Booklist

Update, July 3, 2019: Beginning to annotate the newly added books and adding links to the ones that have posts.

Got questions? Want to know what the Church really teaches? The books listed here can help. And the Catechism of the Catholic Church is also a good place to begin.

(Newly added stuff goes in this section until I work it into proper separate lists.)

  • The Authority of Women in the Catholic Church, by Monica Migliorino Miller. Paperback. Kindle.
  • What is Heaven? Mother Angelica. Paperback. Kindle. What can I say? It’s Mother Angelica. I only have a sample of this one but I can hardly wait to get a copy so I can read the whole thing. I love Mother Angelica.
  • Letter to A Suffering Church: A Bishop Speaks on the Sexual Abuse Crisis: by Bishop Robert Barron. Kindle,
  • The Smoke of Satan: How Corrupt and Cowardly Bishops Betrayed Christ, His Church, and the Faithful . . . and What Can Be Done About It: by Philip F. Lawler. Paperback. Kindle.
  • The Anti-Mary Exposed: Rescuing the Culture from Toxic Femininity: by Carrie Gress. Paperback. Kindle.
  • Marian Consecration for Children: by Carrie Gress. Paperback. Kindle.
  • The Marian Option: God’s Solution to a Civilization in Crisis: by Carrie Gress. Paperback. Kindle. Read a post about it here and here.
  • 33 Days to Merciful Love: A Do-It-Yourself Retreat in Preparation for Marian Consecration: by Fr Michael Gaitley. Paperback. Kindle.
  • 33 Days to Morning Glory: A Do-It-Yourself Retreat In Preparation for Marian Consecration: by Fr Michael Gaitley. Paperback. Kindle.
  • Behold Your Mother: by Tim Staples. Paperback. Kindle. Read more about it here in the last paragraphs of the post.
  • Jesus and the Jewish Roots of Mary: Brant Pitre. Paperback, Kindle.
  • Counterfeit Christs : Finding the Real Jesus Among the Impostors: by Trent Horn. Paperback. Kindle.
  • Stunned by Scripture: How the Bible Made Me Catholic, by John Bergsma. Paperback, Kindle.
  • Psalm Basics for Catholics: Seeing Salvation History in a New Way Print version signed by Dr. Bergsma. Paperback, Kindle.
  • A Catholic Introduction to the Bible: The Old Testament: by Brant Pitre and John Bergsma. Paperback, Kindle.
  • How Catholic Art Saved the Faith: The Triumph of Beauty and Truth in Counter-Reformation Art: by Elizabeth Lev. Paperback. Ebook available from Sophia Institute Press in Mobi or ePUB.
  • What We Can’t Not Know: A Guide: by J. Budziszewski. Paperback. Kindle.
  • The Revenge of Conscience: Politics and the Fall of Man: by J. Budziszewski. Paperback. Kindle. Study guide: free PDF.

Catechism and Books About the Basics

When I was first exploring Catholicism the explosion in Catholic apologetics, Bible study and such was only just beginning. Some of the books in this section were out then, some came along a few years later. All have helped me navigate the labyrinthine ways of the Church which really is, as Chesterton said, “larger on the inside than it is on the outside.”

