawn from her personal experience that illustrate the vanity and emptiness of anxiety and God’s faithfulness to His promises. Her pious anecdotes that may be unknown to many readers are sure to provide deeper insight and plenty of inspiration. Ryan J. Marr’s To Be Perfect is to Have Changed Often examined Newman’s ecclesiological development, showing how he balanced infinite reverence for the Church with a clear eye about its failures and abuses. Here’s a sampling. Where has this author been all my life? This is one of the most profound books I have ever read. Over the next centuries thousands visited every year. Lewis. Tocqueville foresaw that exhaustion, in all its varied forms, could likely overwhelm democratic citizens. Tracey Rowland holds the St. John Paul II Chair of Theology at the University of Notre Dame (Australia) and is the author of several books. No wonder Father Solanus Casey read a chapter every day on his knees, and Father Aloysius Ellacuria was a big fan and a couple other really serious players, and that’s good enough for me) There are so many more, Oh Lord, forgive my wasted time!! Six lay men installed as acolytes in Spokane, Minn. archbishop announces moves to end culture fostering clergy abuse, There was a time—long, long ago—when librarians believed that an important part of their role was to protect patrons from objectionable reading materials. Let’s get my shameless plug out of the way. Though he wasn’t a theologian, the passing of Tom Wolfe made me turn back to his richly detailed portraits of the follies and glories of our age in his first novel The Bonfire of the Vanities and his turn-of-the-millennium essay collection titled Hooking Up. Your contribution will help us continue to make CWR available to all readers worldwide for free, without a subscription. Reform Yourself! Keeping books like Lady Chatterley’s Lover, Ulysses, or Tropic of Cancer under […], Jesus Christ calls all of us to be his disciples. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. This book is a practical, encouraging guide for the rest of us: Catholic parents that want to impart the faith to their children but aren’t quite sure where to start. Mark Brumley is president and CEO of Ignatius Press. Chalk it up to the deficiencies and depredations of a public school education that I regrettably reached the age of almost three score before doing so. For the first I dwelt particularly on a new book published in Italy in 2016: Karol Wojtyla e Humanae Vitae by Fr. Michael Federici’s collection of The Catholic Writings of Orestes Brownson comes at an opportune time, as Catholics once again reassess their relationship with the American variant of modern liberalism. He’s an Opus Dei priest and fellow book-lover, and he’s put together … Best Catholic Books of All-Time Read More » As one reads this book one rejoices in the honor of having been called to be priest as well as being challenged to be the priest that Christ ordained the priest to be. It also means showing charity to people who may not be nice. And I would add to the list IN SINU JESU Check it out. Appleby and his wife are practicing Catholics, grudgingly following the Church’s prohibition on contraception. I own nearly everything written by Dietrich von Hildebrand, but was fortunate to find—used and for only $2.49!—a pristine copy of one I’d never seen before: True Morality and Its Counterfeits, written in 1955 with Alice Jourdain (yes, now Alice von Hildebrand; they married in 1959). His reading of modernity as corrupted Christianity (in this sense, he does not think we inhabit a “post-Christian” age) is worth the price of admission. At once fascinating and disappointing. The political philosopher and politician Ryzard Legutko’s book is capable of doing just that. They should not have to wait 45 years. This book would be welcome to Christians of all denominations. Russell Shaw is the author of 20 books, including Nothing to Hide and American Church. A re-read. Its focus is the intersection of Mariology and the theology of culture. Guide for Confessors, St. Alphonsus Liguori. Their special focus is the work of Mother Loyola. Marcel Lefebvre the Biography by Mallerais, his disciple (to thick a tome but really, really interesting. This book is worth reading if only for a serious textual snapshot––other than a YouTube clip––of the man who in my estimation has done more to light an existential spark in people than the entire “new evangelization” industry of the Church. Robert Sokolowski’s two books Moral Action and Presence and Absence: A Philosophical Investigation of Language and Being. It provided this single man with many valuable insights. Five for Sorrow Ten for Joy. Also the book a Beautiful Fragrance, about Margaret Sinclair, is not available at all, at least not for sale. For