Inspirational books


#1

What books would you recommend to bring a lukewarm Catholic into the fullness of the Catholic Church?


#2

Preparation For Death
by St. Alphonsus Liguori.


#3

[quote=Harp]What books would you recommend to bring a lukewarm Catholic into the fullness of the Catholic Church?
[/quote]

“Surprised By Truth” by Patrick Madrid and “Rome Sweet” Home by Scott and Kimberly Hahn are both excellent resources.

“Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ” - St. Jerome


#4

I wish there were a surefire bomb of a book to throw at lukewarms, but in my experience, don’t be disappointed if whatever you give them seems to leave them flat or even goes unread. It depends on the person, their personal circumstances, and whether the Spirit is ready to strike.

What seems to break the spell with some lukewarms is the epiphany that the Catholic Church not only has a lot to say about the Bible, but there is a lot of really good Bible study (and apologetics) material out there for Catholics. Most people seem genuinely pleased that the Catholic Church has answers to questions that people actually ask. This is especially true of the generation that spent their CCD time making origami and singing kumbya. I help teach Adult Confirmation. We base our courses on Scripture and apologetics and the phrase we routinely hear is “How come no one ever told us all this stuff before?”

Unless they express interest in reading about something (there’s always excuses about not having time to read something), I’d suggest tapes or CDs to start them off. Anyone can listen to a tape on a long trip or slow commute. Conversion stories are probably the best–Scott Hahn, Jeff Cavins, Tim Staples, Kimberly Hahn, Fr. John Corapi, Rosalind Moss are some of the best.Not only are these stories inspiring personally, it can get them interested in actually reading something you give them.


#5

Harp,

Read into what being Hot, Cold, and lukewarm is. Hot and Cold are both true Christians and lukewarm are the people who say they are Christians but really on there own merit for justification.

Read into the history of the church John was addressing. They had hot springs near them from which they got Hot water. By the time it got down to the church and town it was lukewarm. They also had mountains with Cold water but by the time it got down to the church and town it was lukewarm. Lukewarm water was discusting, it was full of bacteria. So like its written He will spit the discusting lukewarm water out because He enjoys the fresh Hot water from the hot springs and the nice Cold water from the mountains. Lukewarm is a fake corupted Christian who is really in the world and not in faith in Christ and Hot and Cold Christians are true Christians in faith in Christ.

So you question in itself is sort of wrong.


#6

[quote=Christ’s friend]Harp,

Read into what being Hot, Cold, and lukewarm is. Hot and Cold are both true Christians and lukewarm are the people who say they are Christians but really on there own merit for justification.

Read into the history of the church John was addressing. They had hot springs near them from which they got Hot water. By the time it got down to the church and town it was lukewarm. They also had mountains with Cold water but by the time it got down to the church and town it was lukewarm. Lukewarm water was discusting, it was full of bacteria. So like its written He will spit the discusting lukewarm water out because He enjoys the fresh Hot water from the hot springs and the nice Cold water from the mountains. Lukewarm is a fake corupted Christian who is really in the world and not in faith in Christ and Hot and Cold Christians are true Christians in faith in Christ.

So you question in itself is sort of wrong.

[/quote]

Are you trying to offer hope? :confused:


#7

Are you trying to offer hope? :confused:

No just a proper understand of the word lukewarm in context.


#8

People are lukewarm for amny reasons. Difficulty accepting or understanding the teachings of the Church. Feleings of alienation from the clergy, which makes it easier for them to undervalue the sacraments of the mass. To recommend a good book to inspire, it is helpful to know what obstables the book should help overcome.

My favorite inspirational book is Dialogue by the mystic Catherine of Siena, who is a doctor of the church. The only book that has inspired me more has been the Bible. I am particularly fond of the version translated by Suzanne Nofkke and part of the classics of Western Spirituality series (avaialbel form Amazon). It is a book primarily about love. The many ways in which God loves you and how you can (theoretically are obligated) to return this love in your life. Reading the book amde me feel loved and so much mroe eager to actively return the love. The feelings return, even when I think of the book.

