Reading List

“Indeed, the word of God is living and effective, sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating even between soul and spirit, joints and marrow, and able to discern reflections and thoughts of the heart.”

~ Heb 4:12

Many people ask if we have any suggestions for spiritual reading or books/documents that may assist with their discernment. The first and best source is Sacred Scripture. By allowing the Word of God to become part of our daily lives, we are more attentive to His promptings and call.

After the Bible, we offer the following suggestions. The Church Documents are especially insightful, as they give tremendous clarity to the Church’s vision for religious life.

Church Documents
Perfectae Caritatis
Essential Elements in the Church’s Teaching on Religious Life
Vita Consacrata
Starting Afresh from Christ
Fraternal Life in Community
The Contemplative Dimension of Religious Life
The Service of Authority and Obedience

Franciscan Sources
Francis of Assisi: Early Documents (I. The Saint**; II. The Founder; III. The Prophet)
**This volume contains the earliest biography of St. Francis by Thomas of Celano, which is the best/first biography anyone should read. He wrote the First and Second Life (Biographies) of St. Francis.
Celano’s First Life is available here ¬†online.
St. Clare of Assisi: Early Documents
– The Life of St. Francis of Assisi by St. Bonaventure

Other Books on Religious Life
The Foundations of Religious Life: Revisiting the Vision
– And You are Christ’s: The Charism of Virginity and the Celibate Life (Fr. Thomas Dubay)
– When God Asks for An Undivided Heart (Fr. Andrew Apostoli)
– The Courage to be Chaste (Fr. Benedict Groeschel)

Spiritual Classics
– He Leadeth Me (Fr. Ciszek)
– Abandonment to Divine Providence (Fr. de Caussade)
– Introduction to the Devout Life (St. Francis de Sales)
– Happy are You Poor (Fr. Dubay)
– Saints: A Closer Look (Fr. Dubay)
– Fire Within (on Prayer) (Fr. Dubay)
– Confessions of St. Augustine
– The Wellspring of Worship (Fr. Corbon)
– The Cost of Discipleship (Bonhoeffer)

Other Suggestions
– The Cloud of Unknowing (Anonymous)
– Imitation of Christ (Thomas a Kempis)
– Interior Castle (St. Teresa of Avila)
– Dark Night of The Soul (St. John of the Cross)
– The Practice of the Presence of God (Br. Lawrence)
– Mere Christianity (Lewis)
– Orthodoxy (Chesterton)
– Authenticity : A Biblical Theology of Discernment (Fr. Dubay)
– Uniformity with God’s Will (St. Alphonsus)
– Story of a Soul (St. Therese of Lisieux)