Christmas this year I want all educators to read this book. Christianity, Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant, doesn’t quite know how to handle pop culture—whether the world’s pop culture or its own. The knowledge, courage, wit, and ingenuity of Marco, Kublai Khan, and their cohorts cannot help but amaze soft and comfortable modern man. People feel safe with a harmless woman who can’t even discern what is reality and what is a nightmare. I had read the Dorothy Sayers translation of Dante’s Inferno many years ago, and profited both by Esolen’s excellent translation (at least, it seems excellent to me, but I’m far from an Italian scholar) and his thorough and deeply insightful literary, philosophical, and theological notes. Only weirder. Looking Backward at Us, by William Raspberry, a collection of columns by a Washington Post journalist who dignified the calling of a city journalist. The Path of Martyrs: Charles Martel, the Battle of Tours, and the Birth of Europe, by Ed West, (Amazon Digital Services, 2018). one cannot help but wonder. And we didn’t have “greasers.” Our high school world—at least as I experienced it—wasn’t so bifurcated. They feel authentic and honest. was a hardly-noticed but encouraging ecumenical anthology by another Jesuit named Thomas P. Rausch. The array of available Catholic books is vast and I wish I could hit pause on my life, curl up on my patio, and read for eleven years. All of life is here, too. His coverage of the battle of Hue, by turns ghastly and ghostly, is unlike anything else. Coming down from Seattle to the gathering is another Angel—Little Angel, the youngest brother of Big Angel, but a son of their dead father by another mother, an American woman named Betty. I have my quibbles with both books, but think they are important because, contrary to what some critics have claimed, they are written with care, precision, and charity. Another slightly unlikely read: the new Walsingham Pilgrimage Handbook. Nonetheless, if one is so inclined it is well worth the time and effort. Timothy J. Gordon resides in central California with his wife and five children, where he writes and teaches philosophy and theology. It recorded the conversations of the officers and crew on the ship’s bridge until the end. Catholics need to know our Faith better, and Bible master Jeff Cavins takes us on a tour de force through the Bible in a way that provides us with a clear and cogent presentation of the sequence of Salvation History within the Sacred Scriptures. Each day there is one-two pages about a saint and their feast day. Right now in the Church, we need to make recourse to our dear Mother’s heart, and the Holy Father’s Marian reflections can help us. As the 1st place winner of the 2017 Catholic Press Association Teen and YA Book award, it should surprise no one to see it on our list too. He feared that we would be so fatigued that we would even take slavery as our lot, so long as we were equal. The Lamb’s Supper: The Mass as Heaven on Earth by Scott Hahn (Doubleday/Image, 1999). Robert D. Kaplan, author of 18 books on foreign affairs, demonstrates, year after year, his prescience for shifts in the global struggle for power. Grass is food for cattle but not for man. 50 Books Every Catholic Should Read - Page 2 show list info. My favorite is The Great Adventure Bible Study by Jeff Cavins. Can a cookbook be a travelogue? The press exists, not to tell the truth, but to manipulate public opinion and government for the financial benefit of a few, and most of them are pretty lazy. “The Cardinal’s Testament” is remarkable. Mother Mary: Inspiring Words from Pope Francis by Alicia von Stamwitz (editor) (Franciscan Media/Servant Books, 2017). I particularly enjoyed his point that things don’t lie: “Things, in their beautiful and imposing integrity, do not easily bend to lies. Boxers and Saints is a two-volume graphic novel set during the Boxer Rebellion in China. Her works became very popular, making her a household name among Catholics of her time. If that were not enough, the book also gives unsparing insight into the severe mercy lived and practiced by a great master of a spiritual discipline almost entirely lost to the popular consciousness, at least in the West. This is it. Simply by his commitment to tell no lies, to give it to people raw, and thus his uncanny ability to bear witness to something real and existential “for which I can live and die,” as Kierkegaard would say. The science was worth the effort—history of everything scientifically speaking. Last year, it was Cardinal Sarah’s The Power of Silence. Astute pattern-spotter Michael Burleigh outlines the power structures upholding Yi Jinping, Putin, and Trump in The Best of Times, The Worst of Times: A History of Now (2017). Alec Nevala-Lee’s Astounding: