Looking for a great book to read this summer while sitting at the beach or at your cabin up north? We’ve come across some enjoyable, fascinating and thought-provoking books over the past few weeks. Below is our list of the top 10 books for your summer reading:
Orbis Books recently put together a collection of some of the most popular essays and articles from the often humorous, always popular Jesuit blog The Jesuit Post. Written by popular Jesuit priests including Fr. James Martin, S.J., The Jesuit Post explores issues of the day in light of faith in a way that is relevant to a broad spectrum of Catholics. It is both a delight to read and a book to keep for reference years to come.
There’s a growing interest among Catholics for books that not only offer the core teachings of our faith but also renew our commitment to the faith. Award-winning author Fr. Richard Malloy, S.J., offers an accessible overview of the key tenets of Catholic belief and why they are so important for our lives.
Faith in the Face of Empire: The Bible Through Palestinian Eyes by Mitri Raheb
Pope Francis’ recent trip to the Holy Land renewed people’s interest in the history and politics of an all-too-volatile region of the Middle East. Mitri Raheb, a theologian and president of Dar al-Kalima University College of Bethlehem, offers to us a challenging and thoughtful reflection on the Palestinian experience of the Middle East conflict through a biblical lens. Raheb’s book broadens our vision of the conflict by setting it in the larger biblical narrative. If you’re interested in the intersection of faith and politics, then this is the book for you.
Speaking of Pope Francis, we’ve come across another book about him, although this time one that offers a much more unique take on Francis’ papacy. Bestselling author Chris Lowney turns to Francis’ leadership style for insight into how we might lead in our own communities and workplaces. Practical and engaging, Lowney’s book will certainly get you thinking more about your own leadership and what you might do to grow as a leader.
Just the other day some of us in the office were talking about the challenge of living the gospel when work and family life have so many challenges. Kerry Weber offers a straightforward take on how we can live Jesus’ teaching in our everyday life, challenging us to perhaps not let our own habits and wants become excuses to not living that faith.
For those of us who are cradle Catholics, it can sometimes be easy for us to take our faith for granted and not enter into the process of life-long conversion. Yet we often find ourselves each year at the Easter Vigil inspired by women and men who intentionally embrace the faith for the first time. Some of us may even have an experience that jolts us and wakes us up from our everyday routine and gets us thinking more about our faith. Speaking from a convert’s point of view, Richard Cole shares with us his own discovery of the faith and how it has created a whole new adventure for him.
While on the matter of conversion, acclaimed author Joe Paprocki takes the conversion experience a step further and goes right to the core of our faith: an encounter and relationship with Jesus. Paprocki offers ideas for how we can cultivate a relationship with Jesus and live faith more fully today.
Via Lucis: The Way of Light by Glenn Byer
Although the liturgical season of Easter may be coming to a close with next Sunday’s celebration of Pentecost, the Easter experience is at the heart of the Christian faith. It’s sometimes easy to forget that as we enter into the Ordinary Time of the Church year. However, be that as it may, we dedicate each Sunday to the joy of the Resurrection in our weekly celebration of the Eucharist. Perhaps we can cultivate a deeper sense of the Easter Mysteries by praying and reflecting on each story of Jesus’ post-Resurrection appearances. Glenn Byer’s recent book, Via Lucis, helps us to do just that.
The Twelve Degrees of Silence Sr. Marie-Aimeé De Jésus
Summer offers us the perfect time to perhaps step back a little from the frenzy of everyday life and renew our commitment to daily prayer and reflection. To help us cultivate a prayerful silence, Lucinda Vardey introduces and guides us through Sr. Marie-Aimeé De Jésus’s spiritual treasure The Twelve Degrees of Silence. Although brief, The Twelve Degrees of Silence offer a wealth of insight and guidance for those seeking a deeper spirituality.
The Transforming Power of Lectio Divina by Sr. Maria Tasto, O.S.B.
Our final book on our top ten booklist, The Transforming Power of Lectio Divina, guides us in the traditional practice of praying the Scriptures. With the renewed interest in lectio divina, Sr. Maria Tasto’s book comes at a perfect time. Accessible and engaging, her writing clearly sets out this practice and invites us to incorporate it in our daily prayer life.