This time of social distancing provides a unique opportunity to sit back with a good book. Why not enrich yourself spiritually and add these classics to your library?
This list is by no means comprehensive, but it serves as a good starting point for all Catholics.
The Story of a Soul by St. Thérèse of Lisieux
St. Thérèse of Lisieux, born in France in 1873, became a Carmelite nun at age 15. She sought to do everything with great love in service to the Lord. This book is her spiritual memoir. St. Thérèse died at age 24 and in 1997 was declared a Doctor of the Church by Pope John Paul II.
Confessions by St. Augustine
Those struggling in the spiritual life will appreciate this autobiography from St. Augustine. Augustine was born in the 4th century A.D. and as a young man went astray, seeking out fleeting passions. He would become a great priest, bishop, and like St. Thérèse, is counted among the Doctors of the Church.
St. Thomas Aquinas: The Dumb Ox by G.K. Chesterton
G.K. Chesterton, an English convert to Catholicism in the early 20th century, wrote this biography of St. Thomas Aquinas, a 13th century priest and early member of the Order of Preachers who is considered one the most important theologians and philosophers of all time.
Fun fact: Chesterton was once a contributor to Columbia magazine.
The Imitation of Christ by Thomas à Kempis
This classic devotional for daily reading has enriched the spiritual lives of the faithful since its publication in the 15th century.
Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh
This classic novel by Waugh, a Catholic convert, is a story of sinners and God’s grace, and is a great read for all Catholics.
Lord of the Rings series by J.R.R. Tolkien
Maybe you’ve seen the films, but nothing quite compares to reading the books that started it all. This classic series by J.R.R. Tolkien, whose Catholic faith is evident throughout his writing, is well worth reading.
The Power and the Glory by Graham Greene
This novel brings to life Mexico’s persecution of Catholics in the early 20th century. A fictional account of actual historical events, the novel vividly highlights the struggles that many Catholics, including members of the Knights of Columbus, endured.
Flannery O’Connor: Collected Works
Writing in the American South during the mid-20th century, Flannery O’Connor’s short stories detail the darkness of the fallen world while ultimately pointing to God’s grace.
Knights of Columbus Books
A Civilization of Love: What Every Catholic Can Do to Transform the World By Carl Anderson
Inspired by the teachings of Pope John Paul II, including many themes that continue to be emphasized by Pope Benedict XVI, A Civilization of Love: What Every Catholic Can Do to Transform the World (HarperOne) offers a bold blueprint for the Knights of Columbus and the Church for the 21st century. Through the book, Anderson inspires Christians to work toward creating a civilization of love. In such a civilization every person is a child of God. We are all intrinsically valuable.
Our Lady of Guadalupe: Mother of the Civilization of Love by Carl Anderson and Monsignor Eduardo Chávez
This book, co-authored by Supreme Knight Carl Anderson, tells the true story of St. Juan Diego, an indigenous saint from Mexico, to whom Our Lady of Guadalupe appeared in 1531, forever changing the course of Catholicism in the Americas.
Knights of Columbus: An Illustrated History by Andrew T. Walther and Maureen H. Walther
This full color book depicts the Knights’ more than 135 years of faith, fraternity, and charity.
Parish Priest by Douglas Brinkley and Julie Fenster
Father Michael J. McGivney was a humble 19th century priest in Connecticut who founded the Knights of Columbus, an organization that would become the world’s largest Catholic fraternal organization. This book details his life and ministry as a priest.
Once you’ve checked out these books, you will also want to check out these Catholic movies to watch during social distancing.
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