By Maria Bohan
Whether you’re heading to the beach this summer or are simply looking to gain a new perspective on faith, consider picking up these ten highly-recommended books.
“Albom observes how these very different men employ faith similarly in fighting for survival: the older, suburban rabbi embracing it as death approaches; the younger, inner-city pastor relying on it to keep himself and his church afloat.”
“In this powerful and personal reflection, a New York Times bestseller, President Jimmy Carter contemplates how faith has sustained him in happiness and disappointment and considers how we may find it in our own lives.”
“For twenty years, Gregory Boyle has run Homeboy Industries, a gang-intervention program located in the Boyle Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles, the gang capital of the world. In Tattoos on the Heart, he distills his experience working in the ghetto into a breathtaking series of parables inspired by faith.”
“Anxious for Nothing invites readers to delve into Philippians 4:6-7. After all, it is the most highlighted passage of any book on the planet, according to Amazon: ‘Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. ‘ In the characteristic tone of his previous books like You’ll Get Through This and Fearless, Max guides readers through this Scripture passage and explains the key concepts of celebration, asking for help, leaving our concerns, and meditating.”
“Why We’re Catholic assembles the clearest, friendliest, most helpful answers that Trent learned [to questions about how he believes in Catholicism]. Beginning with how we can know reality and ending with our hope of eternal life, it’s the perfect way to help skeptics and seekers (or Catholics who want to firm up their faith) understand the evidence that bolsters our belief and brings us joy.”
“It tells of the growing restlessness of a brilliant and passionate young man whose search for peace and faith leads him, at the age of twenty-six, to take vows in one of the most demanding Catholic orders--the Trappist monks. At the Abbey of Gethsemani, "the four walls of my new freedom," Thomas Merton struggles to withdraw from the world, but only after he has fully immersed himself in it.”
“Here, expressed with all of Thérèse's original spontaneity and fervor, we rediscover the great themes of her spirituality: confidence and love, the little way, abandonment to God's merciful love, and her mission in the church and world today.”
8. Catholicism: A Journey to the Heart of the Faith by Father Robert Barron
“What is Catholicism? A 2,000-year-old living tradition? A worldview? A way of life? A relationship? A mystery? In Catholicism Father Robert Barron examines all these questions and more, seeking to capture the body, heart and mind of the Catholic faith.
9. Abandonment to Divine Providence by Fr. Jean-Pierre de Caussade
Abandonment to Divine Providence is a classic perhaps more necessary now than ever before. It's a little book that rightly rejects the spirituality of fear and trembling (and the modern preoccupation with dreary self-absorption) in favor of an abiding trust in God's active benevolence. This is a work one reads again and again, always with gratitude and astonishment." (Donald Spoto, Author of Blue Angel and The Dark Side of Genius)
“What should I do during prayer? Can prayer really be as simple as a conversation? How do I let God enter my being? Do I need to belong to a religion in order to pray? Sister Wendy answers these and many other common questions, all the while imparting the importance of prayer in our daily lives. No book by Sister Wendy would be complete without art—accompanying her wisdom are thirteen beautiful reproductions of paintings that Sister Wendy has selected because of the spiritual connection she has with each.”
Maria Bohan is a Volunteer for the Communications and Development Office at the Sisters of Saint Dominic of Blauvelt, New York. She is a student at Bryn Mawr College majoring in English and a graduate of Pearl River High School.