  • The Catechism of the Catholic Church. (Link is to page with several different hard copy formats.) Got questions? Find out what the Church really teaches. Read it online. Searchable. Read the Bible and the Catechism in a year: Blog post. Download the plan (PDF format).
  • Read the Catechism in a Year: Brief and daily readings from the Catechism in your email inbox or online. Comment online, discuss with others or just read their comments. (Some of these comments are valuable.)
  • Mobile version of the Catechism of the Catholic ChurchTable of ContentsTable of Contents with Paragraph NumbersIndexSearch.
  • Handbook of Catholic Apologetics: Reasoned Answers to Questions of Faith, Peter Kreeft and Ronald Tacelli. Paperback. Kindle. Bascially like the original edition for Christianity in general but with sections for Catholics.
  • Reasons to Believe: How to Understand, Explain, and Defend the Catholic Faith, Scott Hahn. Anything by Scott Hahn will enlighten and inspire. Anything. The man is gifted and on fire! :)
  • Why Do Catholics Do That?, Kevin Orllin Johnson. Entertaining and informative. I’ve recommended this book for years.
  • What Catholics Really Believe–Setting the Record Straight: 52 Answers to Common Misconceptions about the Catholic Faith, Karl Keating.
  • Catholicism and Fundamentalism: The Attack on “Romanism” by “Bible Christians”, Karl Keating. Catholics are Bible Christians. Debunks a lot of nonsense and untruths that circulate in non-Catholic circles. And rather bluntly at times, too.
  • Catholic and Christian: An Explanation of Commonly Misunderstood Catholic Beliefs, Alan Schreck. Yes, Virginia, Catholics are Bible-believing full Gospel Christians and have been for two thousand years.
  • See also the Church Documents page in the Resources section.

Books by Dr. Scott Hahn

When I discovered Catholicism, I was overwhelmed with the vastness that is the Church. Scott Hahn’s books and audio series were like lifelines thrown to a wannabe disciple sinking under the roiling waves of an ocean of two thousand years of writings, teachings, customs and traditions, not to mention all the people sharing their own versions of the Church with me. Oy! Among all the authors whose work helped open my eyes and heart to the truth of Holy Mother Church, Dr. Hahn is probably the one to whom I owe the greatest debt. And he’s still one of my favorite teachers.

  • The First Society: The Sacrament of Matrimony and the Restoration of the Social Order. “[O]ur society’s ills and its cures are rooted in whether we reject or accept the divine graces made available through the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony.” Paperback. Kindle.
  • The Creed: Professing the Faith Through the Ages: Hardcover. Kindle.
  • A Father Who Keeps His Promises. God’s Covenant Love in Scripture. I’ve recommended this book to people ever since it was first published back in 1998. It’s still my favorite book for understanding the big picture of salvation history. Paperback. Kindle.
  • Covenant and Communion: The Biblical Theology of Pope Benedict XVI: Hardcover. Paperback. Kindle.
  • Consuming the Word: The New Testament and the Eucharist in the Early Church: Hardcover. Kindle.
  • Rome Sweet Home: Our Journey to Catholicism: by Scott and Kimberly Hahn. Protestant minister becomes Catholic, to the horror of his wife, who was the daughter of a Protestant minister. Took her a little longer to convert. But she did. What a team these two are! Paperback. Kindle.
  • The Lamb’s Supper: The Mass as Heaven on Earth: Who knew?! The Book of Revelation is a Catholic book! And the liturgy is the key to understanding it. Hardcover. Paperback. Kindle.
  • Letter and Spirit: From Written Text to Living Word in the Liturgy: Hardcover. Kindle.
  • Reasons to Believe: How to Understand, Explain and Defend the Catholic Faith: A masterful and easy to read mini-course in the history of salvation, the sacraments, Biblical interpretation from a Catholic perspective, and more. Hardcover. Paperback. Kindle.
  • Hail, Holy Queen. The Mother of God in the Word of God: Understand what the Church really teaches about the Blessed Virgin Mary and why. An eye-opener. Hardcover. Paperback. Kindle.
  • Swear to God. The Promise and Power of the Sacraments: Understanding the sacraments, where they came from, what they do. The sacraments are the key to the Catholic Christian way of discipleship. Hardcover. Paperback. Kindle.
  • Answering the New Atheism. Dismantling Dawkins’ Case Against God: Scott Hahn and Benjamin Wiker. Paperback. Kindle.

