Dracula! (Not Twilight)
I just finished reading Dracula for a second time. This clearly isn't a "Catholic" or even "Christian" book, but it is interesting, I think very spiritually fulfilling, not to mention an excellent read. Anyone up for discussing it?
The neatest thing about this book, I think, is that it presents valiant characters who leave no doubt that their talents and accomplishments are wholly due to God. The humility and faithfulness of each of the "good guys" in the book is remarkable, and its fun to read about such pure virtue overcoming pure evil.
Further, contrary to the ridiculous fascination with "vampires" currently besieging our highschoolers (and adults who wish to read like highschoolers), Bram Stoker so accurately presents Dracula as true evil. Not just evil in intentions and will, but also truly pathetic and powerless when exposed to God's true power. That is something that is rarely seen in modern literature--there is always a certain allure the author leaves for the evil, be it seductiveness or power (hence the current Twilight fascination). Stoker leaves his readers certain that Dracula is of the devil, or the devil himself, and readers hate and pity the fiend as he ought to be hated and pitied.
Further yet, though a Protestant himself, Stoker's book gives a healthy respect for Catholicism/Eastern Orthodoxy. One example is the crucifix given to a Protestant character which protects the character from Dracula, and though the character reflects that he was taught to think such things idolatry, he felt from it a very palpable comfort.
And, it is a really fun read right around Halloween!
"What are you doing with me? Now the responsibility is yours. You must lead me! I can't do it. If you wanted me, then you must also help me." -Pope Benedict XVI to God, Light of the World: The Pope, the Church, and the Signs of the Times