Matthew Kelly inscribed a book for my son Daniel with the words “Books change lives” a few years back. The hard cover edition of Rediscovering Catholicism: Journeying Toward Our Spiritual North Star just resurfaced yesterday, and I was again struck by his words. I think he’s right.
In my efforts to get up-to-date on book reviews, here are three more that I highly recommend:
Style, Sex, and Substance: 10 Catholic Women Consider the Things that Really Matter. OK, I admit it. I actually got a copy of this book and read it before giving it to Kathi. In my continuing quest to figure out what makes my wife tick, it felt a little bit like receiving inside information from a reliable source.
As it turns out, that was quite correct.
Even though the primary audience is probably women, this is a deeply insightful book that is funny, substantive (to borrow the word) and will help the better half of the Church to strive for sanctity. With style.
Some of today’s most popular Catholic writers and bloggers wrote chapters, including Hallie Lord (Betty Beguiles herself), Jen Fulwiler, Danielle Bean, Simcha Fischer, and one of my personal favorites, Annie Mitchell (the Pat Benetar of Catholic radio). Whether you’re a woman looking for some encouragement and spiritual sustenance, or a guy trying to figure one out, this book is sure to please.
Three Irish Saints: A Guide to Finding Your Spiritual Style. By my friend Dr. Kevin Vost, I actually got to read an advance copy of this book a couple months ago. I loved it, and sent Dr. Vost a little blurb. Then, much to my surprise, a copy showed up in the mail the other day and the blurb made the back cover. Wow.
This is a terrific book, and it’s not just for the Irish. There are incredible stories of three saints (Saints Kevin of Glendalough, Patrick of Ireland, and Brigid of Kildare) and the fun part is that Dr. Vost uses the stories to illustrates three different spiritual styles: thinking (contemplation), doing (evangelization) and loving (charitable living). You can then take the test at the end and figure out your own “spiritual style.”
Do yourself a favor and get Three Irish Saints. You’ll be glad you did.
Mother Teresa and Me: Ten Years of Friendship. Another OSV author I’ve had the privilege to discover recently is Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle. Not only is she a terrific author, but in Mother Teresa and Me she tells the story of her interactions with Blessed Teresa of Calcutta over the course of many years, including copies of letters of their correspondence.
It’s a touching portrayal of how the holiness of one woman has an impact of extraordinary magnitude. Through her gentleness, devotion to the Lord, and submission even through a spiritual desert of sorts, Bl. Teresa rocked our world. Her influence on Donna-Marie and family was amazing, and some of the stories in the book were good for a tear or two despite my stoic proclivities.
This book, like Blessed Teresa herself, will inspire you as you get to know her and see God’s ability to do extraordinary work through ordinary people. It might even change your life.