Here we offer suggestions for a number of books to one or another of us have found to be a wonderful aid to our spiritual growth.
John Neafsey -- A Sacred Voice is Calling: Personal Vocation and Social Conscience
This is a wonderful book about discerning vocation and about understanding that vocation is not just about my talents and desires, but is deeply tied to the needs of the world in which we live. For anyone intent on hearing the call of God in their lives, this is a worthwhile read. There are many things in this book worthy of reflection. For some thoughts on the author’s discussion of the prophetic imagination, see this post.
Various Authors -- A Retreat With…Series
Each book in this series includes a guided seven-day retreat with a great holy person from history, including some wonderful questions for reflection. Books in the series include the Desert Fathers, Thomas Merton, Teresa of Avila, the four evangelists and many more.
Margaret Silf -- Companions of Christ: Ignatian Spirituality for Everyday Living
Basic teaching on Ignatian themes, with suggestions for prayer and contemplation throughout the book.
Brother David Steindl-Rast -- Deeper than Words: Living the Apostle’s Creed
Each chapter offers a reflection on one of the lines of the creed and includes suggestions for individual reflection.
Thomas H. Green, S.J -- Experiencing God: The Three Stages of Prayer,
This guide to prayer is particularly useful for faith sharing groups and parish retreats.
William A. Barry, S.J. -- Finding God in All Things
A companion to the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius, the book gives insight into the exercises and includes nice questions for prayer and reflection at the end of each chapter.
Len Stroka -- Henri Nouwen Illuminated
The author has gathered wonderful photographs and significant quotations from several of Henri Nouwen’s books. This book is a perfect little companion for meditation.
Joan Chittister -- In Search of Belief
Each chapter in this book explores a different clause of the Apostles' Creed. Chittister shares her understanding of the Cree in refreshing terms. Women particularly (although not exclusively) will appreciate the struggles Chittister has faced in finding meaning in her faith. It is a book that invites us to think more deeply about what we are affirming when we recite the creed.
Tracy Kidder -- Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Paul Farmer, A Man Who Would Cure the World
Tracy Kidder follows Dr. Paul Farmer from Harvard to Haiti to Peru to Russia - and back to Harvard. He reports on a genius who embraced liberation theology and believes in providing healthcare -the preferential option for the poor, and who owns one black suit. This book gives us a glimpse of the person who is described as "A man of comprehensive vision."
Sheila Fabricant Linn, William Emerson, Dennis Linn, Matthew Linn, SJ -- Remembering Our Home: Healing Hurts and Receiving Gifts from Conception to Birth
This book encourages healing and understanding of our earliest life before birth.
Sebastian Moore -- The Contagion of Jesus: Doing Theology as if it Mattered
This book contains a number of essays and homilies written at various times by this Benedictine monk. The pieces in the first part on love, Jesus, Resurrection and the Eucharist offer much to pray with and reflect on and the second part also contains some useful discussion and description of focusing prayer.
Richard M. Gula, S.S. – The Good Life: Where Morality and Spirituality Converge
An exploration of the characteristics of the appropriate response to the God who speaks to us first, who makes the first move to invite us into relationship with Him.
Shane Claiborne -- The Irresistible Revolution: Living as an Ordinary Radical
An exciting and challenging book that both describes how a growing group of people are attempting to live an authentic Christian life and challenges the rest of us to (re)discover a new (or perhaps old is more accurate) way of living as Christians; an invitation to radically change the world with the love of Christ.
Richard Rohr -- The Naked Now: Learning to See as the Mystics See
Stories, meditations and practices to help one “see as the mystics see,” and live in full awareness.
Elizabeth Libert – The Way of Discernment: Spiritual Practices for Decision Making
A books containing helpful spiritual practices to aid in discernment; useful for individual or group prayer.
Sue Monk Kidd -- When the Heart Waits
A wonderful book for anyone experiencing a dry time spiritually. Travel with Sue as she actively waits.