Go deep this Easter season with these exciting new books

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Easter books
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During Lent, many Catholics take up the prayer practice of spiritual reading. Now that we have entered into the Easter season, why stop? Spiritual reading is a crucial part of the Catholic experience that should not be relegated to a season of penance but lived year-round in order to bring us closer to the Church and Christ himself.

This year for our annual spring book reviews, we feature new releases from many Catholic publishers addressing topics relevant to Catholics today. Learn about why we use sacramentals to deepen your understanding of living the Faith all year long. Or, during this season of Eucharistic revival, learn more about — and fall in love with — Jesus in the Eucharist through reflections by Pope Francis and other experts. Learn from and about modern holy men and women such as St. Mother Teresa, Blessed Carlo Acutis and Cardinal Francis George, the former archbishop of Chicago. Read about how to reclaim motherhood in a culture gone mad or how to pass the Faith on to your teens. These and many more topics are explored in these books. There is something on this list for every reader.

Pope Eucharist

“Pope Francis on Eucharist: 100 Daily Meditations for Adoration, Prayer, and Reflection”
Author: Compiled by John T. Kyler
Publisher: Liturgical Press
Price: $14.95
Summary: As the Church in the United States observes a Eucharistic Revival and the universal Church engages in a synod, John T. Kyler’s compilation of 100 daily meditations by Pope Francis on the Eucharist would come in handy for adoration, prayer or reflection. Each reflection comes from a writing, homily or a talk from Pope Francis, and the pope shares his Eucharistic vision for the Church where all are fed and sustained by the Eucharist. Cardinal Blase J. Cupich says in the foreword, “As Pope Francis describes our experience with the Eucharist, he identifies that experience as deeply personal. We receive the Lord within us, and we meet him. And although that experience is deeply personal, it is never merely private.” Pope Francis reflects on Day 11 that the Eucharist is the sacrament of the many.

In Christ East West

In Christ Now Meet Both East and West”
Author: Thomas O’Loughlin
Publisher: Liturgical Press
Price: $16.95
Summary: In this book on the Eucharist, Thomas O’Loughlin takes the perspective that Christianity is a religion of the table — a place where our thanksgiving happens by gathering as a people with Christ. If we are to be renewed by the Eucharist, we need to recognize that any renewal of ourselves involves discovering that we are then sent from the table to act — to be Eucharistic in our community activity. Being Eucharistic is revealed in the heart of the everyday. We celebrate our Catholicism, our faith, through the action of blessing, praising, thanking and being Eucharistic to the Father. O’Loughlin dives into the basic dynamics of the Faith, how we are meal-sharing creatures, preparing for the banquet, setting of the banquet scene and sharing the banquet story.

Let Beauty Speak

“Let Beauty Speak: The Art of Being Human in a Culture of Noise”
Author: Jimmy Mitchell
Publisher: Ignatius Press
Price: $17.95
Summary: Relativism of today’s world has led to a culture filled with distractions and noise. As writer Jimmy Mitchell notes, “Most of us scroll our phone long enough every year to cover the distance to the top of Mount Everest and back.” Mitchell provides a blueprint in “Let Beauty Speak” on how to delve into the beauty of a real mountain and come into a relationship with the Maker of all things beautiful. He lays out 10 steps for recognizing beauty and using it to evangelize others. Mitchell invites us to a deeper relationship with Jesus, one of getting back to the basics of what makes us human and how we can harness what God has given us to have a joyful life with Christ: wonder, freedom, friendship, prayer, leisure, work, community, suffering, mission and culture.

Teen faith

“Rooting Your Teen in the Faith”
Author: Kim Cameron-Smith
Publisher: OSV
Price: $21.95
Summary: How can parents lead their teens to Christ? Kim Cameron-Smith’s latest book serves as a field guide for Catholic parents to root their teens in the Faith. During the difficult teenage years, youth ministers, teachers and effective parish programs are pivotal, but parents still remain the most powerful factor in faith development. Cameron-Smith is a family coach, catechist, author and mom. “Rooting Your Teen in the Faith” empowers parents to shepherd their teens, guide them to discover their mission, deepen their faith and discern the truth about their identity and purpose. There is no perfect blueprint for evangelizing teenagers, but the parent-child bond provides the right relationship. Leaning into the parents’ call to lead, inspire, free and transform their children, by the end of the teen years, teens will be equipped to respond to God in their lives.

