Lenten reading

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There is no better time to develop a habit of reading Catholic authors than Lent. Consider these nonfiction options and one Catholic fiction selection.

The Cries of Jesus from the Cross 

An Anthology 

by Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen (Sophia Institute Press) 

This anthology arranges passages from seven of Ven. Fulton Sheen’s books as they relate to the meaning of each of Jesus’ seven last words from the cross. Forty-nine essays in all — that’s more than enough for one each day during Lent. Ven. Sheen’s words will inspire you to root out sinful habits, grow in virtue, and come to a more profound union with Jesus and Mary. 


Padre Pio

The True Story 

by C. Bernard Ruffin (Our Sunday Visitor)

Lives of saints also make great Lenten reading. This classic biography of St. Pio of Pietrelcina has been revised and expanded to accommodate a wealth of material made available since his canonization. The author has worked hard to document actual events and dispose of myths. Of greatest value is the story of St. Pio’s patient endurance of the suffering inflicted on him by false accusations, unbalanced followers, and suspicious Church authorities. Hundreds of quoted testimonies from those who met this modern saint make for riveting reading. 

Everyday Evangelism for Catholics 

A Practical Guide to Spreading the Faith in a Contemporary World

by Cathy Duffy (Tan Books)

Even with the best of intentions, many Catholics are reticent about evangelization. Others are eager but not sure where to start or how to evangelize effectively. Cathy Duffy, who spent 20 years as an evangelical before returning to the Catholic Church, shares a wealth of both principles and practical tips that will build your confidence in sharing your faith with others. Relationship-building, resources to educate yourself, ways to prevent spiritual discussions from becoming arguments — it’s all here. Give it a try!

A Bloody Habit 

by Eleanor Bourg Nicholson (Ignatius Press)

Are you a fan of Gothic horror? Victorian romance? G.K. Chesterton’s Father Brown mysteries? Then here’s a delightful (and creepy) novel by a new author who manages to capture the style and feel of all of these. Best of all, a truly Catholic analysis of (and solution to) the vampire phenomenon is woven into the narrative. It’s a literary page-turner! 




Show Me the Path

Cultivating a Life of Discernment

by Michael Mercer (Twenty-Third Publications)

Sometimes the chaos and questioning of everyday life can be overwhelming. In his customary warm style and down-to-earth perspective, chaplain Michael Mercer offers a solution: to approach these issues in a spirit of discernment, reflecting the psalmist’s words, “Show me your path.” The book applies a faith perspective to making choices and finding one’s way, using practical examples and stories. In addition, questions for reflection make this a good choice for parish prayer groups and book clubs.

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