Wanting your opinions and ideas?

Just wanted everyones opinions on some good catholic books to read, I am wanting to learn as much as I can about the religion, i just got done reading the dummies series book, very informative, but not that in depth, would also like some fiction books that are a good catholic read, and any books that you wouldn't want to be without, that have inspired you to live a true catholic life, other than the catechism and the bible.

Congrats on seeking to learn more about your faith! :slight_smile:

There are many, many good books out there. I will take the “shotgun” approach and give you many possibilities to choose from. :slight_smile:

*]Any book by Cardinal Ratzinger / Pope Benedict XVI. In particular, I would recommend Jesus of Nazareth.
*]Any book by Peter Kreeft. He’s a philosopher by trade, so his books are very clear, well-reasoned works of apologetics. His Handbook of Apologetics is a must have.
*]Any book by Scott Hahn. He’s a convert and Biblical Scholar, but his books are very readable. The Lamb’s Supper is at the top of many Catholic’s favorite books list. My personal favorite is his High School textbook Understanding the Scriptures. It’s a great intro to Scripture.
*]Story of a Soul by St. Therese of Lisieux
*]Confessions by St. Augustine
*]Any other book by a Saint is probably good :wink:

For Catholic fiction, I very much enjoy Michael D. O’Brien’s books (published by Ignatius Press). Some people really like booksBud Macfarlane, Jr.'s. I think they’re a bit on the pulp fiction side of things in terms of artistic merit, but they were an enjoyable read nonetheless. Flannery O’Connor is a well respected Catholic author in even the secular realm, but her short stories are definitely quirky (to put it mildly). I’ve heard good things about Walker Percy, too, but I’ve never actually read his works.

Of course, the penultimate tale of Catholic fiction is J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. Anything by Tolkien would be highly recommended. I would also recommend C.S. Lewis, though not Catholic. His Chronicles of Narnia and Space Trilogy are great works of fiction, but his Christian treatises are also phenomenal. Mere Christianity, The Problem of Pain, and The Great Divorce are three of my top picks.

Are there particular areas you’re interested in? Apologetics? Church History? Morality? Sacraments? I could go on and on (and on) with book titles if you want. :slight_smile:

Everything Joe 5859 said.

I would also recommend G.K. Chesterton's Orthodoxy and The Everlasting Man. They're both wonderful, and Chesterton is always fun to read.

joe, continue, the more the better, iam going to compile a list of all this so i can pretty much start my own library, lol, i am an avid reader, and i just got my calling to come back to the church, and now i want to know as much as possible, maybe one day becoming a deacon. thank you so much with any and all help, from all of you! :)

Okay, twist my arm. :wink:

I would recommend any Church document from the Vatican website. On my own humble website, I have assembled links to John Paul II’s and Benedict XVI’s Wednesday audiences. I have started to add other Church documents relevant to those themes (along with organizing documents by some of my own imposed themes). The Church has given us so much in this regard.

Here are some resources I think every Catholic should have on hand:
*]an approved Catholic Bible (of course)
*]Catechism of the Catholic Church (preferably the 1997 2nd edition as it has some differences). Note that the English translation of CCC online at the Vatican website is the 1st edition. I’m not sure why. But here is the 2nd edition online.
*]Documents of Vatican II
*]The Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church - It’s short and in Q & A format
*]The Faith of the Early Fathers (3 volume set) ed. by Jurgens - The index is superb. It systematically lays out all the key Church dogmas and doctrines and then points you to where that truth of the faith is talked about by one of the early Church Fathers. It’s an apologist’s best friend!

If you like apologetics, I started a thread a while back called The Catholic Apologist’s Bookshelf with many great book recommendations. Catholic Answers has created a great list, too: Apologist’s Bookshelf

If you are interested in Church History, I have posted a list of my favorite online and print resources here: Church History resources

If you’re looking for devotional reading (and you should be! ;)), there was a recent thread with lots of good suggestions. Here are some of my top picks:
*]Story of a Soul and Confessions, as mentioned above
*]The Imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis
*]My Daily Bread
*]Divine Intimacy by Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen
*]Divine Mercy in My Soul by St. Faustina
*]anything by St. Teresa of Avila, especially Interior Castle, The Way of Perfection and her Autobiography
*]Dark Night of the Soul by St. John of the Cross - very mystical and very deep; probably not the best one to start out with, but it’s good to have on hand.
*]The Cloud of Unknowing by anonymous
*]Abandonment to Divine Providence by Jean-Pierre DeCaussade

Here are some good publishers that you can’t go wrong with:
*]Ignatius Press
*]Ascension Press
*]Sophia Institute Press
*]Emmaus Road Publishing
*]Servant Books (a few years back, they were bought out by St. Anthony Messenger Press, which carries some questionable titles; however, they seem to be keeping the two publishing entities separate and Servant continues to publish very solid titles)

These publishers are fairly reliable as well:
*]Our Sunday Visitor (some of their titles are “fluffy”, but nothing heretical)
*]TAN (they have an awesome collection of titles by the Saints, but I’d steer clear of their books on the liturgy)

There are many smaller publishers that are good as well. These lists aren’t meant to be exhaustive, but just a starting point.

