While there is lot to be said about reading early Christian writings and spiritual classics, I am also a big fan of checking out new releases in the Catholic book world. I am drawn to beauty and unique voices, and I find that sometimes a new book will give me a fresh perspective on my faith and reinvigorate it. Here are some Catholic books that have been released within the last year that could become a part of your spiritual journey in the upcoming year.
“You Are That Temple! A Catholic Guide to Health and Holiness” by Kevin Vost (Sophia Institute Press) may be a good pick for those of you making health and fitness-related resolutions for the New Year. Dr. Vost explores the spiritual link to physiological health issues and offers advice on how to better both your body and soul.
“The Little Way of Living with Less: Learning to Let Go With the Little Flower” by Laraine Bennet (Sophia Institute Press). Is decluttering one of your goals for the New Year? This book suggests turning to St. Thérèse of Lisieux as a spiritual companion for the task. The saint’s teachings of the “Little Way” will help you with detachment, intentionality, gratitude, and more.
“The Prayer Book for Tired Parents: Practical Ways to Grow in Love of God and Get Your Family to Heaven” by David and Debbie Cowden (EWTN Publishing Inc). As the mother of small children myself, I can’t remember the last time I wasn’t at least a little bit tired. David and Debbie Cowden understand how detrimental the exhaustion of parenting can be to our spiritual lives and connection to God. This book serves as an ultimate guide for how to come better parents AND stronger Catholics – both of which will benefit your whole family.
“The Good, the Messy, and the Beautiful: The Joys and Struggles of Real Married Life” by Edward and Beth Sri (Ascension Press). Before challenges in parenting can be addressed, it helps to have a strong marriage first. Holy matrimony is a sacrament but it definitely isn’t easy. Prolific Catholic writer Edward Sri and his wife have teamed up to provide a Catholic perspective on handling the ups and downs of marriage.
“Francesco: A Story of Saint Francis of Assisi” by Madeline Pecora Nugent (Pauline Books and Media) is a well-researched biography that reads like a novel. The beautifully designed paperback would look great on a shelf next to the author’s other biographies, “Chiara: A Story of Saint Clare of Assisi” and “Antonio: A Story of Saint Anthony of Padua.”
“What to Say and How to Say It, Volume III: Even More Ways to Discuss Your Faith with Clarity and Confidence” by Brandon Vogt (Ave Maria Press). The third installment of a popular series, this book helps with the difficult task of explaining and defending Catholic beliefs regarding an array of important and controversial issues.
“Reveal the Gift: Living the Feminine Genius” by Lisa Cotter (Ascension Press) is the newest book by one of the co-hosts of the much-missed “How-To Catholic” podcast. It draws from both the author’s personal life as well as stories of female saints to define and apply the concepts of feminine genius and authentic Catholic womanhood.
“Habits of Freedom: 5 Ignatian Tools for Clearing Your Mind and Resting Daily in the Lord” by Christopher S. Collins, SJ (Ave Maria Press). It’s no secret that everyone’s mind is racing nowadays from the influx of information coming at us from our phones and the media. To battle the constant stress and distraction, Fr. Christopher Collins looks to techniques and tools derived from the insight and spiritual exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola.
“Set the World on Fire: A 4-Week Personal Retreat with the Female Doctors of the Church” by Vinita Hampton Wright (Ave Maria Press). For those of us who unfortunately struggle to find the time to attend an in-person retreat, this book offers a different type of retreat experience. It offers a treasure trove of wisdom from the four female saints who have been named Doctors of the Church - Thérèse of Lisieux, Teresa of Avila, Catherine of Siena, and Hildegard of Bingen.
“Light of the Saints” by Cory Heimann (Word on Fire Publishing). Looking for a great Catholic read for your kids? This picture book, beautifully illustrated by Tricia Dugat, features a unique interactive element that both children and adults will appreciate. By shining a flashlight or phone light behind each page of the book, hidden portions of pictures will be revealed. The visual aspects of the book help bring the saint stories to life for readers of all ages.
Since the First Sunday of Advent is the first day of the liturgical New Year, it isn’t too early to wish you all a Happy New Year. Praying you all have a great, spiritually satisfying year filled with great, spiritually satisfying books.