Now that we are post-Memorial Day, summer has unofficially begun. I hope that these months will provide some rest and relaxation as well as quality time with family and friends for all of you. It will obviously be a big summer in our parish with the 100th anniversary coming in August.
While summer brings exciting trips and vacations, hopefully it provides an opportunity to do some reading. Can that include spiritual reading? Every Catholic should be doing some spiritual reading every day for at least 5-10 minutes, so if we’ve been lacking in that, summer gives us a chance to hit the reset button.
So, consider the following to be your summer spiritual reading list! Above all, Sacred Scripture is most preferred; reading a chapter of one of the Gospels each day might work well for you. The suggestions below are some of the most common in the Church for spiritual reading because they are the best for any Catholic.
The first category of books includes these as well as inspiring stories of black Catholics. Things get a little more advanced as you go through the list, but I know Catholics who have read some in each category. The last category is more along the intellectual and cultural lines of Catholicism.
These are merely suggestions to help you to continue your spiritual reading or to bring it back. I’m not suggesting that you read all of the books! Choose one or two this summer, take your time to digest them, and enjoy!
May you know the peace of Christ,
Summer Spiritual Reading List
- Initial text: I Believe in Love, Pere Jean D’Elbee
- Group One
- Confessions, St. Augustine of Hippo
- Introduction to the Devout Life, St Francis de Sales
- The Imitation of Christ, Thomas a Kempis
- No Price Too High: A Pentecostal Preacher Becomes Catholic, Deacon Alex Jones
- From Slave to Priest: The Inspirational Story of Father Augustine Tolton, Caroline Hemesath
- Group Two
- New Seeds of Contemplation, Spiritual Direction and Meditation, and the Seven Storey Mountain, Thomas Merton
- To Know Christ Jesus, Frank Sheed
- The Spiritual Exercises, St. Ignatius of Loyola
- The Story of a Soul: The Autobiography of St. Therese of Lisieux
- Group Three
- The Eucharist, St Alphonsus Ligouri
- The Dialogues, St Catherine of Siena
- Apologia pro Vita Sua, John Henry Newman
- The Way of Perfection, Interior Castle, St. Theresa of Avila
- The Cure de Ars, The Life of St. John Vianney, Trochu
- Group Four
- Mere Christianity, The Screwtape Letters, Surprised by Joy, and Chronicles of Narnia, C.S. Lewis
- Short Stories, Flannery O’Connor
- Orthodoxy, The Father Brown Stories, G.K. Chesterton
- The Power and the Glory, Graham Greene