Father Ed

“Father Ed: The Story of Bill W.’s Spiritual Sponsor”
Author: Dawn Eden Goldstein
Publisher: Orbis Books
Price: $30
Summary: “Father Ed” is the first biography of Jesuit Father Edward Dowling. His impact on Alcoholics Anonymous founder Bill Wilson helped bring A.A. to international prominence. Father Dowling was not an alcoholic, but his ministry was devoted to help people in recovery — not just alcohol, but also difficult marriages (he also was a leader in the Cana Conference movement) and those suffering from nervous disorders. Father Ed also championed civil rights and social justice. “Father Ed” tells the story of Dowling’s Irish American upbringing and formation as a Jesuit. He was trained as a journalist but always drawn to those who were suffering. Suffering with crippling infirmities led him to embrace the A.A.-approach to healing in community. He would be considered the kind of priest extolled by Pope Francis as a “shepherd with the smell of the sheep.”

Encountering Signs

“Encountering Signs of Faith: My Unexpected Journey with Sacramentals, the Saints, and the Abundant Grace of God”
Author: Allison Gingras
Publisher: Ave Maria Press
Price: $16.95
Summary: As Catholics, we are often surrounded by sacramentals: blessings, prayers, devotions and objects (such as rosaries and scapulars) that are tangible signs of God’s grace. But how often do we simply accept their presence in our life instead of embracing them wholeheartedly? In her latest book, Allison Gingras shares how sacramentals became a crucial part of her motherhood after adopting her profoundly deaf daughter. Throughout the book, Gingras weaves in the stories of the saints and what they promoted about the incorporation of different sacramentals into our daily lives. Connect more deeply to Jesus and his Church through this wonderful exploration of the gift of sacramentals.

Arise to Blessedness

“Arise to Blessedness: A Journal Retreat with Eight Modern Saints Who Lived the Beatitudes”
Author: Jen Norton
Publisher: Ave Maria Press
Price: $18.95
Summary: If we’ve heard the Sermon on the Mount once, we’ve heard it a hundred times. It’s easy to hear Jesus share the Beatitudes and say, “Yeah, I know that.” But do we actually live it out? In this journal, written and illustrated by Jen Norton, Catholics are introduced to eight modern saints who lived what Jesus taught — both those familiar, like St. Elizabeth and Seton and St. Maximilian Kolbe, and those less well know, such as St. André Bessette and St. Mark Ji Tianxiang. The full color journal includes colorful borders throughout the book and new art pieces of each saint, along with beautifully drawn quotes for reflection. It also includes prompts for journalers to sit with and ponder how the Beatitudes fit into their story or what they might be called to change in their lives.

Legacy of Mercy

“Legacy of Mercy: A True Story of Murder and a Mother’s Forgiveness”
Author: Gretchen R. Crowe
Publisher: OSV
Price: $19.95
Summary: On May 31, 1999, Rachel Muha experienced a mother’s worst nightmare. Her youngest son, Brian, and his friend Aaron Land were taken by force on a journey of about 20 miles, spanning three states, that ended in torture and death. They were roommates and students at Franciscan University of Steubenville, and the murders shocked the campus and the wider community. Even before her son’s body was found, Rachel publicly forgave her son’s killers. It was a life-changing moment, not just for her but for everyone who heard her powerful act of forgiveness and love. Gretchen Crowe, editor-in-chief of OSV News, shares Muha’s story, with a foreword by Father Dave Pivonka, the current president of Franciscan University of Steubenville, and an afterword written by Muha herself. “I believe this book will soften hearts and change lives for the better” wrote Maria Gallagher in a review for the book.

Women Mystics

“Women Mystics”
Author: Father Louis Bouyer
Publisher: Ignatius Press
Price: $17.95
Summary: Most Catholics have heard of Thérèse of Lisieux and Teresa of Ávila, but what about Hadewijch of Antwerp, Elizabeth of the Trinity or Edith Stein? In his latest book, theologian and spiritual writer Father Louis Bouyer explores the influence of these five women on the Church — offering an interior renaissance that the Church needs as much today as it did in the past. While many non Catholics believe that the Church oppresses women, the testimony of these five female mystics proves otherwise. As Father George Rutler wrote in a review of the book, “The Christian women who have enjoyed the mystical vision of God are clearly a voice of reason amidst all the foolishness said about women in today’s confused world. Father Bouyer is a master teacher and unsurpassed in describing God’s gift to these women.”

Educating Eternity

“Educating for Eternity: A Teacher’s Companion for Making Every Class Catholic”
Author: Brett Salkeld
Publisher: OSV
Price: $12.95
Summary: An authentic Catholic education does more than prepare workers for the job market or turn out model citizens. It forms people who can change the world — not in spite of their desire for God and their hope for heaven, but because of it. If you are a Catholic educator, you have a monumental task, but the good news is that you’re not alone. In “Educating for Eternity,” Brett Salkeld, Ph.D., explains the role of Catholic anthropology in education and accompanies Catholic teachers in integrating the Faith into all aspects of the curriculum. From math and science to health and social studies, every subject can and should be taught from a Catholic worldview. And in doing so the true purpose of Catholic education is fulfilled.

