If you have not already read “I’m Not Sure I Want to be Catholic” I would recommend doing that now as this is its cleverly titled sequel.
In that article I spoke (wrote?) of a genuine love I have for people who struggle, my fellow imperfectionists, but I wanted to prove it by compiling a list of resources that certainly helped me strengthen my faith as well as the blog posts they inspired once I started putting my newfound faith into practice.
This is just a general and bare bones list for those just starting out in their faith walk, those looking to be inspired, those who are looking to understand their faith more deeply, those who don’t believe and think they might like to, those atheists/agnostics looking to challenge themselves or debate me in some way as a representative of the Christian religion they dislike, and/or those who don’t have faith anymore and would maybe like to have it back.
As much as you may think this post is a giant plug and be rolling your eyes, I promise I’m sincere. I know the ins and outs of internal struggle and it is just etched on my brain, which is to say, I remember vividly how difficult and isolating navigating those difficult big questions can be when your life just feels like a series of crossroads and you’re not sure which direction to walk in. And it’s hard to open up to people about that sometimes, I don’t even know why.
So I thought this would be nice because it’s totally anonymous, you don’t have to tell anyone you perused the lists, and even if absolutely no one reads anything I’ll feel a heck of a lot better and maybe one person will believe that I care from the effort itself.
Here goes nothing!
Things I have written on the topic (I put them in sequential order because they build off one another):
- The Bicycle
- A New Faith
- Don’t Give Up
- The Littler Way (personal favorite)
- The Presence of God
- What Is The True Nature of God?
Things people holier than me have written on the topic:
(Anything in parenthesis is an overview or explanation of why I added it to the list so you know what you’re getting yourself into. I tried to add something for everyone.)
- Mother Angelica’s Little Book of Life Lessons and Everyday Spirituality by Mother Angelica (it’s like “the spiritual life for dummies” book so naturally it was very effective for me, she will give you a very strong foundation on which to build a relationship with God and/or give your pre-existing spiritual life some juice)
- You’ll Get Through This by Max Lucado (really great integration of relatable life stories and powerful scripture, easy but effective read)
- Consoling the Heart of Jesus by Fr. Michael Gaitley (clears up perceptions about how Jesus loves and how He wants to relate to you)
- 33 Days to Morning Glory: A Do-It-Yourself Retreat In Preparation for Marian Consecration by Fr. Michael E. Gaitley (Gaitley will explain exactly what the consecration is but I would highly recommend trying it if you have been struggling with anything for a while and having trouble kicking it completely, this consecration opened the door to the faith described in all the above blog posts.)
- Orthodoxy by G.K. Chesterton (if the modern world has you confused and lacking purpose he will set you straight. A witty defense of Christian faith and doctrine but I would recommend listening to it on tape via youtube or LibraVox because it is so rich)
I wouldn’t recommend anything that I didn’t think worth your time or which I had not read myself.