Catholic literature must haves

I am trying to know as much as I can about the Catholic faith, and would like to read some literature by Catholic authors, scholars, and even former popes. Anything Catholic is good. :smiley:

Great question! :clapping:

After a good, Catholic Bible, the next would have to be “The Catechism of the Catholic Church”.

Other than that, I am like you and would LOVE to hear the answers to that! We have a ton of people here who know so much! I have learned volumes in simply listening to them! I sometimes have wondered how they got to that point of learning so much!

If you have a Catholic book store nearby I would suggest you make a visit and ask this same question there. In general, I have found the owners and clerks in these stores to be a tremendous source of information and suggestions. The CCC is an extremely difficult book to read and takes help, I believe, in understanding it. It would not be the first book I would try. However, it is important to have one and read it as you progress through the faith.

I would recommend the Imitation of Christ. I just finished it and found it quite interesting. There are a lot of great books out there it just depends on what you are interested in, meaning spiritual or more theological books. Next on my list is Summa Theologica.

I think it’s good to have the Catechism as a REFERENCE book, not really as a reading book.

If you want to see the historical continuity from ancient Judaism to early Catholicism all the way to modern times, maybe you should look into The Crucified Rabbi: Judaism and the Origins of Catholic Christianity (Taylor Marshall) and Jesus and the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist (Brant Pitre). I found those two to be very informative! :smiley:

Also, for theology maybe you’d like to look into works by Frank Sheed such as Theology for Beginners and Theology and Sanity. These are specific for Catholic theology.

Any of Scott Hahn’s books will probably interest you as well.

**Introduction to the Devout Life **by St.Francis de Sales.


Theology for Beginners, Frank Sheed.

A Father Who Keeps His Promises, Scott Hahn

Catholicism for Dummies, Frs. Trigilio and Brighenti

In Soft Garments, Msgr Ronald Knox

Fundamentals of the Faith, Peter Kreeft

The Everlasting Man, G.K. Chesteron

Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis (He wasn’t Catholic, but his writings were)

Also, Lewis’ “Screwtape Letters.”

That’s a start. There is a TON of great stuff out there. May i also recommend you look at TAN Books ( and Ignatius Press (

May God bless you.

Hi there! I am so glad you asked this question… I love reading as well! :smiley:
For great Catholic reading recommendations, you can check this blog Ascending Mount Carmel by Jason Liske. He does the occasional Catholic book review, and his posts are also really, really worth reading. Here is one article he wrote hat will help you
“10 Books that should be on Every Catholic’s bedside table”:

Aside from biographies on the lives of the Saints, or books written by them, here is another young talented Catholic writer: Anabelle Hazard. She is a writer of Catholic romance novels! Her books are amazing and you can read them for free on her website! She has managed to cleverly do what seems impossible in this genre: implement a story with romance, along with the teachings of the Catholic Church. I don’t know how old you are, but I think even older readers will learn so much about Catechism and purity by reading them. If only teenage girls would read such books, than reading novels which don’t support chastity. But I guess part of the problem lies in that most of them have no idea books like these exist! :shrug:

You can check it out here:

Hope I helped you! :thumbsup:

This is the Faith by Canon Francis Ripley
Super reading for high school and young adults (and older adults who like easy to understand discourses) on the basic tenants of the Catholic Faith with research and quotes from early church fathers on why we believe what we believe. I learned so much and I have been a Catholic all my life! Wish they had used this as a text book in my High School!

Life of Christ by Fulton J. Sheen is a beautiful book!

I’ve never read it, but I’ve heard “Theology of the Body” is good. Some have said it’s a difficult read, to try easier versions of it.

Rediscover Catholicism- Matthew Kelly

Magnetic Christianity-Gus Lloyd

Winning The Battle Against Sin- Fr. Mitch Pacwa

A Philadelphia Catholic In King James Court-Martin De Porres Kennedy

Making The Mass Come Alive-Joseph H Hampsch, C M F

I would recommend:


Prelude of Eternal Life

by Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, O.P.

Published 1938

You can read it online here:

Another book you can get online is, “Mysticism: A Study in the Nature and Development of Spiritual Consciousness” written by an Anglo-Catholic scholar called Evelyn Underhill in 1911.

Here it is:

It is chock full of quotations from various Catholic saints and theologians.

Two books that you can buy off Amazon are:

The Essential Writings of Christian Mysticism by Bernard McGinn

Into the Silent Land: A Guide to the Practice of Contemplative Prayer by Fr. Martin Laird

Finally I would recommend a book by Dom Cuthbert Butler OSB called, **Western Mysticism: Augustine, Gregory, and Bernard on Contemplation and the Contemplative Life ** (published 1922) which you can likewise buy off Amazon:

St. Augustine’s Confessions - a patristic classic.

It is indeed :thumbsup:

I could likewise have recommended St. Gregory the Great’s Dialogues, The Life of Moses by St. Gregory of Nyssa, The Commentary on the Song of Songs by Origen, The Spiritual Espousals by Blessed Jan van Ruysbroeck and so forth…nonetheless I often feel that people are better to begin with secondary literature on these primary sources, as well as anthologies, since it can take getting used to the writing styles of patristic and medieval authors.

I therefore think it best, on a personal level, to begin with more modern secondary literature (Ie early 20th century to now) and then move on to the primary sources.

Its just a preference, I tend to think its good to have a general background first from an expert before going deep into the patristic or medieval/renaissance era authors.

Handbook of Catholic Apologetics - Peter Kreeft

Essential Catholic Survival Guide - Staff of Catholic Answers

History of the Catholic Church - James Hitchcock

Memorize the Faith - Kevin Vost

A Father Who Keeps His Promises - Scott Hahn (I teach my 6th grade CCD class out of this book)

Confessions - St Augustine

Theology and Sanity - Frank Sheed

Jesus of Nazareth - Pope Benedict

Problem of Pain and the Abolition of Man - CS Lewis

The Great Heresies - Hilarie Belloc

Catholicism - Fr. Barron

United States Catholic Catechism for Adults

Introduction to the Devout Life - St. Francis de Sales

The Catechism of the Catholic Church

The City of God - St. Augustine

Summa Theologiae - St Thomas Aquinas

Will Many Be Saved - Ralph Martin

You can also delve into the Church Fathers, for free…

anything Catholic :stuck_out_tongue: alright

recommended are the bible the catechism there are also several websites and non-internet resources that have catholic and papal encyclicals. There are also many good books by the church fathers, saints doctors of the church, priests, bishops etc…

also if you have time;
here are a small amount of apologetic books and resources


where we got the Bible by henry G. Graham is one the great books on the Bible’s publishing history.

catholic books # 1

catholic books #2

catholic books #3

catholic books #4

there are many, many, many more great catholic resources, tomes, books, etc… out there if you desire to know more :thumbsup:

hope this helps

God bless

cont …

catholic prayers from internet archive

more than a few more books also available online

God bless

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