Friday, October 26, 2007

Reading Your Way Back Home

A new reader and possible "prodigal son" of the Church recently left the following comment:

Thank you for posting Daily with DeSales. Oct 22 is appropriate for me today.
Good! That's why I post those excerpts from his works. St. Francis de Sales is a superb spiritual director and apologist. We can only benefit from what he has to say to us.

I recently discovered your website and could spend hours (if I had the time) going to all links to everything.
Yea, I'm a tad obsessed, if you can't tell :D

I am a cradle catholic who has become disenchanted with the church. In a round about way, I am trying to talk myself into going back to the catholic church. How am I doing this, you ask. Well, in the course of doing a novel challenge, I am using it to convert the main character to Catholicism, which will also give me a refresher course and convince myself. My question for you is (since I am overwhelmed by all the choices on your site) what book(s) would you recommend I read that will convince me to come back. God has inspired me to join this challenge and any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.
It is very admirable of you to give Catholicism a second chance. Some people give little thought to abandoning the Church of their youth, yet I see from your words that you consider this to be a very important decision. I am definitely here to help in any way I can.

I'm sorry that the links are so overwhelming. Believe it or not, my sidebar used to be a lot worse. I didn't always have the drop-down menus, so every link was just listed in the sidebar, one after the other. Now THAT was overwhelming! My current sidebar is more manageable, but I can still see why you would feel that way. Just take it a little bit at a time. You have a lifetime of opportunities to read everything I have provided. And I suppose this is fitting, since Catholicism itself is a journey of a lifetime and a topic we can never exhaust.

Here are some books that I would recommend:I realize that there's a lot there too, but these really are some of the best books available for anyone making an initial inquiry into the Catholic faith. I could list many more, but that should keep you busy ;) Perhaps my readers will have some suggestions as well.

Let me know if you have any questions along the way. Good luck to you!

Pax Christi,


God's Child at Work & Play said...

I'm "battling" a cult member and they have decided to attack the Catholic Church (not very novel) in regard to sola scriptura, but I'm stumped as to how to answer them. Their argument can be found at

I suppose I'm not sure how to respond because these people hijacked the forums which are meant for former cult members, not for current memebers. I wasn't prepared and have dug myself into a neat little hole.

Any advice would be great, but you don't have to "go all out." thanks!!

Jason said...

Leave it to me to offer some unorthodox advice, but how about reading into Satanism? I don't have any specific book titles, but I remember one of the several tributaries that fed into my "crossing the Tiber" experience was learning about the worship of Satan and black Masses (only for academic interest, btw). It's repulsive to think about, especially now that I'm Catholic, but a Protestant I wasn't sure about Catholicism. However, I had my made up about Satan... and for some reason, he hates the Catholic Church and much of Satanism is a straight mockery of Catholicism.

Hmm... could be because it's the one, true Body of Christ?

Robin said...

Thank you so much. I really appreciate the help and the list of books. I recently read "Jesus of Nazareth" by Pope Benedict and it gave me a new appreciation for not only him, but the bible. The book selections look very interesting - I have the Catholic bible you mentioned, plus numerous several others that have been acquired over the years. Will certainly look into the books you mentioned, plus take it one day at a time sifting through your links. :)

And in response to Jason: In my opinion the worst thing God Child could do would be to read about satanism. It is not a path I would want to go down - just gives him a stepping stone. Know from experience from a siblings "battle". When I am in over my head, sometimes it is nice to have someone else step in and take over. I think that is what God's Child is asking for.

However, I am sure Nicholas would have something more eloquent to say than I.

Robin of mytwoblessings
(maybe a prodigal daughter)

Jason said...

I was replying to Nick's request for suggestions that the "prodigal son" he was referring to could read. I clicked God's Child's link and I got no help for that one... too much reading :)

Also, I just threw that idea out there as an alternative to the typical apologetics. I don't know of any books that are gonna unlock the magic door to conversion... that decision is ultimately up to each of us. Now, I didn't see anything about Theology of the Body in Nick's list, so that might be something to throw in there.

Robin said...

Ah! Thanks jason, but don't think I (the prodigal son nick referred to, but actually a prodigal daughter) am interested in reading about satanism.

I'll stick with the positive viewpoints.



Jason said...

Nick will probably think twice before asking for suggestions in the future :)

phatcatholic said...

No worries, Jason. I realize that different things work for different people. But, it is true that, as a general rule, I don't recommend that new Catholics or inquirers into Catholicism read works about Satanism.

Often times, you'll find that people who become tormented or possessed by the devil started out by reading works about him. You give the devil an inch, and he will take a mile, I can guarantee you that. He preys upon the curious and the inquisitive.

I don't even think that life-long Catholics should play with him. There is no toying with the devil. We must flee from him. Run in the opposite direction, into the arms of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Don't engage the devil unless he starts it. And when he does, proclaim the name of Jesus with boldness, command the whole legion of angels to advance upon him, and use the rosary as your shield. The devil is repulsed and filled with rage at the very site of Mary.

He is overcome with hatred and bitterness over the fact that he could not overtake her, so he takes his wrath out on her children, as the Book of Revelation tells us. But, Mary will never be defeated, nor overcome, and her Son will conquer on the last day, whenever every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.

St. Michael the Archangel....ora pro nobis.

Anonymous said...

I can make a suggestion to increase your knowledge about Catholicism and your appreciation for The Faith. Read "The Lives of the Saints."Their walk was similar to ours in many ways. Their faith was unparalleled. Truly an inspiration that opens the door to The Faith with a brilliant light.I have never put it down without a smile and a sense of peace. Good Luck to you and our prayers go with you....PJH

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