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Five Books for Catholics

Five Books for Catholics

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Welcome to the Five Books for Catholics podcast, where experts explain their pick of five outstanding books on an aspect of Catholic life, doctrine, or culture. Visit the website at ⁠www.fivebooksforcatholics.com
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The books recommended in this episode are: On God and Christ: The Five Theological Orations and Two Letters to Cledonius by St. Gregory Nazianzus The Wellspring of Worship by Fr. Jean Corbon Three Treatises on the Divine Images by St. John of Damascus Called to Communion: Understanding the Church Today by Joseph Ratzinger The Trinity: An Introducti…
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The books recommended in this episode are: I Believe in the Holy Spirit by Yves Congar OP The Sanctifier by Archbishop Luis Martínez Summa theologiae (IaIIae, qq. 68-70) by St. Thomas Aquinas Catecheses on the Gifts of the Holy Spirit by Pope Francis In the School of the Holy Spirit by Fr. Jacques Philippe Five Books for Catholics may receive a com…
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The books recommended in this episode are: A Father Who Keeps His Promises: God's Covenant Love in Scripture by Scott Hahn The Idea of Israel in Second Temple Judaism: A New Theory of People, Exile, and Israelite Identity by Jason A. Staples Jesus and the Last Supper by Brant Pitre Acts and the Isaianic New Exodus by David W. Pao God with Us: Encou…
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The books recommended in this episode are: Our Lady of Fatima by William T. Walsh The Secret of the Rosary by St. Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort True Devotion to Mary by St. Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort The Glories of Mary by St. Alphonsus Ligouri Calls from the Message of Fatima by Sister Lucia of Fatima Five Books for Catholics may receive …
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The recommended books for this episode are: The Servile State by Hilaire Belloc An Essay on the Restoration of Property by Hilaire Belloc An Outline of Sanity by G.K. Chesterton A Humane Economy by Wilhelm Röpke The Economics of the Free Society by Wilhelm Röpke Five Books for Catholics may receive a commission from qualifying purchases made using …
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The books recommended in this episode are: Corpus Mysticum: The Eucharist and the Church in the Middle Ages by Henri de Lubac SJ Called to Communion: Understanding the Church Today by Joseph Ratzinger Flesh of the Church, Flesh of Christ: At the Source of the Ecclesiology of Communion by Jean-Marie Roger Tillard Eucharist, Bishop, Church: The Unity…
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The books recommended in this episode are: On Matters Southern: Essays About Literature and Culture, 1964-2000 by Marion Montgomery Possum, and Other Receipts for the Recovery of "Southern" Being by Marion Mongomery Liberal Arts and Community: The Feeding of the Larger Body by Marion Mongomery Romantic Confusions of the Good: Beauty as Truth, Truth…
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The books recommended in this episode are: The Complete Stories (also available for Kindle) by Flannery O'Connor Mystery and Manners: Occasional Prose (also available for Kindle) by Flannery O'Connor, seleceted and edited by Sally and Robert Fitzgerald The Habit of Being: Letters of Flannery O'Connor (also available for Kindle) by Flannery O'Connor…
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Lent is just a preparation and spiritual warm-up for Easter. Now that it is Easter, it is time to get down to exercising the Christian life in full. It makes sense, therefore, to keep setting aside some time for reading about the mysteries we celebrate and how we can live them out. Here then are some books and music that might be helpful. For furth…
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Holy Week should be, insofar as possible, a time of recollection and prayer. To this end, reading one or other of the following books may be useful. It may help us enter more deeply into the mysteries we are celebrating and contemplating. Commentary on Saint John the Apostle and Evangelist: Homilies 48-88 by St. John Chrysostom What is Redemption? …
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The books reviewed in this episode are: Hearing Bach's Passions by Daniel R. Melamed Lutheranism, Anti-Judaism, and Bach's St. John Passion: With an Annotated Literal Translation of the Libretto by Michael Marissen Bach in Berlin. Nation and Culture in Mendelssohn's Revival of the St. Matthew Passion by Celia Applegate Johann Sebastian Bach's St Jo…
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Genesis or Bereishis (“In the beginning”) is the first book of the Bible. It tells the story of creation and God’s covenants with the first men (1-11) and the patriarchs (12-50). It ends with the death of Joseph, who had brought to Egypt both his brothers and his father, Jacob. Many of the stories related in Genesis are amongst the most memorable o…
