The Bookshelf

"A book is like a garden carried in the pocket."  
~ Chinese Proverb

An excellent book written by father of six, Michael O'Brien, in which he describes the dangers children face in literature, and how important it is for your child to learn to exercise the imagination.

By St. Francis de Sales

This unsuspecting book is a treasure trove! A compilation of letters this holy priest composed to a female relative, whom he calls "Philothea," are helpful to all who read them. Gently guiding the reader back to the path of holiness, he writes about many things like patience, "propriety in attire," and the necessity of prayer. I read this for the first time in college and couldn't believe it had been kept a "secret" from me for so long! If you're looking for spiritual direction, some advice from a Doctor of the Church can't hurt...

Mary Was Her Life: The Story of Sister Maria Teresa Quevedo
By Sister Mary Pierre, R.S.M.

This story is truly an inspiring story every young woman can relate to.  A simple girl, Maria taught by example how devotion to Our Lady can be at the root of everything a person does.  She was a popular young girl, an expert tennis and basketball player, and loved by all who knew her.  Her only purpose in life was to reach Heaven, and she did that by total consecration and devotion to Our Lady.

As told by her Spiritual Director Ven. Fr. Germanus

"St. Gemma Galgani (1878-1903) was a mystic, stigmatist, visionary, ecstatic, victim soul, discerner of spirits, seer of hidden things, prophetess, spouse of Christ, zealot for souls and devotee of the Poor Souls in Purgatory. She died at only 25. Her mother was also saintly, and it is beautiful to see how she helped cultivate this lily of purity. See how Gemma made great sacrifices painful to human nature from her tenderest years. Inspiring and edifying!" (Tan Books)

From the Rose Garden of Our Lady
By Fr. William Schaeffler

Ven. Pauline Jaricot (Foundress of The Living Rosary Association) once explained, "Do you object to the prayer of the Holy Rosary, feeling that the invocations are repetitious? Yes, it is like the manna that fell upon the sand in the desert. The Hebrews became bored with it for the very same reason you point out...every day the same manna, insipid and monotonous. And, yet, it sustained their lives!"

If we pray the Rosary each day, as Our Lady asked, the prayer can become routine and mechanical and begin to sadly lose meaning for us. Offering a meditation for each bead, this book brings fresh perspectives to the mysteries behind the Rosary. It helps you pray the Rosary instead of merely recite the Rosary. We highly recommend this book to help you start looking forward to (if you don't already!) stringing your daily Garland of Roses for the Blessed Mother.

One of our favorite meditations:
  • Nativity: In still humbler form than that of an Infant in a manger, the Child Jesus in the tabernacle is confided to us children of men. There, I will often adore Him with Mary and Joseph, the angels, the shepherds, and the kings. I must celebrate Christmas as often as I enter a church, else my faith is weak.

 "Divine Intimacy: Meditations on the Interior Life for Every Day of the Liturgical Year"
Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen

This book is definitely a must have!  Three pages a day with a section for mediation, the insight contained in this book is most inspiring for every day of the liturgical year. 

Dressing with Dignity
Colleen Hammond

This is a life changing book. You'll never think about the way you dress the same way again!

Holding the Stirrup
By Baroness Elisabeth Von Guttenberg

Written by a Baroness, these memoirs reveal how one woman's Catholic Faith sustained not only her family, but an entire country as well. In an older day it was customary for a woman to hold her husband's stirrup when he mounted to go into battle. That gesture became a symbol of her fidelity and courage while he was gone. Elisabeth's life story reflects world events from the turn of the century to the present, from the decline of the Hapsburgs to the tragic aftermath of the Third Reich. It is a story of heroism and self-sacrifice. Elisabeth writes lovingly of her visits to the cities and courts of Europe; of her castle homes; of her friendship with Theresa Neumann Konnersreuth, who bore the holy sign of the stigmata; of her romantic and deeply spiritual devotion to her husband, and of so much more.  We guarantee you'll enjoy this fascinating and unique look at history!

The Man Who Got Even With God
By Rev. Marius McAuliffe, O.F.M.

This book is a great read based on a true story about a Kentucky cowboy in the 1800s. Full of anger and pride, he led a rough life -- he proposed to a young lady but she turned him down. After stewing a bit, he decided to join monastery simply to prove someone who had said he could "never be a priest" wrong. This is a great story of a real prodigal son!

The Shadow of His Wings: The True Story of Fr. Gereon Goldmann
By Fr. Gereon Goldman, OFM

This is an amazing book! This book reads like an action novel, and we have lent it out several times. Set against the backdrop of Germany during World War II, this book chronicles the story of one seminarian whose studies are interrupted when the war breaks out. He joins the German army, and soon finds himself an SS soldier using his inside knowledge to help civilians and priests. The book follows the seminarian on his amazing journey to become a priest and the many miraculous events that happen to him! It offers an interesting perspective on the German people during the war-- especially the soldiers. Initially, many were not members of the Nazi party, but simply joined to defend their country. Lend this to the men in your life.

The Simplicity of a Life: The Life of Sister Maria Sherry of the Mother of God
By Rev. Fr. Pedro de la Inmaculada Muñoz Iranzo

This book is a little hard to find but well worth the search! Detailing the life of Sr. Maria Sherry (a young Mexican girl born in 1973), this is the perfect book to remind us that we all are called to be saints. Sherry was a member of the St. Andrew's Society as a girl and soon joined the Oasis Sisters in Spain, an order dedicated to praying for priests. As a nun, this pious girl offered herself up as a victim soul for priests. Three months later she was diagnosed with a form of cancer rare in young women...Nine months later (in 1998) she was dead. The book describes how Sister bore her sufferings cheerfully like a kind of St. Therese of Lisieux. This book is incredibly edifying and teaches us that heroic sanctity is still meant for this century.

The Temperament God Gave You
By Art & Laraine Bennett

If you don't know about the 4 temperaments, you must read this! Even if you have a basic understanding, this book will help you master holiness through understanding your temperament. This is a very easy to read book that helps identify which is your most dominant temperament and where your strengths and challenges in life most likely lie. Knowing this information will help you become what God is calling you to be: a loving spouse, an effective parent, and a good friend.

True Devotion to Mary
By St. Louis de Montfort

Ad Jesum per Mariam! This book shows you the way to find Jesus through His Blessed Mother. Both of us have used this book for our own Total Consecration to Our Lady.

Trustful Surrender to Divine Providence
By Blessed Claude de la Colombiere

Not only do we love this short little book, but Violet has received it as a gift twice from others! It is often one of those "life changer" books for people. This book is easy to read-- and a great size to fit inside your purse and pull out to read in a waiting room, etc... The thesis of this book is: "To remain indifferent to good fortune or to adversity by accepting it all from the hand of God without questioning, not to ask for things to be done as we would like them but as God wishes, to make the intention of all our prayers that God's will should be perfectly accomplished in ourselves and in all creatures is to find the secret of happiness and content."