View from the choir

I am a Catholic layperson and Secular Franciscan with a sense of humor. After years in the back pew watching, I have moved into the choir. It's nice to see faces instead of the backs of heads. But I still maintain God has a sense of humor - and that we are created in God's image.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Books Catholics Should Read

Over at the Saint Austin Review site, Joseph Pearce said he was asked to provide a "Top 10 list of books I think Catholics should read".

Here's his list:

1. Apologetics and Catholic Doctrine by Archbishop Michael Sheehan
2. Apologia pro Vita Sua by John Henry Newman
3. The Divine Comedy by Dante
4. Aquinas by F. C. Copleston
5. Orthodoxy by G. K. Chesterton
6. The Everlasting Man by G. K. Chesterton
7. Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis
8. The Poems of Gerard Manley Hopkins
9. Collected Poems of T. S. Eliot
10. Confessions by St. Augustine

Hmm. I've read 2, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, and parts of 3 and 8. I'm happy to see two Chestertons and a Lewis on the list.

Interesting that there's two non-Catholics on the list - Lewis and Eliot (I don't know Copleston's affiliation).

And I've never heard of Copleston and Archbishop Sheehan (probably due to my own ignorance).

Who or what do I think should be on the list? I'll have to think on that.

Merton's The Seven Storey Mountain?
Thomas à Kempis's The Imitation of Christ?
Graham Greene's The Power and the Glory?
Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings?
One of Henri Nouwen's books - Like The Wounded Healer?
St. Therese of Lisieux's Story of a Soul?

I can think of other books that have touched me -

Pope John XXIII's Journal of a Soul
Miles Connelly's Mr. Blue (don't laugh!)
Georges Bernanos's Diary of a Country Priest
Chesterton's St. Francis of Assisi

But are they classics all Catholics should read?

And what about the Bible and the Catechism of the Catholic Church?

I'm sure I could come up with more. So could folks who are wiser and better read than I.


Blogger Adrienne said...

Good list. All are good choices except I can't handle LOTR.

Seven Story Mountain is one of my favorites. Merton wrote it before he started getting into so much Eastern mysticism...

2:39 PM  
Anonymous Richard Grabman said...

Giovanni Guareschi's "Don Camillo" stories (all published in English)... set in a small village in Northern Italy, dealing with the village priest and Commmunist mayor's interactions (and squabbles) and the church in the world from the end of WWII up through the late 1960s.

4:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice List. I printed it out and will try to read at least one of them before the end of the year. Another book you should read is, My Life With The Saints, by Father James Martin. You'll love it!

6:37 PM  
Blogger Lee Strong said...

I did read Father Martin's book. I did enjoy it!

8:58 PM  

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