Living Beyond Sunday

“Living Beyond Sunday: Making Your Home a Holy Place”
Author: Adam and Haylee Minihan, David and Pamela Niles
Publisher: Ascension Press
Price: $11.95
Summary: In 2016, Adam Minihan and David Niles started “The Catholic Man Show” podcast to entertain, inform and inspire men to live the virtues of the Faith. With the help of their wives, they have broadened their target audience with the new book “Living Beyond Sunday” to help families bolster their domestic churches and raise the next generation of saints. In the book’s foreword, Bishop David A Konderla of Tulsa, Oklahoma, writes that the two couples “have done a fine job of taking the Church’s wisdom about marriage and applying it to the everyday life of the family.” In each chapter of “Living Beyond Sunday,” the authors share practical suggestions and guidance on how readers can intentionally foster love within the home to mirror Christ’s love for each of us.

Reclaiming Motherhood

“Reclaiming Motherhood from a Culture Gone Mad”
Author: Samantha N. Stephenson
Publisher: OSV
Price: $18.95
Summary: In her new book, “Reclaiming Motherhood from a Culture Gone Mad,” Samantha Stephenson writes that “motherhood, central to the identity of women, is being erased from our minds, while the self-evident notion that men and women contribute uniquely to the world becomes cultural heresy.” Stephenson, a mother and podcast host who holds master’s degrees in theology and bioethics, helps Catholics peel back societal assumptions to understand the fundamental misconceptions fueling our culture’s attacks on marriage, motherhood and the family. Examining current practices in light of these faulty assumptions will empower women in their own motherhood and equip Catholics to combat the culture of confusion by boldly proclaiming God’s vision for our lives. While society misconstrues the role of women and the gift of motherhood, Stephenson pulls no punches in defending God’s vision for the gifts he gave women.

One Church

One Church: How to Rekindle Trust, Negotiate Difference, and Reclaim Catholic Unity”
Author: Charles C. Camosy
Publisher: Ave Maria Press
Price: $17.95
Summary: You don’t have to be a member of MENSA to see that we live in an increasingly divided culture. As a nation, we’ve broken ourselves into myriad different factions. Sadly, Catholics across the country have followed this cultural trend and have cut a deep chasm within the Body of Christ. In “One Church,” Charles Camosy hopes to show that “unity and healing can be found through the fullness of the Gospel and an authentic understanding of the Catholic faith.” Throughout the book, Camosy shows that the root of the divide lies in how, too often, we base our identities more on our politics than we do on our relationship to Christ and his Church. Camosy reminds us that the only way to heal the division between us is to listen to and love those with whom we disagree and realize that we are united as sons and daughters of the Father.

Holy Grit

“Holy Grit: A Saintly Guide to Becoming a Man of Virtue”
Author: Paul George
Publisher: Ave Maria Press
Price: $16.95
Summary: In his new book, “Holy Grit: A Saintly Guide to Becoming a Man of Virtue,” Catholic author, speaker and life coach Paul George leans on the wisdom of the saints to offer practical, down-to-earth advice to help men combat common struggles in today’s culture — marriage, parenting, friendship and more. For example, in Chapter 1, George uses the example of St. Joseph to help men discern the will of God and make the necessary changes to follow Our Lord’s plan for their lives. At the end of each chapter, George offers an action plan with concrete steps men can take to model the behavior of the featured saint, a prayer to help them stay on the path, and reflection questions to encourage them to further build the foundation they need to serve their families, communities and parishes.

Teresa Calcutta

“Teresa of Calcutta: Dark Night, Active Love”
Author: Jon M. Sweeney
Publisher: Liturgical Press
Price: $19.95
Summary: Continuing its “People of God” series of biographies, Liturgical Press released its latest, “Teresa of Calcutta,” late last year to coincide with the 25th anniversary of the death of Mother Teresa — one of today’s most well-loved saints. Jon M. Sweeney explores the early life of the woman born Anjeze Gonxhe Bojahiu, her discernment into religious life and her “call within a call” to begin the Missionaries of Charity in Kolkata, India. The book covers well both her public and private life, including how this diminutive nun rose to become one of the most recognized figures on earth, as well as how she spent years amid a “dark night of the soul” where she felt an emptiness in her relationship with God. Sweeney does a masterful job of writing a thorough yet readable account of a life dedicated to serving God and others.