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The books recommended in this episode are: Saint Thomas Aquinas: The Person and His Work by Jean-Pierre Torrell OP Saint Thomas Aquinas: Spiritual Master by Jean-Pierre Torrell OP Thomas Aquinas: Selected Writings edited and translated by Ralph McInerny Commentary on the Gospel of John (vol. 1) (vol. 2) (vol. 3) by St. Thomas Aquinas Thomas Aquinas…
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The recordings recommended in this episode are of: Quatre Motets pour un temps de pénitence by François Poulenc Miserere by Henryk Górecki Triodion by Arvo Pärt Miserere and Videns Dominus by James MacMillan Symphony of Psalms by Igor Stravinsky Five Books for Catholics may receive a commission from qualifying purchases made using the affiliate lin…
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The books recommended in this episode are: Discerning the Will of God: An Ignatian Guide to Christian Decision Making by Fr. Timothy M. Gallagher OMV The Discernment of Spirits: An Ignatian Guide for Everyday Living by Fr. Timothy M. Gallagher OMV Spiritual Consolation: An Ignatian Guide for Greater Discernment of Spirits by Fr. Timothy M. Gallaghe…
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Here are this year's list of recommended readings for Lent. You can also check out last year’s list and the Message of Pope Francis for Lent 2024. On Repentance and Almsgiving by St. John Chrysostom Encyclical Letter Dives in misericordia (Rich in Mercy) by St. John Paul II The Lord by Romano Guardini A Father Who Keeps His Promises by Scott Hahn T…
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The books recommended in this episode are: Arcanum and Casti connubii by Leo XIII and Pius XI The Social Teachings of Wilhelm Emmanuel Von Ketteler: Bishop of Mainz (1811-1877) edited by Rupert J. Ederer Catholic Social Teaching: A Volume of Scholarly Essays edited by Gerard V. Bradley and E. Christian Brugger The Teachings of Modern Roman Catholic…
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Simon P. Keefe recommends some books that can help us learn about Mozart’s music and penetrate it more deeply as we listen to it. The Letters of Mozart and his Family (3rd edition) edited by Emily Anderson Mozart: A Documentary Biography by Otto Erich Deutsch Mozart's Requiem: Reception, Work, Completion by Simon P. Keefe Mozart in Vienna: The Fina…
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The books recommended in this interview are: Understanding Early Christian Art by Robin M. Jensen The Clash of Gods: A Reinterpretation of Early Christian Art by Thomas F. Mathews The Invisible God: The Earliest Christians on Art by Paul Corby Finney Likeness and Presence: A History of Art before the Era of Art by Hans Belting, trans. E. Jephcott T…
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The books recommended in this interview are: Tales of Faith: A Guide to Sharing the Gospel through Literature by Holly Ordway Faith, Hope and Poetry: Theology and the Poetic Imagination by Malcolm Guite Imaginative Apologetics: Theology, Philosophy, and the Catholic Tradition by Andrew Davison Spiritual Direction from Dante: vol. 1, Avoiding the In…
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Dr. Thomas Scheck discusses Origen of Alexandria (185-253) and recommends the following books: Contra Celsum by Origen (edited by Henry Chadwick) Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans (vol. 1) (vol. 2) by Origen (translated by Thomas P. Scheck) Homilies on Joshua by Origen (translated by Barbara J. Bruce) Homilies on Numbers by Origen (translated…
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The books recommended in this episode are: Faith and Politics: Selected Writings by Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI A New Song for the Lord: Faith in Christ and Liturgy Today by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger What is Christianity?: The Last Writings by Benedict XVI Fundamental Speeches from Five Decades by Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI The Nature and Miss…
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Prof. Dwight Lindley, the Barbara Longway Briggs Chair in English Literature at Hillsdale College, discusses some of the best of Dickens’s novels and of the studies on them. He recommends: David Copperfield by Charles Dickens Bleak House by Charles Dickens A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens Chesterton on Dicken…
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The works recommended are: Fantasia on Christmas Carols by Ralph Vaugh Williams Lauda per la Natività del Signore by Otterino Resphighi Quatre Motets pour le temps de Noël by François Poulenc Retablo de Navidad by Joaquín Rodrigo Having beheld a strange Nativity (Canticles and Prayers II) by Georgy Sviridov Five Books for Catholics may receive a co…
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The books recommended in this episode are: Christ the Educator by Clement of Alexandria Catechism of the Catholic Church by John Paul II Gospel, Catechesis, Catechism by Card. Joseph Ratzinger The Catechism of the Catholic Church and the Craft of Catechesis by Pierre de Cointet, Barbara Morgan and Petroc Willey Theology and Sanity by Frank Sheed Fi…
