February 2019-Basic Catholic Reading List

February 2019-Basic Catholic Reading List

On Facebook, someone posted a picture with the following message: “"Ideally, keep fewer than 30 books." Marie Kondo 1 And an anonymous man replies: "No one needs that kind of negativity." We shared the picture and someone asked me to draw up a basic Catholic reading list. We asked for some suggestions, and got a lot of replies.

As we were preparing our list and watching the discussion, We realized that what we read shows what we truly hold to be important. Several replied with a list of authors, including Saint Thomas Aquinas. We replied back that we believe it should be a list of specific books. Not many should be reading the Summa Theologica, although some quotes from there are useful for many. Also the sheer volume of his works among others, require us to narrow things down.

Sacred Scripture

Reading the Bible should be at the top of our list of books to read. Saint John Eudes recommends reading a chapter from the Gospels every day. We believe this may be too much at one sitting. Take and read slowly, taking to heart what you read. The idea here is quality, not quantity. Some of the Fathers of the Church recommend reading the Sapiential books, Wisdom, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and Ecclesiasticus. A friend has the habit of reading a chapter of Proverbs a day, first chapter on the first of the month, second on the second, etc. We mentioned a quote from Proverbs (12:21): “Whatsoever shall befall the just man. it shall not make him sad:” He did not recognize the quote. That specific verse had never struck him, until we qouted it. This shows how reading a whole chapter may be too much. Also something may not strike us, until it comes from a different direction than we normally get it.

Sacred Scripture. https://amzn.to/2AJ1Uyo

Sanctification And Spiritual Life

Examination of Conscience for Adults: A Comprehensive Examination Of Conscience Based On Twelve Virtues For The Twelve Months Of The Year Rev. Donald Miller CSSR. https://amzn.to/2DkgnCw

At the entry into the spiritual life, we must get real about how great sinners we truly are, and an examination of conscience it an excellent place to start, but it is only a start.

Charity by Saint Alphonsus Ligouri https://amzn.to/2D9K2y3

When we compiled this from The Holy Eucharist of Saint Alphonsus Ligouri, we realized that it touches on the basic of the spiritual life.

The Art of Prayer by Martial Lekeux https://amzn.to/2CtA1dB

Although there are many works touching on prayer, we were looking for a single work that might speak to us, and we believe this comes closest.

Uniformity with God's Will Saint Alphonsus https://amzn.to/2WaciIk

Uniformity with the will of God is our way of life, so this should be the main focus of our spiritual life, especially our prayer and meditation.

Our Own Will And How to Detect It in Our Actions Rev. J Allen DD https://amzn.to/2U3p2il



Saint Bernard said that if there was no self-will on earth, there would be no hell.

Spiritual Combat by Scupoli https://amzn.to/2W5DTdC

Introduction to the Devout Life by Saint Francis de Sales. https://amzn.to/2RTFS6H

Soul of the Apostolate John Baptist Chautard https://amzn.to/2S78kkQ

Saint Pius X recommended Soul of the Apostolate as well.

The Road to Heaven https://amzn.to/2DjgFcC

The Art of Dying Well Saint Robert Bellarmine https://amzn.to/2CMgjtA

Spiritual Maxims by Father Nicholas Grou https://amzn.to/2S0iCTJ

The Lausiac History of Palladius https://amzn.to/2CykEki

More Advanced Spiritual Works

Love of Eternal Wisdom.

This actually consists of two books.

The Writings of Saint Louis de Montfort https://amzn.to/2FGwlIO

And True Devotion to Mary https://amzn.to/2RPYweP

Saint Louis de Montfort intended True Devotion to Mary to be a part of a larger project, called Love of Eternal Wisdom. This work needs to be taken in context. Also most editions of True Devotion to Mary omit parts of the original book. We have found only the Faber edition to be faithful, while every other edition we have in our library is incomplete. We recommend the exercises of Total Consecration to Mary, which are briefly outlined. (Saint Louis did not provide any readings or meditations, only a brief outline.)