Angelic Virtues

Angelic Virtues and Demonic Vices: Aquinas’s Practical Principles for Reaching Heaven and Avoiding Hell
Author: Father Basil Cole, OP
Publisher: TAN Books
Price: $29.95
Summary: A masterful teacher of St. Thomas Aquinas, Father Cole takes readers through an introduction to Aquinas’s teaching on virtue and vice. Beginning by treating pride, the “Queen of the vices” Father Cole shows how sinful habits erode our ability to seek after what is truly good and holy. Helping the reader to diagnose the sometimes hidden vices, will assist in forming one’s conscience and improve one’s sacramental confessions. In a world that often overlooks the reality and impact of sin, Father Cole shows how sin leads to unhappiness in this life and the next. But he doesn’t let sin have the final word. Father Cole spends the second part of his book examining good habits to strive after. Father Cole’s engaging presentations of the fundamental Christian virtues, as profound as they are accessible, provides the reader with a clear pathway to grow in holiness.

Glorifying Christ

Glorifying Christ: The Life of Cardinal Francis E. George, OMI
Author: Michael R. Heinlein
Publisher: OSV
Price: $29.95
Summary: It can be tempting to believe that the heroes of the Church live in times long since passed. But Michael Heinlein’s new biography of Cardinal Francis George, the former archbishop of Chicago will convince you otherwise. An inspiring churchman, widely admired for his intellectual gifts and compassionate witness, Heinlein tells the gripping story of how a man once rejected from entering a Chicago seminary became a titan of the Catholic Church in America. Having scoured archives for countless hours, conducting numerous interviews, and driven by a genuine passion for the late cardinal’s legacy, Heinlein has positioned himself as the leading expert on Cardinal George in our day. In this first major biography of Cardinal George, Heinlein has penned a work that will enlighten, encourage and inspire for decades to come. For fans of American Catholic history, this book is a must-read!

Sexual Revolution

The Sexual Revolution: History, Ideology, Power
Author: Bishop Peter J. Elliott
Publisher: Ignatius Press
Price: $17.95
Summary: Sweeping across the Western world in the 1960s, the sexual revolution promised liberation from normative Judao-Christian morality. Conventionalizing a host of behaviors antithetical to Catholic living, the sexual revolution popularized the use of the contraceptive pill, premarital sex and alternative forms of sexual identity. Today many Catholics find themselves tossed about by the powerful forces of secular culture which propagate a morality contrary to what Jesus handed on in the Gospels. And that’s why Bishop Peter J. Elliott’s book is so compelling. He doesn’t merely map the trends of changing behaviors, but he illustrates the philosophical movements that drive the ever-shifting landscape of contemporary approaches to human sexuality. For parents, students, and any Catholic interested in exploring the foundations of Catholic sexual morality, Bishop Elliott’s book offers a safe harbor from the tumult of the world that will boost your confidence in the Church’s timeless approach to sexual morality.

My Son Carlo

My Son Carlo: Carlo Acutis Through the Eyes of His Mother
Author: Antonia Salzano Acutis with Paolo Rodari
Publisher: OSV
Price: $27.95
Summary: Since he was beatified in 2020, the story of Carlo Acutis has inspired countless teens and parents. The a-typical Italian teenager lived a life of extraordinary virtue centered on his devotion to the Catholic faith, especially his great love for the Eucharist. And yet, even with worldwide acclaim for this millennial saint, we’re left wanting more. What was Carlo really like? How did he interact with those closest to him in daily life? In this gripping book, Carlo’s mother shares for the first time the intimate, private moments of her son’s life, including his final days in vivid detail before he died from leukemia at the age of 15. Antonia shares how Carlo desires to bring people to Jesus, like he did for her, helping her rekindle her faith. In her own words, Antonia tells the stories and memories of a mother who tragically lost her son, but was forever shaped by his remarkable life.

Pray Think Act

Pray. Think. Act: Make Better Decisions with the Desert Fathers
Author: Father Augustine J. Wetta, OSB
Publisher: Ignatius Press
Price: $17.95
Summary: Maybe you wouldn’t expect it, but monks are masterful story-tellers. We probably think that staying in a monastery means you’d hear fewer stories, cut off as monks are from the outside world. In fact, however, just the opposite is true. Sharpened by silence and contemplation, the stories monks tell often pierce the heart, cutting to the quick of the human condition. Father Augustine Wetta is no exception to this tradition. If there’s one thing a monk knows for sure, it’s the value of following the road well-trod by the saints before us. Quick-witted and profound, Father Wetta clearly revels in exploring the ancient heritage of monastic narrative. Taking a practical look at the Desert Fathers, Father Wetta guides the reader through the maze of venerable monastic wisdom, offering creative and insightful new glimpses of the monastery’s path of love such that any Christian, novice or elder alike, will benefit.

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