There have been many books I have read over my life that have helped me on my spiritual journey. But there are those books which have been pivotal and even some which have become my constant companions. These books I have read through several times and each time I understand more fully what is being written about. Below is a chronological list of these books with a little commentary after each as to why it was significant and just how significant each book has been.
- Hinds Feet On High Places by Hanna Hurnard. This was one of the first books I read in my late teens that opened my eyes to the spiritual journey. I have read this book several times over my life. I read it again in my mid twenties and then again in my mid thirties.
- The Imitation of Christ and The Imitation of Mary by Thomas A Kempis. These books helped me to get to know Jesus and Mary and to love them. These two books were my go to books in my late teen years.
- True Devotion to Mary: with Preparation for Total Consecration (Tan Classics) by St. Louis de Montfort. I made my first consecration to Mary when I was 18 years old and my second one when I was 30 years old. Read all about my third consecration to Mary here ROYAL WOMEN’S RETREAT.
- The Story of a Soul: The Autobiography of St. Therese of Lisieux (Tan Classics) St. Therese has become my sister, my companion, my guide over the years. She is so gentle and loving and simple. Her example to me has been invaluable. I love her and she loves me and prays for me all the time. I have read her book a few times over the years and each time I always walk away with something new.
- The Interior Castle: TAN Classic (Tan Classics) by St. Teresa of Avila. I must admit that I have tried reading this book 4 or so times but have only successfully read it through to the end once (in Lent 2018). Each time I have read it I was able to read a bit further into the book. It was just too advanced for me and difficult to comprehend because she writes about such lofty and heavenly things. Unless you are in the stage of the spiritual journey she is writing about it is difficult to comprehend. I have always been very drawn to this book though and so have persevered in reading through it. St. Teresa has a heart like my own and I connect with her. This book, I would say, has been one of the most influential books in my spiritual journey.
- The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For? by Rick Warren. I read this book a couple of times in my mid to late twenties. This book is about knowing God’s purpose for creating you, reducing your stress, focusing your energy, simplifying your decisions, finding meaning to your life, and most important, preparing you for eternity. This book was important for me at this point in my spiritual journey.
- The Fulfillment of All Desire by Ralph Martin. I came across this book in my early thirties and instantly I was hooked. I was absorbed in this book. I mean, how could I not be, Ralph effectively compiles the wisdom and examples of so many Doctors of the Church, the great saints of our Church. All the saints I have come to dearly appreciate and love over the years, as I have read so many of their books. It is a book that outlines the spiritual journey so simply and beautifully. I have read this book 4 times throughout my thirties and each time I have been completely absorbed by the wisdom within. Along with Interior Castles, this book has been one of the most influential books in my spiritual journey.
- Abandonment to Divine Providence: With Letters of Father de Caussade on the Practice of Self-Abandonment. Abandonment to Divine Providence is a Christian classic that reveals the key to attaining peace and holiness in this life, and discloses that it is readily available to all people-from beginners to those well advanced in the spiritual life. I have read this book a couple of times in my thirties. It has helped me to abandon myself more fully to Divine Providence and to trust more fully in the Lord.
- Trustful Surrender to Divine Providence: The Secret of Peace and Happiness by Rev. Fr. Jean Baptiste Saint-Jure, St. Claude de la Colombiere. This book I have read 3 or 4 times throughout my thirties. It has been very pivotal and has also been one of the most influential books in my spiritual journey. With that said I have pasted a summary of the book below as it is a hidden gem amongst all the spiritual books out there. “Trustful Surrender to Divine Providence is one of the most firmly established and most consoling of the truths that have been revealed to us that (apart from sin) nothing happens to us in life unless God wills it so. Wealth and poverty alike come from Him. If we fall ill, God is the cause of our illness; if we get well, our recovery is due to God. We owe our lives entirely to Him, and when death comes to put an end to life, His will be the hand that deals the blow. But should we attribute it to God when we are unjustly persecuted? Yes, He is the only person you can charge with the wrong you suffer. He is not the cause of the sin the person commits by ill-treating you, but He is the cause of the suffering that person inflicts on you while sinning. God did not inspire your enemy with the will to harm you, but He gave him the power to do so. If you receive a wound, do not doubt but that it is God Himself who has wounded you. If all living creatures were to league themselves against you, unless the Creator wished it and joined with them and gave them the strength and means to carry out their purpose, they would never succeed. You would have no power over me if it had not been