Directorium Asceticum

Volume 1 https://amzn.to/2T7OAe7

Volume 2 https://amzn.to/2CFYRHs

Volume 3 https://amzn.to/2S0YBfE

Volume 4 https://amzn.to/2W7FgIR

This is not light reading, but for someone who wants a deeper understanding of the spiritual life.

The True Spouse of Jesus Christ by Saint Alphonsus Ligouri https://amzn.to/2MDswpc

One might comment, "but I am not called to be a nun!". You do not have to be called to be a nun to get something out of this book. When we acquired Preparation for Death by Saint Alphonsus in 1995, we found that many of his works had been translated into English and were available. We acquired those we could, including this one, but did not read this one. Two different lay people read this one and found it quite useful for their own spiritual life. And so we can learn even from works that are not necessarily aimed at us. Let us not set aside a piece of advice as: "that is only meant for monks or nuns....". We should apply it to our own self, if it applies, and often it does.

Knowing Our Faith

Saint John Vianney tells us that the majority of those who lose their souls, do so because they don't know their own faith.

Catechism of the Catholic Church: Trent Edition https://amzn.to/2Ma5G8f

Biblical Treasury of the Catechism by Thomas Cox https://amzn.to/2W0GvJY

This work links the Catechism with the Bible, which will help us gain a deeper insight into Sacred Scripture.

I Believe in the Catholic Church https://amzn.to/2W2cBF2

This work was adapted by me from a four volume catechism published in the late 1800's. Basically I brought it up to speed adding quotes from Encyclicals and other Church teaching that bear on the subject. Today there is much confusion about just what the Catholic Church is and where the Catholic Church is. And the best way to dispel confusion is with the truth.

Catechism: Lessons on the Sacraments and the Ten Commandments by Saint Alphonsus Ligouri https://amzn.to/2FUSuDn

This is an excellent work on this subject drawn from Saint Alphonsus' works.


Sermons for All the Sundays in the Year Saint Alphonsus Ligouri https://amzn.to/2AY9i9f

Saint Alphonsus tells us to hear all of the sermons we can. With that in mind, we should also read all of the sermons we can in addition to those we hear.

Sermons of the Cure of Ars https://amzn.to/2Mt8de8

There are actually two different books by the same name. Although I like both, I recommend this one.

Sunday Sermons from Father Leonard Goffine https://amzn.to/2AWJPwK

Lives of the Saints From the Roman Breviary https://amzn.to/2VVeXpc

Breviary Lessons from the Roman Breviary https://amzn.to/2RTUfqx

Lives of the Saints

Butler's Lives of the Saints

Volume 1: https://amzn.to/2U3p2il

Volume 2: https://amzn.to/2RTJNzl

Volume 3: https://amzn.to/2TZnE08

Volume 4: https://amzn.to/2RWDyLd

We should have a collection of favorite saints and get to know about them. We should study those, who deal with the same temptation we do.

Understanding Current Events

Much time is wasted on sorting out current events, and debating the various issues. Many subjects are simply a waste of our time and energy, which should be spent in the one thing important, becoming a saint. However, We believe that some may wish to consider a few points, so we will list some resources here. Before coming here, be sure you are well grounded in the spiritual life and have completed the Catechism of the Catholic Church: Trent Edition. Let us be sure to keep our priorities straight.

The Sources of Catholic Dogma https://amzn.to/2RVCY0j

This is a good resource for looking up the actual decrees of the Church on various subjects.

I Want the World Plus 5%


This is a book is on the current economy, and mirrors our own research. If we wrote on the subject, we would be able to add to the information here, but consider this project as not worth the time, because there is something already available.

Missing Books

There are some areas, which we believe are underserved, but which should be on the basic list.

There is nothing available on conversion, whether it be from outside to inside the Church or the Second Conversion of the spiritual life, when those baptized as infants get real about becoming saints.

You Left a Lot of Books Out

And this is intentional. In fact, listing thirty may be too many for a basic reading list. We have given priority to some things over others, although We would recommend many other things, if asked. We hope these books will help you get your feet on the ground and walking towards heaven. And this is where Divine Providence helps.

