food for prayer, wonder, and holiness of heart

(any of these books found at have a link in place--to make it easier for you to acquire the book--even if it's out of print for now)

"Just as by the rays of the sun the face of the earth is unveiled from the
darkness of the atmosphere that enshrouds it, even so is prayer able to
dissolve and scatter the clouds of passions from our soul, and make our
mind transparent to the light of gladness and comfort, which, indeed, it
customarily produces in our thoughts, but especially when it possesses
material from the divine Scriptures and vigilance, which burnish the
mind. For continual study in the writings of the saints fills the soul
with incomprehensible wonder and divine gladness."

The Ascetical Homilies of St. Isaac the Syrian.


Praying With Saint Teresa compiled by Battistina Capalbo - A short collection of prayers of St. Teresa of Avila, uncluttered by commentary. No time or brain for The Interior Castle? This book is a good way of coming to know this saint, and, to her pleasure, God.

Thy Will be Done, Letters to Persons in the World by Saint Francis de Sales - Priceless spiritual help from a true successor to the apostles.

All for Jesus, the Easy Ways of Divine Love by Frederick William Faber  - Father Faber is full of good tips for practically serving the Lord in the littlest of ways.

Diary of An Old Soul by George MacDonald = A smart and simple prayer-poem for every day of the year.

The Rose Window and Other Verse from New Poems by Rainer Maria Rilke, selected and illustrated by Ferris Cook - A well-designed book of yearning reflected in the verse of an unquiet soul

  What I Believe by Francois Mauriac - Thought-provoking ruminations on faith and the state of the soul and the world from the sometimes inscrutable novelist. - available at in French.

  The Portal of the Mystery of Hope by Charles Peguy - Read this long poem aloud and in your heart. Even if the words donít sink in, the hope will.

  Exposition of the Seven Penitential Psalms by Saint John Fisher - Wisdom from this heroic bishop whose fidelity is enough to inspire tears and whose martyrdom is a reminder of what love can do for Love.

Attaining Heroic Holiness through Speech (or lack thereof!) by Monsignor Felix Losito - Amazing how much holier one can become just by working on the mischievous tongue! - not available at

Light and Peace by Father R.P. Quadrupani - Another little gem of spiritual direction, with frequent recourse to the saints, in all their diversity. - not available at

The Catechism of the Catholic Church

Not only a marvelous summary of Catholic doctrine, but a compendium of the spiritual life as well! And the last section, perhaps least known, is possibly the greatest gift of all: the section on PRAYER. The wisdom of the ages and of the saints distilled for all of us TODAY!


A feast awaits those new to these stunning modern poems of Jessica Powers, who became the Carmelite Sister Miriam of the Holy Spirit. Here we see a poetic theology! And she finds words to express the beauty of God's love and glory in simple things, in creation, and above all, in the miracle of the Divine Indwelling. This is a beautiful book indeed!

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery

A gem of a story, casting a fresh eye on what is important. Has anyone not yet met the enchanting little prince? This beautiful book is available for such a reasonable price--and it may well be a companion of many years! 


The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Here's another paperback edition, a bit more expensive, but perhaps more to your liking! The sketches in this book are rather well known!


The Way of St Alphonsus: Selected Writings (ed. Barry Ulanov)

This is a beautiful and wide-ranging selection from many of the writings of St Alphonsus Liguori--nourishment for heart and soul, for a lifetime! Highly recommended.


Soon to be beatified, Pope John  XXIII is still known as "good Pope John." This large-hearted Italian peasant touched countless lives during his surprising pontificate and still towers as a man of God and of the Church even today.  You will be pleasantly surprised and warmly nourished by the tender heart revealed in these pages---and spurred to deeper faith, prayer, and piety!

An Introduction to the Devout Life by St. Francis de Sales

Sensible help for those concerned with following in a Godly path, given by a kind and insightful counselor.