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The books recommended in this episode are: Jesus of Nazareth, Volume 3: The Infancy Narratives by Benedict XVI The Sermons of St. Francis de Sales: For Advent and Christmas by St. Francis de Sales The True Meaning of Christmas: The Birth of Jesus and the Origins of the Season by Michael Barber The Nativity Scene by Eduardo de Filippo Illuminating L…
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The books recommended in this episode are: The Elements (alternative edition, Books I-VI with coloured diagrams) by Euclid Almagest by Ptolemy Timaeus by Plato On order (De ordine) (alternative edition) by St. Augustine To Save the Phenomena: An Essay on the Idea of Physical Theory from Plato to Galileo by Pierre Duhem Five Books for Catholics may …
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The Church closes the liturgical year with the Solemnity of Christ the King. Pius XI instituted this feast in his 1925 encyclical Quas Primas. In that document, he unpacked the mystery of Christ’s kingship while acknowledging that only the liturgy, not his encyclical, could impress that mystery upon the minds and hearts of the faithful. Here is a s…
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This episode's recommended books are: The Solzhenitsyn Reader: New and Essential Writings, 1947-2005 by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, edited by Edward E. Ericson Jr. and Daniel J. Mahoney The Gulag Archipelago: An Experiment in Literary Criticism (Abridged) (Vintage Edition) (Complete 3 Volume Edition) by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn In the First Circle by Ale…
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This episode's recommended books are: Ignatius Catholic Study Bible (also available for Kindle) edited by Curtis Mitch and Scott Hahn Kingship by Covenant: A Canonical Approach to God's Saving Promises by Scott Hahn The Kingdom of God as Liturgical Empire: A Theological Commentary on 1-2 Chronicles (also available for Kindle) by Scott Hahn Jesus of…
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This episode's recommended books are: Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation Dei Verbum Second Vatican Council Verbum Domini:Post-Synodal Exhortation on The Word of God in the Life and Ministry of the Church by Benedict XVI Letter and Spirit: From Written Text to Living Word in the Liturgy (also availble for Kindle) edited by Scott Hahn Bible B…
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The books recommended in this episode are: Collected Poems: 1943-2004 by Richard Wilbur A Journey of the Mind: Collected Poems of Helen Pinkerton, 1945-2016 by Helen Pinkerton And after All: Poems by Rhina P. Espaillat Deaths And Transfigurations: Poems by Robert Mariani The Gods of Winter by Dana Gioia ...and as a supplementary recommendation... A…
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The books recommended in this episode are: Festal Icons History and Meaning by Aidan Hart The Icon, Image of the Invisible: Elements of Theology, Aesthetics and Tecnique by Egon Sendler The Meaning of Icons by Leonid Ouspenksy and Vladimir Lossky Five Books for Catholics may receive a commission from qualifying purchases made using the affiliate li…
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In this episode, Frank Mitjans explains his pick of some of St. Thomas More’s writings and studies on him. Thomas More: A Short Biography by James McConica Thomas More: A Portrait in Courage by Gerard Wegemer Thomas More (Classic Thinkers) by Joanne Paul The Life and Illustrious History of Sir Thomas More by Thomas Stapleton The Sadness of Christ b…
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The books recommended in this episode are: Consueverunt Romani Pontifices by St. Pius V Supremi Apostolatus Officio (Vatican website) by Leo XIII Latitiae sanctae (Vatican website) by Leo XIII Marialis cultus (Vatican website) by St Paul VI Rosarium Virginis Mariae (Vatican website) by St. John Paul II Five Books for Catholics may receive a commiss…
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The books discussed in this episode are Dignitas personae: Instruction on Certain Bioethical Questions by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith Resisting Throwaway Culture: How a Consistent Life Ethic Can Unite a Fractured People by Charles C. Camosy What it Means to Be Human: The Case for the Body in Public Bioethics by O. Carter Snead Fi…
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Christopher Carsten's recommended books on the liturgy are: The Spirit of the Liturgy by Romano Guardini The Spirit of the Liturgy by Card. Joseph Ratzinger Catechism of the Catholic Church The Wellspring of Worshi pby Fr. Jean Corbon The Mass of the Roman Rite: Its Origin and Development (2 vols. )by Fr. Joseph Jungmann SJ The Mystery of Christian…