Catherine writes in a converstional tone, and has advice for every aspect of life. There is a chapter for any topic that might give you pause or pose challenges. The value of neighbors in pleasing God, pursuit of perfect prayer, how to handle love in relationships, concepts of obedience. There were many problems with the church in her times, and there is a chapter in regards to clergy who are not helping souls the way they should; I found this inspirational because it is reassuring that just as God knows everything, he is aware of how much damage the clergy can do to the faithful, but that the sacaraments a priest offers, no matter ow imperfect he may be, are always pefect vessels of necessary grace for us.

She writes about the need to correct people not through judging but through counseling. She writes of visions of heaven and hell and God’s mercy and that any act can be offered to God (similar to ideas later expressed by Therese of Lisieux). She also uses analogies of God as a gardener and different ways that virtues are cultivated, and emphasizes that each soul has speical gifts for Gos and different abilities to follow certain path.

The book has so much knoweldge, but the writing style is simple so that it is easy to absorb the knowledge and recall it in the future. However, just because the style is simple does not mean that the concepts are trivial. It is a deep book that can be returned to again and again. Each reading brings more wisdom


#9

[quote=Christ’s friend]Harp,

Read into what being Hot, Cold, and lukewarm is. Hot and Cold are both true Christians and lukewarm are the people who say they are Christians but really on there own merit for justification.

Read into the history of the church John was addressing. They had hot springs near them from which they got Hot water. By the time it got down to the church and town it was lukewarm. They also had mountains with Cold water but by the time it got down to the church and town it was lukewarm. Lukewarm water was discusting, it was full of bacteria. So like its written He will spit the discusting lukewarm water out because He enjoys the fresh Hot water from the hot springs and the nice Cold water from the mountains. Lukewarm is a fake corupted Christian who is really in the world and not in faith in Christ and Hot and Cold Christians are true Christians in faith in Christ.

So you question in itself is sort of wrong.

[/quote]

The historical tidbit provided here is accurate, but the rest is solidly Protestant speculation on how the term “lukewarm” in the book of Revelation is to be interpreted. It is interesting, but of course not definitive.

Among Catholics, the term “lukewarm Catholic” as the original poster meant it is pretty widely agreed upon. It is someone who may be sacramentalized (baptized, confirmed) and perhaps even makes it to Mass most Sundays, but shows no apparent interest in learning about, growing, or being involved in the Faith.


#10

Among Catholics, the term “lukewarm Catholic” as the original poster meant it is pretty widely agreed upon. It is someone who may be sacramentalized (baptized, confirmed) and perhaps even makes it to Mass most Sundays, but shows no apparent interest in learning about, growing, or being involved in the Faith.

That kind of person in the Biblical definition is a wicked man who is not a believer. In other words he just lives religion and not christianity; there are so many amoug both Catholics and Protestants churches.


#11

I found the book “The Lamb’s Supper” by Scott Hahn very inspirational in terms of approaching and appreciating the mass (made it easeir to to block out distractions in the mass, such as unruly children, coughers, nosiy whisepres and less than passionate priests) and made me more eager to analyze the Book fo Revelation.

Teresa of Avila’s autobiography (I like the version compiled by Kieran Kavanaugh and Otillo Rodriguez the best) greatly rejuvenated my prayer life.

The Diary of Sr. Faustina was repititious at times, but it made me feel closer to God, and have greater confidence in his mercy. Catherine of Siena evokes the theme too; that it is a great insult to God to tink he does not have mercy to forgive our sins if we aks him. Except Faustina is known for going one further and starting a devotion to the Divine Mercy (Divine Mercy chaplet and Divine Mercy Sunday is that which follows Easter Sunday). It also gave me a greater desire to pray for souls in Purgatory and the conversion of sinners.

Reading wrtings by Gerturde of Helfa (Herald of Divine Love), Francis de Sales’ Introdution to the Devout Life, and Therese of Lisieux’s Autobiography of a Soul inspired me to make every action count as a prayer; anything can be given up to God and people in any vocations can live a holy and inspired life.


#12

Maybe I read your question incorrectly, but I thought that by lukewarm, you emant some one who may be partially disinterested in the teachign of the Church. Maybe it’s you, maybe it’s some one you know. The reason can be that they were brought up in the faith and took it for granted, or it could be a symptom of spiritual dryness. I

I found the book The Lamb’s Supper by Scott Hahn very inspirational in terms of approaching and appreciating the mass (made it easier to to block out distractions in the mass, such as unruly children, coughers, nosiy whisepers and less than passionate priests) and made me more eager to analyze the Book of Revelation. It increased my desire to ttend mass daily again.