Truly a book for the journey of a lifetime!


decaussade.gif (5547 bytes)Abandonment to Divine Providence by Jean-Pierre de Caussade

A great little book for those who are afraid to trust. Father Jean-Pierre counsels, via his letters, a woman who is anxiety-ridden and seeks the consolation of inner peace. A guide to living the "sacrament of the present moment."


15 Days of Prayer with Charles de Foucauld / by Michel Lafon. A prayerful introduction to the prodigal Frenchman turned Sahara hermit (in other words, a wild man turned even more wild, this time for God). "Live closely with a great saint and a great spirit, your heart will become warm like his, your faith alive like his, your spirit will arise in the same way as his." ....Charles de Foucauld 

Prayer Book of the Saints / compiled and edited by Father Charles Dollen. A loving collection of the saints' cries to God.

Quotable Saints / Ronda De Sola Chervin. Each chapter relates a different theme of conquering a temptation through prayer. Brief introductions to each chapter share a glimpse of the saintly attitude. Another holy offering by the author -- a lively and radical convert.

Every Day is a Gift - Minute Meditations for Every Day / taken from the Holy Bible and the writings of the saints. You say you don't have time to read saintly tomes? Well, here's an instant solution -- the tiniest of saintly tidbits to lift your day, nicely packaged in an easy to read and carry book.

Spiritual Diary / Selected Sayings and Examples of Saints / St. Paul Books and Media. A selection of saintly quotes on such virtues as perfection, humility, patience, simplicity, etc. There is one virtue for each month of the year. Get into practice now!

How to Converse Continually and Familiarly with God / by Saint Alphonsus / St. Paul Editions). A nicely priced (less than $4.00), wise and insightful little guide to prayer by one of the greatest spiritual directors ever. Brimming with gentle and loving advice for the faithful soul, more clear direction is packed into these 82 pages than can be found in many far more voluminous books. If you heed this book, your prayer life will be enlivened and you will be drawn closer to the Lord. 

Letters From Saints to Sinners /(edited by John Cunningham)-- A selection of wise, witty and winsome letters from saints ranging from Bernard of Clairvaux to Maximilian Kolbe

The Real Presence Through the Ages / Michael Gaudoin-Parker---A truly beautiful collection of meditations and commentaries on the meaning of the Eucharist. Contains especially moving accounts from early fathers of the Church and more contemporary heroes of the faith, including Charles de Foucauld

The Spiritual Combat / Lorenzo Scupoli--A wonderful, practical self-help manual for people struggling to live and grow in Christ. A classic of spiritual direction.

The Sinner's Guide / Luis of Agreda (special order)--This guide has aided many saints to become what they are. A favorite of Saint Francis de Sales, it is said to have been instrumental in converting thousands of people from their waywardness, providing concrete advice for conquering sin.

Holy Thursday / Francois Mauriac--A deeply poetic and poignant meditation on the Eucharist. If you have a tender soul, this book will move and inspire you.

Day by Day with the Saints /editor: Patrick Moran (out of print)-- A handy series of daily encounters with the saints. Practically brief and well-chosen selections.

The Sadness of Christ / Thomas More (special order)-- This collection of commentaries on the Passion of our Lord and other ruminations was composed by Saint Thomas while he was awaiting his death. The Meditation on Detachment that you will find on the "Pick a Prayer" page of this website was taken from this book. Saint Thomas, guide us to Christ!

Billy Budd / Herman Melville--A solemn and dramatic account of innocence falsely accused. One of the few books I read in school that really touched my heart and offered insight into the image of our Lord as lamb.

Letters of Saint Catherine of Siena (special order)--Powerful in Christ, Saint Catherine tells it like it is! Alternately mystical and analytical, poetic and wry, cheerful and grave, she offers spiritual insights to friends and the not-so-friendly. She and Saint Teresa of Avila often draw on the image of prayer as a garden. These letters are a rich garden of beauty and truth.