Books by Pope John Paul II

  • Man and Woman He Created Them: A Theology of the Body. Currently reading this. Not something I can breeze through. Have to read, stop, think, chew, repeat. But so worth it! I’ve read other books on the TOB and listened to many talks about it and I still learned a lot from the new 2011 edition (listed incorrectly as the older edition by Amazon) with a new translation, introduction, notes and index by Michael Waldstein. Paperback, Kindle.
  • Crossing the Threshold of Hope. One of the first Catholic books I ever read. Got a new copy recently since I lost my old one. Another book on the to-re-read list.
  • The Way to Christ. These are sermons preached he was giving spiritual retreats he gave while still a cardinal. When was the last time you heard sermons like these at Mass in your parish, huh? ;)
  • The Gospel of Life: (Life issues) I read this encyclical and the two listed below while I was going through conversion. A big book disguised as a little book. I was stunned when I read it and I’ve read it (and the other two) several times over the years. I’ve read others, but I keep coming back to these.
  • The Splendor of Truth: (Morality, moral theology) “expresses the position of the Catholic Church regarding fundamentals of the Church’s moral teaching and her role in moral teaching.
  • Faith and Reason: (Philosophy) “Some 12 years in the making, it is the first encyclical on the relationship between faith and reason since Pope Leo XIII issued Aeterni Patris in 1879.” — Quote from article at Catholic Education.

Beautiful books by Pope Benedict XVI, new links on the way

Whenever I think of Pope Benedict, the words that leap to my mind are “He writes so beautifully!” And of all of his books that I’ve read so far, Jesus of Nazareth is easily my favorite. But all of the books listed below are important and well-written works that every Catholic or soon-to-be Catholic should read.

  • Faith and the Future: Paperback, Kindle.
  • Jesus of Nazareth, Vol 1: From the Baptism in the Jordan to the Transfiguration. This is a beautifully written meditation and exploration of the life, spirit and message of Christ.
  • Jesus of Nazareth, Vol 2: Holy Week: From the Entrance Into Jerusalem To The Resurrection. Another beautifully written meditation and reflection, a perfect companion for the Lenten and Easter seasons. And well beyond.
  • Jesus of Nazareth, Vol 3: The Infancy Narratives. “The momentous third and final volume in the Pope’s international bestselling Jesus of Nazareth series, detailing how the stories of Jesus’ infancy and childhood are as relevant today as they were two thousand years ago.
  • Truth and Tolerance: Christian Belief and World Religions, by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI). What is truth? Can truth be known? Can anyone claim to know or possess truth today? What about the Christian claim to the truth? What about other religions? Pope Benedict reflects on these questions and more in a series of essays written over a span of several years. As with anything Pope Benedict writes, this book deserves/needs to be read several times and pondered deeply.
  • The Spirit of the Liturgy, by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI). “My purpose here is to assist this renewal of understanding of the Liturgy. Its basic intentions coincide with what Guardini wanted to achieve. The only difference is that I have had to translate what Guardini did at the end of the First World War, in a totally different historical situation, into the context of our present-day questions, hopes and dangers. Like Guardini [note: He’s referring to a book by the same title by Romano Guardini], I am not attempting to involve myself with scholarly discussion and research. I am simply offering an aid to the understanding of the faith and to the right way to give the faith its central form of expression in the Liturgy.” —Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger.

Books by Other Converts Who Aren’t Named Scott Hahn

  • Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine: Buy. Online.
  • Anything by G. K. Chesterton, though, as I have had occasion to learn, he can be an acquired taste. Heh.
  • More books coming to this section soon!

Books by Fr. Mitch Pacwa

My favorite place to attend Mass (and the proper way to state that would actually be, to assist at Mass) is undoubtedly at the tiny chapel at EWTN. And I always consider it a blessing and a treat when Fr. Mitch Pacwa is the celebrant. Any homily of his is like a mini-catechesis, like a Bible study filled with food for rich prayer and meditation.

*Learn more about the New Age “spiritual” counterfeit movement at Women of Grace and the Women of Grace Blog in the New Age category. I think I’ll work up a separate page for this sort of thing soon. I spent years studying that stuff. Might as well put it to work, eh? Some good has to come of all that time and effort.

My favorite place to attend Mass (and the proper way to state that would actually be, to assist at Mass) is undoubtedly at the tiny chapel at EWTN. And I always consider it a blessing and a treat when Fr. Mitch Pacwa is the celebrant. Any homily of his is like a mini-catechesis, like a Bible study filled with food for rich prayer and meditation.

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