Sunday, May 20, 2007
Rob at Back to Catholicism tagged me this weekend for this book meme.
THREE NON-FICTION BOOKS EVERYONE SHOULD READ
1) He Leadeth Me, by Fr. Walter Ciszek, S.J.
Fr. Ciszek was convicted without trial of being a "Vatican Spy" back in the age of Stalin and faithful Jesuits, and spent 23 years in Soviet work camps. This book is his spiritual testament, his journey of faith in God, and service to the Lord's people even in the most God-forsaken places on Earth. This book has changed the lives of those who have read it.
2) The Theology of the Body, by Pope John Paul II (in a series of Wednesday audiences)
I believe it was George Weigel (another recommended author) who stated that TOB is a spiritual timb bomb set to go off...at any moment now. I think the explosion is happening as we speak. I have only just begun this book however due to teachings on this from various venues (radio, church, CD's, EWTN, etc.) I am familiar with the concepts and look forwad to letting John Paul II speak to me for himself on this topic. This is another book that will change your life, but does require intellectual fortitude and perseverence to get through it. I actually picked up a companion book, "Men and Women are from Venus" by Dr. Mary Healy, as a study guide to go along with it.
3) Four Witnesses, the Early Church in Her Own Words, by Rod Bennett
Rod Bennett set out to prove that the Catholic Church is wrong when he began researching the early Church Fathers. He set out to prove that the word "Catholic" wasn't even used in the early days. The result was that he was convicted and he converted to Catholicism in the process of his research. This book tells the stories of and provides some of the writings of Clement of Rome, St. Ignatius of Antioch, St. Justin Martyr, and St. Irenaeus of Lyons. Some people are familiar with the writings of Jeff Cavins, who happens to hail from my general neck of the woods here in Minnesota. His wife, Emily Cavins resisted conversion to the Catholic Church...until she read this book. My friends who own St. George Books explained this to me on the day I bought this book, and I can understand how this particular title can effect conversions. I read it during my weekly Adoration hour and rediscovered that sense of being a part of something ancient and even a greater renewal in dedication to the Blessed Sacrament. There came with that also an amazement and sense of gratitude for the holy martyrs (many of whom have never been identified), those holy men and women who voluntarily stood in solidarity and claimed to be Christians as their leaders were being sentenced to death for following Christ. They knew what would happen and how their horrible deaths would be torturous and put on for the entertainment of others...and still, they stood up and proclaimed allegiance to Christ in the very face of the lions set to devour them.
Read this book. Please.
THREE BOOKS OF FICTION EVERYONE SHOULD READ
1) Chronicles of Narnia, C.S. Lewis
This book captured me as a child, and when I reread it as an adult, I was still just as enraptured and embarassed to realize I still had the impulse to go to the back of my walk-in closet to see if the back wall was still there...or was there an entryway into Narnia? Also as an adult I was able to better see the Christian themes woven throughout, and by the end, I was "ready" to go to Heaven. (Those who have read "The Last Battle" will know what I mean.)
2) Father Elijah, Michael D. O'Brien
This is an incredible story of a monastic priest called to Rome for a specific purpose. The descriptions of society and government are a little too apt. O'Brien captures the essence of our current days in such a way that, while this book is fiction, you cannot help but question the truth portrayed in his words and realize how easily the "end times" could be upon us, even as we sleep in everyday complacence thinking, "everything is as it should be."
3) To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee
I read this in Jr. High, I think, and have read it over and over since then. Most people know about this story, and for those of you who don't....go get it now and read it!
THREE AUTHORS EVERYONE SHOULD READ
1) C.S. Lewis
2) John Paul II
3) St. Francis de Sales
THREE BOOKS NO ONE SHOULD READ
1) Roman Catholicism, Lorraine Boettner.
Complete disregard for the facts in favor or pushing an anti-Catholic agenda. Flagrant display of a lack of moral and intellectual integrity on the part of the author. The work most frequently cited by anti-Catholics who sincerely believe the lies in that book.
2) DaVinci Code, Dan Brown
You'll never get all those hours of your life back.
3) Left Behind, Jerry Jenkins and Tim LaHaye.
While this book actually was a factor in my reversion to the Church because it called my attention to the fact that I really needed to have a relationship with God, and the outright anti-Catholicism was so obvious to offend me back into the fold, this book is complete tripe wrought with bad pop theology.