Fr. Jim's Suggested Reading List

As promised, here are the books that our CACCLC 2018 Spiritual Director recommended in the “Head” talk:

  1. Michael Cameron, Unfolding Sacred Scripture: How Catholics Read the Bible (Liturgical Press, 2015). An accessible introduction that reflections the rich Catholic approach to understanding the Scriptures.

  2. Donald Nicholl, Holiness (Pauline Books and Media, 2005). An introduction to the Catholic spiritual life in conversation with Judaism and Islam.

  3. Ronald Rolheiser, The Holy Longing: The Search for a Christian Spirituality (Image Book NY, 2014). Another excellent description of growth in the spiritual life.

  4. René Laurentin, Mary in Scripture, Liturgy, and the Catholic Tradition (Paulist Press, 2014). By the dean of Mariology who influenced the thinking at Vatican II, this is a great introduction to the role of Mary in the life of the Church and individuals. Also on Mary: Sr. Beth Johnson, Truly our Sister: A Theology of Mary in the Communion of Saints (Continuum, 2002), by a leading feminist orthodox Catholic theologian.

  5. C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity (many editions and dates). A series of radio talks given over the BBC during WWII; a classic. Also, read his The Great Divorce and Screwtape Letters. The Great Divorce describes people in hell who get a second chance through friends in heaven, and Screwtape Letters are a series of fictional correspondence to a young devil on how best to tempt people to sin.

  6. Timothy Radcliffe, O.P., Sing a New Song: The Christian Vocation (Templegate Publishers, 1999).  A rich interpretation of every Christian’s call, including those thinking of religious life.

  7. David Matzko McCarthy, ed., The Heart of Catholic Social Teaching: Its Origins and Contemporary Significance (Brazos Press, 2009). A good introduction.

  8. Cardinal Ratzinger, Handing on the Faith in an Age of Disbelief (Ignatius Press, 2006). Some excellent essays in this short book. Also, by Ratzinger, a classic, Introduction to Christianity (Ignatius Press, 2004).

  9. Simone Weil, Waiting on God (Collins, 1950). An extraordinary collection of essays written by a brilliant Jewish thinker who died at a young age during WWII.

  10. Atul Gawande, Being Mortal: Illness, Medicine, and What Matters in the End (Metropolitan Books, 2014), an exploration by a gifted Hindu American physician on the challenges people in the medical profession face. Also, in a similar vein, Paul Kalanithi, When Breath Becomes Air (Random House, 2016), written by a young gifted neuroscientist who faces a terminal illness.

  11. John O’Malley, S.J., What Happened at Vatican II (Harvard, 2008). The best introduction to the significance of Vatican II. Also, his collection of essays, Catholic History for Today’s Church: How our Past Illuminates our Present (Sheed and Ward, 2015). Superb.