The Lost Prince / Frances Hodgson Burnett (special order) --This author of children's books (other Burnett titles include The Secret Garden, Little Lord Fauntleroy, and The Little Princess) is relentlessly Christian in her themes. The Lost Prince, in particular, evokes Christian ideas regarding charity and the value of each individual before God.

Becket / Jean Anouihl --A gripping play detailing the spiritual conflict between Saint Thomas Becket and King Henry II. Compelled to choose between the Church and the state, between God and his friend, Thomas's struggle is dramatically
presented. Better than the movie (starring Peter O'Toole and Richard Burton)!

La Vita Nuova / Dante Alighieri

Fairy Tales of Oscar Wilde /Oscar Wilde

Story of a Soul / Therese of Lisieux

Making Life a Prayer--Selected Writings of John Cassian

The Last Things / Regis Martin

Escape from Scepticism / Christopher Derrick (out of stock as of 5/7/99)

The Merchant of Venice / William Shakespeare--What is the quality of our mercy? Who are we? Whom do we profess to be? This compassionate and clever work of the Bard is one that dazzled my jurisprudence class (or should have!)

The Praise of Folly / Desiderius Erasmus--This buddy of Saint Thomas More has written a very wry and piercing satire on human nature. Laugh aloud if you have the stomach for it!

The Parson's Tale (from the Canterbury Tales) by Geoffrey Chaucer

In which the good parson reviews all manner of sinfulness and prescribes
cleansing remedies. "Then men should understand what the fruit of penance
is; according to the word of Jesus Christ it is the endless bliss of

Simplicius Simplicissimus by J. von Grimmelshausen

A charming and ridiculous 17th century telling of the wild, bumbling
adventures and spiritual journey of an endearingly rustic fool, who starts
out so dumb that he doesn't even know his own name and ends up realizing
whose name really counts.

Glimpses of the Church Fathers / Claire Russell (not available at amazon) --With one to six page excerpts from the writings of early leaders of the Church, Ms. Russell offers the wisdom of tradition and the dogma that is unchanged. As applicable to Christians as anything written today, this book helps us to realize the continuity of faith that is the Lord's gift.

Saints of the Roman Calendar / Enzo Lodi --A celebration of saints' feast days, including many quotes from the saints, background information, and liturgical prayers that honor them and ask their intercession.

Dictionary of Saints / John J. Delaney --A good reference for brief biographies of the saints. Contains the Roman and Byzantine calendars of feasts.

The Whimsical Christian / Dorothy Sayers (out of print)--Dorothy definitely is NOT dotty.  She states in strong, straightforward, and uncompromising language the importance of dogma and the integrity of Christianity. No mincer of words, Ms. Sayers writes with wisdom and wit.

The Message In the Bottle / Walker Percy --A provocative linguistic odyssey and examination of man's relationship to the cosmos, history, himself, and, ultimately, God.

Faith and Prayer / Vincent McNabb

The Sacred Heart of Jesus / John Eudes

The Lord's Prayer / Romano Guardini

Lives of Saints / Joseph Vann

Spiritual Espousals / Jan van Ruysbroeck

The Consolations of Catholicism / Ralph Woods 

 The Art of Perception (published by Harry N. Abrams) / I defy anyone to look at these magnificent photographs of the American West and not see God!

The Golden Age of Ivory / Richard Randall

Give Us This Day - The Lord's Prayer / Tasha Tudor

Spiritual Maxims / John Nicholas Grou

St Alphonsus Liguori--The Redeeming Love of Christ
Visits to the Blessed Sacrament and the Blessed Virgin Mary
The Way of St Alphonsus: Selected Writings (ed. Barry Ulanov),
The Practice of the Love of Jesus Christ
Hail Holy Queen

Butler's Lives of the Saints (condensed) /Alban Butler

Butler's Lives of the Saints (complete)--/Alban Butler ***THE CLASSIC WORK OF THE LIVES OF THE CATHOLIC SAINTS***

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St Catherine of Alexandria in her study, from Berry Book of Hours, 15th cent.

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