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Clive Staples Lewis (1898-1863) is a celebrated literary critic, novelist, essayist, and Christian apologist: the author of The Chronicles of Narnia, the Ransom Trilogy, The Screwtape Letters, and numerous essays of apologetics, such as Mere Christianity. An Anglican from Belfast, he spent most of his life in England, teaching medieval and Renaissa…
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The books recommended in this episode are: Gregory the Great: His Place in History and Thought by F. Holmes Dudden Gregory the Great: Perfection in Imperfection by Carole Straw Gregory the Great and His World by R.A. Markus Five Books for Catholics may receive a commission from qualifying purchases made using the affiliate links to the books listed…
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The books recommended in this episode are: Forty Gospel Homilies by Gregory the Great Moral Reflections on the Book of Job (6 vols.) (vol. 1) (vol. 2) (vol. 3) (vol. 4) (vol. 5) (vol. 6) by Gregory the Great Homilies on the Book of the Prophet Ezekiel by Gregory the Great On the Song of Songs by Gregory the Great The Life of St. Benedict by Gregory…
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The French Revolution ushered in the implementation of a new political philosophy, liberalism, that had been developing for several centuries, particularly during the Enlightenment. The Gospel and the Catholic Church were out as the foundation of the social order; reason, sealed off from Revelation and classical realism, was in. Churches and organi…
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Jane Austen (1775-1817) is one of the finest and best-loved novelists in the English language. Catholics can learn a lot from her finely crafted character studies of Regency era gentry. They are penetrating studies of the subtleties of commonplace virtue and vice. They are also informed by Austen’s Christian faith. In part one of this interview, Dw…
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Most people care about education, but those who are not committed Catholics are likely to take a very different view from the Church when it comes to defining the stages and setting of education. In this interview, R. Jared Staudt explain the books that he believes will help us understand the nature and situation of Catholic education. Dr. R. Jared…
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This episode is part two of an interview in which Dr. David Grumett explained his pick of the five best books for those interested in reading de Lubac. In this second part of the interview, he discusses some further recommended readings. The Discovery of God by Henri de Lubac The Motherhood of the Church by Henri de Lubac Five Books for Catholics m…
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One of the most celebrated passages in St. Paul’s epistles regards the regulation of the various charisms and manifestations of the Spirit that characterise the church of Corinth (1Cor 12). He insists that they exist to build up Christ’s body, the Church, and should be exercised to this end alone. The charisms he lists include faith, the utterance …
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Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (1547-1616) is widely considered to be the finest writer in the Spanish language. Many deem his Don Quixote (pt 1, 1605, pt 2, 1615) the first and greatest modern novel. Forced to leave Madrid after wounding a man in a duel, he moved to Rome to serve under Card. Giulio Aquaviva. He was seriously wounded while commanding…
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Over the last fifty years, it has become customary to frame moral questions surrounding medicine and the treatment of all forms of life under the rubric of "bioethics". The rapid development of modern technology opens new possibilities and, with them, a whole range of difficult moral issues. At the same time, many in today's increasingly secularize…
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François de Salignac de la Mothe-Fénelon (1651-1715) was a noted bishop and writer. In 1689, the learned, pious, and zealous priest was appointed tutor of the Duke of Burgundy, the second in line to the French throne. In 1696, he was named bishop of Cambrai. However, he was suspected of holding heretical views on prayer and the spiritual life. Thou…
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Liturgical icons have been a part of the Church’s tradition from early on and in 787 the Second Council of Nicaea defined dogmatically that the making and veneration of icons, along with the pictorial representation of what the Gospels narrate, is a holy practice. This practice is founded upon the mystery of the Incarnation. Consequently, “all the …
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The Fourth Gospel, attributed to the apostle John, focuses more than the other three on Christ’s divinity and the three divine persons. For this reason, the Greek tradition calls St. John the Theologian. It differs significantly in style and structure from the other Gospels and has always been one of the most closely read and studied books of the B…
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