We recommend going to used book stores, book sales and even yard sales. You never know what you might find. God sometimes leads you to what He wants you to read. It has happened in our own case. One recommendation above came from a yard sale. The Art of Prayer by Martial Lekeux https://amzn.to/2CtA1dB In 1995 we found Preparation For Death by Saint Alphonsus Ligouri, https://amzn.to/2CvPTwg which introduced Us to many of his other books, which We have acquired and read over the years.

My Books

In compiling this list, we included works, which we have worked on. We have not included our works on the current crisis. We will list some of those below with some considerations.

Sanctification And Spiritual Life

The Road to Heaven https://amzn.to/2DjgFcC

This began with a compilation of the most ignored section of the Vatican in Exile website way back. And so it is Our work with the work of others on the spiritual life mixed in.

Knowing Our Faith

I Believe in the Catholic Church https://amzn.to/2W2cBF2

This begins with an excerpt from a four volume catechism from a century and a half ago. This set is no longer available in reprint. We scanned this section, and they expanded it to address those issues that cloud people's minds and continues the confusion Jesus foretold in the Gospels. “For there shall arise false Christs and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders, insomuch as to deceive (if possible) even the elect.” (Matthew 24:24)


Lives of the Saints From the Roman Breviary https://amzn.to/2VVeXpc

Breviary Lessons from the Roman Breviary https://amzn.to/2RTUfqx

When we had put up our question on which books to include, someone replied with the first one above. We compiled these from the Breviary, because there are some excellent instructions as well as stories of the Saints. Why shouldn't all Catholics have access to these wonderful resources?

Our Own Books

Truth Is One, 2005. https://amzn.to/2B9Ace2

Our views on prophecy have changed over the years, although the basic factual material remains the same. This book was downloaded over a thousand times. It asked for corrections and two minor corrections were made. One a missing phrase in a prayer; the other an error in a foot note. No other corrections were ever offered.

Upon This Rock, 2011 https://amzn.to/2WpDTFC

One main problem, which is addressed in great depth in I Believe in the Catholic Church, is a misunderstanding of the doctrine of the Papacy. In fact, there are several major errors circulating, that tend to add to the confusion. These are addressed here and in I Believe in the Catholic Church

54 Years That Changed the Catholic Church, 2012. https://amzn.to/2RTzKeu

Our opinion on prophecy has changed from the one presented here. This contains more information discovered between 2005 and 2012.

Passion of the Mystical Body of Christ, 2016 https://amzn.to/2MIBxNO

This is our most recent work, although an update is in the works, which will exclude prophecy. Although the prophetic ideas are substantially different from previous works in this one, We have come to believe that much of prophecy is simply wrong. People rely too much on faulty private prophecy. We are now restricting our self to Sacred Scripture and praying on matters. The factual information is updated from the previous work in 2012.

In determining where the Catholic Church is, we need to reduce things to the basic questions and then seek the answers in the teachings of the Church. We provide Our own works as an aid to this process. Above all, we must be working on becoming saints, because only spiritual people will understand. (II Corinthians 2:11-16) Read the Douay footnote: “[14] "The sensual man": The sensual man is either he who is taken up with sensual pleasures, with carnal and worldly affections; or he who measureth divine mysteries by natural reason, sense, and human wisdom only. Now such a man has little or no notion of the things of God. Whereas the spiritual man is he who, in the mysteries of religion, takes not human sense for his guide: but submits his judgment to the decisions of the Church, which he is commanded to hear and obey. For Christ hath promised to remain to the end of the world with his Church, and to direct her in all things by the Spirit of truth.”

1 Marie Kondo has written four books on organizing, which have collectively sold millions of copies and have been translated from Japanese into languages including Korean, Chinese, Spanish, Indonesian,[3] French, German, Swedish, Portuguese and English.[2] In particular, her book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing (2011) has been published in more than 30 countries.[4] It was a best-seller in Japan and in Europe, and was published in the United States in 201