John W. Campbell, Isaac Asimov, Robert A. Heinlein, L. Ron Hubbard and the Golden Age of Science Fiction (2018) combines biography and cultural history while tracing the tangled relationships among magazine editor Campbell and three of his principal writers. The book includes primary sources on the Catholic Albanian families of Skopje and on the family of Gonxhe Bojaxhiu, the future Mother Teresa. And yet the reader of depth and sensitivity (so this reader imagines) will discover that there are treasures to be discovered in the bromidic adventures of Bertie Wooster: joy, the interplay of order and disorder, the last vestiges of a truly Christian culture, and self-sacrificial loyalty to one’s family and friends. They know no slogans, and they do not lie. Human relationships are complex and fraught. 1. His understanding of the ordained priesthood in relation to the priesthood of Christ is one of the best I have read. The penetration of entertainment values into every facet of our society is widely noted now. While orthodoxy in the Faith is something devoutly to be pursued, in the area of secular history I occasionally find a bit of heterodoxy can prove an enjoyable indulgence. Neither the political left nor right have agreed on much of anything over the last few decades, until now. My colleague Christopher J. Thompson provides his own ethically sourced meat in his meditative arguments for care of creation in The Joyful Mystery: Field Notes Toward a Green Thomism. View results. One Beautiful Dream by Jen Fulwiler. One can read this collection of essays and feel proud to be a Catholic. Therefore, much of my reading since I entered the seminary in 2000 has been devoted to making up for lost time in this respect. argues that the typically post-modern mentality of, wanting to keep all options open, of avoiding irrevocable choices, is hubristic. David P. Deavel is editor of Logos: A Journal of Catholic Thought and Culture and a visiting assistant professor of Catholic Studies at the University of St. Thomas (Minnesota). Seventy years on, no biographer’s managed to best her achievement. There’s a stereotype of inspirational stories being heavy-handed, but none of these stories talk down to the reader. I benefited greatly from Rowland’s Ratzinger’s Faith, and this book was equally edifying. This past year, there were a number of noteworthy books. It’s the kind of book one could fruitfully re-read every year. Even though the novel takes place in the Baroque Era, it reminds me of a Jane Austen novel with all the social climbing, beautiful settings, and the preoccupation with making a good marriage. They are in no particular order but are organized by genre. But for the sake of this exercise let me focus on “read without ceasing” and what I have been reading since this time last year. It’s more—having been pulled into criminals’ lives by pure accident, he’s trying to sort out whether there is any way he can stay hidden but also own up to his responsibility. Though enhanced by much critical apparatus and luminous Alan Lee illustrations, this volume unfortunately can’t supply the climactic battle that J.R.R. Author Dennis Lambert links two different eras in an incredible journey through Church history to the present day. Mother Seton is widely known as the first American-born saint—but that’s all most people do seem to know about her. With the crises of Church and State gaping their ugly maws, I decided to do a lot of pleasure reading this year. Two biographies I thoroughly enjoyed were Lightfoot, Nicholas Jennings’s life of Canadian folk singer Gordon Lightfoot, and Jeffrey Lee’s God’s Wolf, a rollicking ride into the world of the famed crusader Reynald de Chatillon. I reread the book this year and it cemented its place as one of the funniest books I’ve ever read. The Perfection of Freedom: Schiller, Schelling and Hegel Between the Ancients and Moderns, by D.C. Schindler (James Clark & Co, Cambridge, 2017). If it were anything else, it might be obnoxious. I hope someday not too far in the future to be able to return to both, and hope then to be holding pages printed and bound. This is the only book that collates all of Ratzinger’s most significant speeches and essays on political themes inside the one volume. All the Light We Cannot See, Anthony Doerr. Unfortunately, things do not go as planned. Other than Gondolin, the only 2018 book I read was Ron Chernow’s Grant, a magnificent achievement. These were, after all, usually sung, collected from ordinary people by Elias Lönnrot on field trips in the 19th century. My personal favorite is her rendition of the Greatest Story Ever Told, Jesus of Nazareth: The Story of His Life Simply Told. Really opens up the world of the Fathers and early Christianity. 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