I struggled for a title for this post. I’m actually linking this to TWO of Kelly’s posts on This Ain’t the Lyceum. The one that inspired me to compile this list is called “Spiritual Books Too Good To Put Down.” I didn’t want to steal that title, of course, but everything I tried seemed lame and, well, boring. I can’t tell you the number of spiritual books that I’ve purchased or received as gifts that I started but never finished. They’re full of great and powerful messages, but they either put me to sleep or I just lost interest. When I was going through my cluttered bookshelf I was surprised by how many books I found that I devoured, even spent hours on end reading not wanting to stop. Lent is coming, so if you’re looking for something that will inspire you, look no further:
Something Other Than God by Jennifer Fulwiler, inventor of 7 Quick Takes
Her story of growing up in a loving atheist home, starting a family, converting to Catholicsm, and raising her kids in the Catholic faith. It blew me away (and her radio show is awesomeness.)
Pope Awesome and Other Stories by Cari Donaldson
As a convert to Catholicism myself, I’m drawn to the stories of other people who’ve struggles with the same issues I have. This is Cari’s moving story, and it’s, well, awesome. (By the way, if you like listening to podcasts, I spent the Blizzard of 2016 binge-listening to Ghost Fawn Homestead. Cari and her husband Ken talk about moving their family to a farm last spring and their journey as newbie homesteaders. It ROCKS.)
My Sisters the Saints by Colleen Carroll Campbell
Colleen’s story of her faith journey, facing her father’s Alzheimer’s, her marriage and their struggles with infertility, and stories of the saints that have helped her through the tough times. This one was so powerful I had to put it aside a few times to keep from crying.
My Badass Book of Saints by Maria Johnson
I’m currently reading this one. It’s partly a memoir, partly stories of ancient and modern-day saints that inspire Maria with their inner beauty, perseverance, and love for Christ. (Maria also has a great podcast, Catholic Weekend. I haven’t listened in a while. I keep adding more podcasts to my list and now I’m behind on many of them…) Chapter ten reminded me of another book that blew me away…
Left to Tell by Immaculee Ilibagiza.
I got to meet her a few years ago. I couldn’t stop smiling for hours afterward. (I bought copies of all her books, and she signed all of them. She’s so gracious and kind and there’s a glow of peace and holiness that comes from her. I have a serious girl crush.) Left to Tell is Immaculee’s account of surviving the Rwandan genocide by hiding with seven other women for three months in a bathroom, and through the power of prayer, and finding the strength to forgive the people who murdered her family.
She has since written several other books, including Our Lady of Kibeho and Led By Faith (the one in the photo). I recommend all of them.
The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren
Great stuff if you haven’t read it already. I might read it again…
Anything by Dr. Scott Hahn. I was introduced to him (not in person, but someday, I hope) when I was in the RCIA program at St. Mary of the Assumption in Maryland. Our priest had us watch several videos–VHS tapes, that’s how long ago it was–of Dr. Hahn’s talks about why he converted to Catholicism. Over the years I’ve listened to many of his talks and read a number of his books. If an anti-Catholic Protestant minister can become Catholic, just about anyone can.
BONUS TAKE (#8)
I can’t write a post about spiritual books without telling you about the Walking with Purpose women’s bible study series. I’m currently in the second year of study at my parish, and it’s been a blessing to be a part of it. I meet with a small group of women every Thursday night, and over the last two years we’ve shared many hopes and dreams, laughter and tears, and prayers for each other and our loved ones. It’s designed to be a group Bible study; check out the website for info on how to bring it to your parish, or to order books to go through on your own.
There you have it. I’m linking to Kelly’s posts “Spiritual Books Too Good to Put Down” and this week’s 7 Quick Takes. And I would love it if you checked out my other little fledgling of a blog, Ramblings of a Runner Cacher, where I chronicle my adventures in running and geocaching. Have a great weekend!