What book to get my (lapsed Catholic) sister?

I want to get her a practical, good Christmas gift. She is a lapsed Catholic, which is very upsetting to my Dad and I. She lives with her boyfriend, doesn’t attend Mass, thinks all religions are equally true, etc.

So I want to get her something to read, since she is a massive reader and I want it to affect her. I was thinking about Kreeft’s Handbook of Christian Apologetics because it is fantastic. But its missing the emotional side that makes people a bit more… well, connected to the Church. You know what I mean? There’s nothing in it that says “God humbled himself to become man and he died for us”.

I am getting her the Screwtape Letters because that book is fun, entertaining but also has a massive theological message that I think will be good for her.

Any suggestions :o


Well, I’m sure you’ll get a lot of good suggestions, but I think I’ll recommend something a little different: St. Augustine’s “Confessions”. He talks about his struggle with sin, as he tried to come to a knowledge of the truth and be converted. And of course he talks about the importance of being in communion with the Catholic Church, which was his mother’s (St. Monica) most fervent prayer. And you can play up the fact that Augustine is one of the greatest theologians and philosophers in history, and not just in Church history, which should appeal to her intellectual side. It might be just what your sister needs, but you make the call! :slight_smile: May God bless your family.

Depends on what genre of books she likes. But I would suggest against getting anything blatantly religious, as she is likely to get her back up about it. The Screwtape Letters is a good choice, but I recommend complimenting it with some other book from one of her favourite authors. If you aren’t aware of what she is reading, maybe ring up her boyfriend and get some intel. There are publishers out there who do special edition reprints at a nice premium of most popular books. If there is a particular book she absolutely adores and you can get a nice leather-bound reprint of it, she would be over the moon. It sounds like a lot of work, but it is something she would be forever grateful for.

If you are getting her The Screwtape Letters, you might as well get her The Snakebite Letters by Peter Kreeft too. It is Kreeft’s version of Lewis’s work, updated to the late 20th century (I believe it was written in the 1990s). Kreeft is a huge fan of Lewis and it’s a bit of a testimonial to his work,and also a great read!

Jesus Before Christianity. Hands down. Please get her this book.

I vote Rediscoverying Catholicism by Matthew Kelly

I second it, this is currently the go to book for lapsed Catholics IMHO.

Anything by Scott Hahn. :thumbsup:

I agree…anything by Schott Hahn but i would start with Rome Sweet Home…that book has been responsible for more conversions and reversions than probably any other in the last 50 years.

I agree with PrayerShark about possibly getting her a second book that you know she would like. You don’t want to come off as pressuring her by giving her gifts that she has no interest in. That may only alienate her further. Of course, you know your sister better than we do, so can try to judge how she may interpret the gift.

It’s interesting to me how every Advent season on CAF tends to bring out an influx of “What book should I get as a gift for so-and-so?” threads. :slight_smile:

People are generally put off by what appears to be blatant conversion attempts. I think it’s best not to try to convert, but to kindly provoke. Poetry is more effective than prose in stirring people’s hearts and sensitizing them to truth. George Herbert and John Donne composed some amazingly powerful religious poetry. If she is receptive, music and poetry might provoke her towards faith.

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