Warm up with a good Catholic book!

Photo: Evgeny Atamanenko/Shutterstock

Those gray days of January and February (at least for those of us who live north of the Mason-Dixon Line) can be perfect for curling up with a good book. Why not make it something beneficial to your faith, too? 

Jesus and the Jewish Roots of Mary 

Unveiling the Mother of the Messiah

by Brant Pitre (Image)

If you enjoyed Brant Pitre’s Jesus and the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist, then you’re going to love the sequel! Just as he previously showed that we can’t fully understand Jesus Christ from within a New Testament bubble, so also with Mary, we must dive deeply into the Old Testament and gaze at her through the eyes of ancient Judaism.

Only then will we see why the early Church came to believe in her perpetual virginity, assumption into heaven, and intercessory power. If Protestant friends are challenging you about “unbiblical” Marian beliefs, you will enjoy this book.

The Grace of Enough 

Pursuing Less and Living More in a Throwaway Culture

by Haley Stewart (Ave Maria Press)

Minimalist living is all the rage, as people discover that large accumulations of things do not equal happiness and indeed may work against it. But many books about decluttering seem to demand a vigorous, one-size-fits-all purge that will not work for the average family. Author Haley Stewart describes her own family’s experiment in simple living and the impact this had on their Catholic faith and family life. There’s no judgment here; it’s just one family’s story that will give you food for thought. 

Building the Benedict Option 

A Guide to Gathering Two or Three Together in His Name

by Leah Libresco (Ignatius Press) 

Rod Dreher’s bestseller The Benedict Option set off debate about how Christians should respond to the societal decline of faith. Dreher’s book was about the need for believers to form communities of faith and hospitality (beyond the parish church structure), both to sustain their own faith and to draw newcomers in.

Now Leah Libresco describes ways to do just that. She demonstrates that people longing for connections with others aren’t looking to be fussily “entertained” but rather welcomed to share food, faith, and prayer in simple, informal ways. 

Made This Way

How to Prepare Kids to Face Today’s Tough Moral Issues 

by Leila Miller with Trent Horn (Catholic Answers Press)

“Mom, what’s wrong with gay marriage?” “Dad, is it true a boy can change into a girl?” Kids are asking difficult questions at ever earlier ages. And guess what, parents? Teachers, the media, and society in general aren’t going to support Catholic teaching on these questions. It’s up to you. Need help? Read Made This Way. It’s written by two Catholic parents who write from the trenches. Topics start with the basic “where do babies come from,” and move through divorce, abortion, pornography, homosexuality, and more. The authors give you talking points on two levels — little kids and big kids. Well-reasoned and compassionate, every Catholic family needs this book in these confusing times.  


Constant Hope

Reflections and Meditations to Strengthen the Spirit

by Joyce Rupp (Twenty-Third Publications) 

“We are meant to be hope-filled people,” says spiritual writer and Living Faith contributor Joyce Rupp, but how do we keep an enduring sense of hope “in a society where divisiveness and hostility doggedly work against” it?

In this beautiful and profound book, Rupp helps us follow the only path that leads to real hope: the path of building our “relationship with the Holy One who dwells within us.”  

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