Reading for the soul

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Maybe you took a little break from spiritual reading this summer. Now that school is back in session, these books will help ease you back into the practice or help you with a particular need. 

Catholic Baby Names for Girls and Boys

Over 250 Ways to Honor Our Lady 

by Katherine Morna Towne (Marian Press)

Would you like to honor the Blessed Mother when you name your baby, but you want something other than Mary, Marie, or Maria? Are there ways to give boys a first or middle name that honors Mary without sounding feminine? Drawing on traditional folklore, apparitions, shrines, and devotions, the author shares hundreds of possibilities. Find out why Akita, Catena, Holly, Pearl, Reina, and Victoria are great Marian girls’ names, and why your little boy could go with Bart, Blue, Miles, Pax, or Tristan in Mary’s honor. This book is a great gift for expectant parents. 

Forty Reasons I am a Catholic 

by Peter Kreeft (Sophia Institute Press) 

Why is philosopher Peter Kreeft a Catholic? Some of his reasons will surprise and even amuse you. “Because I am greedy.” “Because of the movies.” “Because I need purgatory.” “Because of cathedrals.” “Because of what the Bible tells me.” “Because only the Church can whup the devil.” Kreeft elaborates on each of the 40 reasons with a short and sweet essay. It’s a great little book to dip into while waiting in lines, lobbies, or parking lots. See how many of Kreeft’s reasons are also your reasons. 


An Immovable Feast 

How I Gave Up Spirituality for a Life of Religious Abundance 

by Tyler Blanski (Ignatius Press) 

Conversion memoirs are always interesting reads, but this one has more plot twists than the usual evangelical-to-Catholic trajectory. Tyler Blanski’s upbringing in the 1980s and ’90s was fundamentalist Baptist, but as an adolescent he rejected that tradition, striving to be “spiritual but not religious.” Later, attraction to liturgical beauty and deeper theology brought him into the Anglican church and eventually to its seminary. But Blanski couldn’t come to terms with the astonishing range of contradictory beliefs that maintained an uneasy truce under the Anglican banner. His tumultuous journey to the Catholic faith is told with a kind of poetic beauty and an undercurrent of gentle humor. 

Mending the Heart 

A Catholic Annulment Companion 

by Lisa Duffy (Our Sunday Visitor)

Are you divorced and wondering about the annulment process? Read this book. It’s a short, thorough, and compassionate introduction to this topic. Author Lisa Duffy has been there. She knew the pain of divorce and the difficult path of moving forward from her grief. She found the annulment process to be a vehicle of self-knowledge, grace, and healing. Here she explodes the myths and media-driven misconceptions about annulment, giving an accurate, concise explanation of Church teaching. She also clarifies the recent adjustments Pope Francis has made to the process and addresses the issue of divorce and remarriage outside the Church.  


Your Money or Your Life

20 Sessions on Faith, Finances and the Choices We Make

by James Philipps (Twenty-Third Publications) 

These meditations, all based on Scripture passages pertaining to wealth and stewardship, invite the reader, alone or in a group, to think deeply and prayerfully about the connections between God and wealth, and how the money choices we make can lead us toward or away from the life God wants for us. Regardless of our income, wrestling with the question of “your money or your life” is important for us all.

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