Recommended Reading

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Suggested reading for Summer

How many saints have, by reading a spiritual book, been induced to forsake the world and to give themselves to God! It is known to all that St. Augustine, when miserably chained by his passions and vices, was, by reading one of the epistles of St. Paul, enlightened with divine light, went forth from his darkness, and began to lead a life of holiness. Thus also St. Ignatius, while a soldier, by reading a volume of the lives of the saints which he accidentally took up, in order to get rid of the tediousness of the bed to which he was confined by sickness, was led to begin a life of sanctity.

St Alphonsus Ligouri

Live Today Well - Fr. Thomas F. Dailey, O.S.F.S

Live Today Well - Fr. Thomas F. Dailey, O.S.F.S.

Living the Christian life requires a strategy. Most of us won't get to heaven through heroic feats of sanctity, but by learning to live the devout life through our everyday activities.

St. Francis de Sales has developed for you a spiritual plan of action — a plan that will help you acquire holiness despite the many responsibilities and mundane realities that take up all your time and effort.

In these pages, Fr. Thomas Dailey — an Oblate of St. Francis de Sales — gently guides you through St. Francis de Sales's spiritual plan, showing how you can balance time devoted to God with the time needed to complete your many tasks each day. You'll learn St. Francis de Sales's technique of daily prayer and grace-filled awareness that will transform your life one day at a time — no matter how busy your lifestyle.

From making a spiritual retreat during the day to fending off the many temptations you face, Live Today Well will help you commune with God throughout your day. And by practicing the little virtues you learn here, you'll soon find yourself moving toward the heavenly heights as you become the saint you are called by God to be.

You'll also learn:

  • Four ways to become aware of God's presence.
  • Tips for spiritual time-management.
  • Simple methods of praying, whether in Church or not.
  • How to avoid the three dangerous tendencies that appear in conversations.
  • How to conquer your greatest temptations.
  • The one virtue which gives greatest assurance for reaching perfection.
  • The two critical elements of any good confession.

Fr Luke says: So many books are written these days about productivity, making the best use of our time etc This book uses St. Francis to apply that same desire to our spiritual life, a great book.

The Man Who Left His Mark - Peter Kreeft

The Man Who Left His Mark - Peter Kreeft

In this unusual book on the Gospel of Mark, the brilliant and prolific Peter Kreeft presents 252 contemporary questions that modern man asks about every aspect of the meaning of life, faith, love, suffering, friendship, death, eternity, God, Jesus and more.

He then gives an answer to each question taken directly from Mark's Gospel, which are always pointed and often suprising, and makes us ponder more deeply about the meaning of the Scripture passage in relation to our own lives. Kreeft says that Mark's Gospel is "the quickest and 'busiest' of the four – the Gospel for Americans." He describes the book as "a series of sudden shocks and surprises because that is how Jesus appeared to Mark and others who followed him – full of shocks and surprises."

Kreeft's goal of this book is for us to allow Jesus to speak more directly to us, to answer our questions in a personal and profound way, so that we will learn more about ourselves, and about Him. And thus how to know, love and follow Him more closely in our lives.

Fr Luke says: Next year (Year B) we will have our Sunday readings from the Gospel of Mark, why not do a little preparation with this great book?

The Lighthouse - Michael D. O'Brien

The Lighthouse - Michael D. O'Brien

Ethan McQuarry is a young lighthouse keeper on a tiny island, the rugged outcropping of easternmost Cape Breton Island on the Atlantic Ocean. A man without any family, he sees himself as a silent "vigilant", performing his duties courageously year after year, with an admirable sense of responsibility.

He cherishes his solitude and is grateful that his interactions with human beings are rare. Even so, he is haunted by his aloneness in the world and by a feeling that his life is meaningless. His courage, his integrity, his love of the sea and wildlife, of practical skills and of learning are, in the end, not enough. He is faced with internal storms and sometimes literal storms of terrifying power.

From time to time he becomes aware that messengers are sent to him from what he calls "the awakeness" in existence, "the listeningness." But he cannot at first recognize them as messengers nor understand what they might be telling him, until he finds himself caught up in catastrophic events, and begins to see the mysterious undercurrents of reality-and the hidden face of love.

"They that go down to the sea in ships,
trading upon the waters,
they see the works of the Lord and his wonders in the deep."

Psalm 107: 23

Fr Luke says: My favourite author! Everything he writes is brilliant, including this! Nice and short, a perfect summer read.

Matthew: The King and His Kingdom - Ascension Press

The Story of How Christ Established His Kingdom

Matthew: The King and His Kingdom shows how Jesus fulfils God’s promises to Israel and establishes his kingdom on earth. Through references to the Old Testament promises of God to his people and the messages God sent them through the prophets, this Bible study provides the key to understanding the rest of the New Testament and Christ as the fulfilment of God’s plan.

Matthew portrays Jesus as the true King who fulfils the Law the people of Israel have failed to keep and who introduces the new law that will accompany the New Covenant. In this 24-part study of Matthew’s Gospel, Jeff Cavins explains how Jesus is challenging and empowering us to a new level of holiness and shows how we must be thoroughly immersed in the kingdom of heaven on earth, the Church, to live it.

This Workbook is useful for each participant it includes:

  • Engaging study questions.
  • Responses to the questions.
  • Talk notes for the video presentations.
  • Helpful maps, charts, and outlines.

Fr Luke says: Following the Success of our Bible Timeline study programme, in September we’ll be picking up with a study of The Gospel of Matthew, while this study guide is by no means essential, it might be nice to have to accompany you on your journey!


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