Teresa of Avila’s autobiography (I like the version compiled by Kieran Kavanaugh and Otillo Rodriguez the best) greatly rejuvenated my prayer life.

The Diary of Sr. Faustina was repititious at times, but it made me feel closer to God, and have greater confidence in his mercy. Catherine of Siena evokes the theme too; that it is a great insult to God to tink he does not have mercy to forgive our sins if we aks him. Except that Faustina is known for going one further and starting a devotion to the Divine Mercy (Divine Mercy chaplet and Divine Mercy Sunday is that which follows Easter Sunday). It also gave me a greater desire to pray for souls in Purgatory and the conversion of sinners.

Reading writings by Gerturde of Helfta (Herald of Divine Love), Francis de Sales’ Introdution to the Devout Life, and Therese of Lisieux’s Autobiography of a Soul inspired me to make every action count as a prayer; anything can be given up to God and people in any vocations can live a holy and inspired life.

Forgive me for sounding childish, but reading the works of mystics usually inspires me (like Teresa of Avila, Catherine of Siena, Faustina, Gertrude of Helfta, Birgitta of Sweden and others), when I am feeling alienated from God.


#13

I found the book “The Lamb’s Supper” by Scott Hahn very inspirational in terms of approaching and appreciating the mass (made it easeir to to block out distractions in the mass, such as unruly children, coughers, nosiy whisepres and less than passionate priests) and made me more eager to analyze the Book fo Revelation.

Teresa of Avila’s autobiography (I like the version compiled by Kieran Kavanaugh and Otillo Rodriguez the best) greatly rejuvenated my prayer life.

The Diary of Sr. Faustina was repititious at times, but it made me feel closer to God, and have greater confidence in his mercy. Catherine of Siena evokes the theme too; that it is a great insult to God to tink he does not have mercy to forgive our sins if we aks him. Except Faustina is known for going one further and starting a devotion to the Divine Mercy (Divine Mercy chaplet and Divine Mercy Sunday is that which follows Easter Sunday). It also gave me a greater desire to pray for souls in Purgatory and the conversion of sinners.

Reading wrtings by Gerturde of Helfa (Herald of Divine Love), Francis de Sales’ Introdution to the Devout Life, and Therese of Lisieux’s Autobiography of a Soul inspired me to make every action count as a prayer; anything can be given up to God and people in any vocations can live a holy and inspired life.


#14

THE SINNERS GUIDE

By Louis of Grenada

No, its not a ‘How to’ book on successful sinning. Its book written at least 500 years ago on how to live a life of virtue. I’ve only read 2/3 way through. He destroys all man’s traditional excuses like “I’ll convert later”. He bases on his arguments against delaying practicing virtue on description on how your flesh will soon be food for the worms which I’ll not soon forget. He also gives much practical advise.


#15

the Gospel according to Mark, read all at one sitting.


#16

Harp,

If you are looking for a book on Love, I recommend "Words of Love" by Father Gottsmueller (from [www.TanBooks.com](www.TanBooks.com)). 

This book is filled with the actual words of Our Lord to three different Sisters (nuns). In it He covers, literally, His Words of Love for all humanity. It is impossible to read this book and not come out of it feeling good. He really gets to the point of the matter on a number of topics. On Charity, on Loneliness, on His love for each soul, on His kindness and gentleness. The nicest thing is that this book is presently on sale for only 8.00 at Tan Books. Of all the very, very many books I have, this is the one I treasure the most. I know you will too.

My other recommendations are for :
  1. Sinner’s Guide (Ven Louis of Granada)
  2. Introduction to the Devout Life (St. Frances de Sales)
  3. A Tour of the Summa (Father Paul Glenn)
  4. Baltimore Catechism # 3…pre-Vatican II

I would read them all with music playing in the background (i.e.) Eric Satie’s ‘Gymnopedies’, Secret Garden’s ‘Songs from a Secret Garden’, or Cynthia Douglas’ ‘An Open Heart’ (Harp music)…

Best of Reading,
Jesse Jr.


#17

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.