given you from above, the Savior of the world said to Pilate. We can say the same to demons and men, to the brute beasts and to whatever exists — You would not be able to disturb me or harm me as you do unless God had ordered it so. You are sent by Him, you are given the power by Him to tempt me and to make me suffer. You would have no power over me if it had not been given you from above. If from time to time we meditated seriously on this truth of our faith it would be enough to stifle all complaint in whatever loss or misfortune we suffer. What I have the Lord gave me, it has been taken away by Him. It is not a lawsuit or a thief that has ruined you or a certain person that has slandered you; if your child dies it is not by accident or wrong treatment, but because God, to whom all belongs, has not wished you to keep it longer. Trust in God’s Wisdom It is then a truth of our faith that God is responsible for all the happenings we complain of in the world and, furthermore, we cannot doubt that all the misfortunes God sends us have a very useful purpose. We cannot doubt it without imputing to God a lack of judgment in deciding what is advantageous for us. It is usually the case that other people can see better than we can ourselves what is good for us. It would be foolish to think that we can see better than God Himself, Who is not subject to any of the passions that blind us, knows the future and can foresee all events and the consequences of every action. Experience shows that even the gravest misfortunes can have good results and the greatest successes end in disaster. A rule also that God usually follows is to attain His ends by ways that are the opposite to those human prudence would normally choose. In our ignorance of what the future holds, how can we be so bold as to question what comes about by God’s permission? Surely it is reasonable to think that our complaints are groundless and that instead of complaining we ought to be thanking Providence. Joseph was sold into slavery and thrown into prison. If he had felt aggrieved at these apparent misfortunes, he would really have been feeling aggrieved at his happiness for they were the steps to the throne of Egypt.” The truths contained in this book transformed me and my outlook on life and suffering.
- This past Lent 2018 I have read a few new gems that have become a part of my collection, my list. The first is the Catholic Life Series. My Catholic Faith, My Catholic Worship, and My Catholic Morals. My Catholic Faith! (My Catholic Life! Series) (Volume 1) All three books are by John Paul Thomas and these books have deepened my love for the Catholic Church. Perfectly Yourself by Matthew Kelly. This book gave me practical tools to use on the spiritual journey. The third is Searching for and Maintaining Peace: A Small Treatise on Peace of Heart by Father Jacques Philippe. This book has helped me to understand the importance of peace and how when we are not experiencing it we are no longer in God’s will for a lives. This peace is a beacon in the darkness to guide our way home to Jesus. Jesus Our Eucharistic Love: Eucharistic Life Exemplified By the Saints by Father Stefano Manelli. This book has deepened my thirst for the Eucharist and has opened my eyes to see the real presence of Jesus in it.
- At present I am completely in love with all of (Father) Henri Nouwen’s writings. His words are constantly penetrating to the depths of my soul and I am being transformed by these words. It’s as if he is putting into words exactly what I am going through moment to moment. He has 40 or so books published and I am currently in the middle of reading book 4. I have read Life of the Beloved: Spiritual Living in a Secular World, Spiritual Direction: Wisdom for the Long Walk of Faith, Spiritual Formation: Following the Movements of the Spirit and Discernment: Reading the Signs of Daily Life. The truths being revealed in these books is blowing my mind. I’m probably going to end up reading all 40 of his books.
- Last but not least. Actually it is the most important compilation of books!! You guessed it… THE BIBLE by the Holy Spirit! Holy Bible, Catholic Companion Edition The bible was the first spiritual book I was introduced to as a child and it will be the book right next to me when I die. It has been and will be my constant companion throughout my life.
What are the spiritual books that would make your list, that have changed who you are? Please share.
Have you read any of the books in my list? If so, what did you think? If not, buy them all today and start reading. The truths contained within these books will change your life and will transform your soul.
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The Lord called me to leave my job as a Family Enhancement Counselor THE STORY OF MY LIFE in December 2017 to dedicate my life to God and His calling in my life (Declutter Your Life!! ). To dedicate my life to my family and to this blog and the other ministries He is (Intercessors United) and will call me to. This was a scary decision and one made in complete faith and trust in the Lord, as my husband is on permanent disability (I AM) and so we do not have much of an income coming in. I trust that the Lord will take care of my family and I though. He always has and always will. But we must ask for what we need and so here I am asking that you pray to the Lord and see if He is calling you to donate towards this ministry. Your support will be greatly appreciated and welcomed. And if not financially please support me and this ministry through your prayers. Prayers are always needed. God Bless.