It would probably also be good to get a good Catholic Study Bible and/or Bible Commentary. A Study Bible is usually laid out with the biblical text above and extensive footnotes below in a verse-by-verse format. A Commentary usually doesn’t include the full scriptural text but simply cites it.

Scott Hahn and Curtis Mitch are authors of Ignatius Press’ Ignatius Catholic Study Bible. At present, the whole NT is published in individual books. They are finally publishing the New Testament in one volume to be released this coming April. The OT is mostly written, but not yet published.

The Navarre Bible Commentary is also very good.

Well, this will have to do for now. I’m sure I’ll think of more to add later. :o

Sacred Scripture is the Word of God. If you are unsure of where to begin, read the daily Mass readings & watch Daily Mass on EWTN! ewtn.com/devotionals/inspiration.htm

Go to EWTN multimedia to watch the Daily Mass!

The Confessions of St. Augustine prove to us that the human experience 1500 years ago, or more, has always been the same, do we choose Good or evil???


Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, Ora Pro Nobis Peccatoribus!


you mention an approved catholic bible, which do you recommend? i have another post where i have asked this question but iam still confused, lol for lack of a better word.

I’ve heard several Catholic apologists quip that the best translation of Scripture is the one you’ll read. :wink:

It does get confusing, though, especially when you’re first coming to look into it. It took me a long while to sort out all the abbreviations. :slight_smile:

Catholic Answers has a useful Bible Translations Guide which helps clear the air a little bit and makes it easier to sort through everything.

In general, the most prevalent Catholic translations are:
*]the Revised Standard Version (RSV or RSV-CE [Catholic Edition]; also sometimes referred to as the Ignatius Bible because Ignatius Press is the primary publisher of the Catholic edition of the RSV),
*]the New American Bible (NAB),
*]the Douay-Rheims, and
*]the Jerusalem Bible (JB).

The slightly modified version of the NAB is what you hear at Mass here in the United States. It’s not quite as literal a translation. Many people (such as myself) are bothered not so much by the translation but by the footnotes and introductions that accompany most editions. These extra-biblical notations tend to veer off a little too far into the problematic areas of historical-criticism. There’s lots more that could be said about that, but I’ll restrain myself. :wink: There are plenty of threads on that topic if you’re interested.

The RSV is the translation that you will find in the English edition of the Catechism, as well as any of the documents coming out of the Vatican. This translation seems to be the translation of choice for many of the “Catholic Apologists” crowd (i.e., those people you see on EWTN). Some Catholics criticize it because the translation was basically a Protestant translation that Catholic scholars took and adapted for a Catholic edition.

The Douay-Rheims seems to be the translation of choice for the self-described “traditionalist” Catholics. It is one of the oldest English translations of the Bible and pre-dates the King James Version (KJV), though most copies of it you see around today are the newer Challoner revision of the D-R.

The Jerusalem Bible is also a more modern translation (mid-20th century), but it is the work of Catholic scholars. I’m not that familiar with it, but I’ve heard good things about it.

IMO, any one of these is fine, but I would definitely recommend one of these four over any others. They all have their strengths and weaknesses. I think it’s helpful to have several translations on hand to refer to, especially when you encounter passages that are difficult to understand.

Keep in mind, too, that some of these translations have new revisions that are not very good. For example, the RSV and the JB are both good, but the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) and the New Jerusalem Bible (NJB) are not.

Clear as mud, right? :wink:

haha yea very clear, lol

Douay-Rheims are very expensive! they are selling one on ebay for $1500.00! :eek:

the bible translations guide is pretty helpful, thank you
I am already trying to "justify" why i am Catholic to people, at work or wherever once they see my bible or my crucifix necklace, and they ask "why do you pray to marry?" and i just kind of ignore them

don’t ignore them! tell them why! if you don’t know…say that, but then tell them you will study it and get back to them…then study and get back to them! you don’t have to justify your faith, but there are a lot of uninformed non-catholics going around telling what catholics believe. it’s our job to correct them and show them the beauty of our faith so that the lies stop.

Fulton Sheen

Frank Sheed

Matthew Kelly

For fiction, Michael O'Brien.

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