3 Books For People Interested In Catholicism

If you know someone who is interested in Catholicism, then a great gift to get them would be a book that helps illuminate the religion. There are some really fantastic books you can get that are classics and have been popular throughout the years for students of the religion. The three books listed here below are all acclaimed, serious books that should be on the bookshelf of any serious theology student, particularly if they have a strong interest in Catholicism or spiritual literature instruction.

The Seven Story Mountain, Thomas Merton

This is one of the more recent books (written in 1948). It is an autobiography of a man named Thomas Merton. He was a teacher and an aspiring author, who had seen initial success with his writings. However, after a spiritual awakening, he left his comfortable life as a teacher, converted to Catholicism, and entered into a monastery in a secluded area down south. The text is often compared to another classic (St. Augustine's Confessions). The debate between worldly pleasures and the pull of spiritual life is a focal point. The book was a blockbuster, and it was believed to be one of the reasons that there was a dramatic increase in the number of young men entering the priesthood and also becoming monks.

The Interior Castle, St. Teresa of Avila

This book is much, much older than Thomas Merton's autobiography. It was written by a Spanish nun in the late 1500s. St. Teresa was not only a nun, but also a mystic. This book is her thoughts on how to live and become closer to Christ. In the book she writes extensively about prayer and contemplation. The book contains an elaborate metaphor where the soul is a castle, a diamond castle. St. Teresa then goes on to describe the seven stages that a person must move through in order to achieve union with God. It had a huge impact on the focus on contemplative prayer in Catholicism.

Lives Of The Saints, Alban Butler

Finally, an excellent book for those interested in Catholicism is Alban Butler's Lives Of The Saints. This is the stranded text for those interested in the lives of the many Saints in the Catholic Church. There is no better way for a person to learn all about the fascinating backstories on saints. While they might now some of the famous Saints (St. Francis, and his work with the poor) they will surely love reading many other bios. Many saints led amazing and thrilling lives. Take Saint Sebastian, for example. He worked as a guard in a prison in Rome, hiding his religion so that he could help fellow prisoners. When it was found out, he managed to convert his superiors away from pagan worship. However, not all were convinced, so he was tied to a tree, shot with arrows, and left for dead. A local woman nursed him back to health. Unfortunately, he did not hide away, but instead went and found his tormentors to chastise them and was beaten until dead and tossed into the Roman sewer system. Reading about the various, exciting, often brutal lives that the Saints had will bring a new level of respect and understanding to the religion.