Welcome to “The Laity Speaks”, a new recurring feature here at The Catholic Book Blogger. This feature is the companion to “The Clergy Speaks” and takes us to the other side of the pulpit to hear prominent lay people’s answer to the same question. That question is: What five books would you recommend as must-reads for Catholics today? I left the responses open to current or classic books with the only restriction being that the Bible and the Catechism could not be used as they are a given.
This week I welcome my fellow blogger, Lisa Hendey. She is a Catholic wife and mom, as well the founder and webmaster of CatholicMom.com and the author of A Book of Saints for Catholic Moms: 52 Companions for Your Heart, Mind, Body and Soul and The Handbook for Catholic Moms: Nurturing Your Heart, Mind, Body and Soul as well as the forthcoming The Grace of Yes: Eight Virtues for Generous Living. Lisa writes for several online and print publications. Lisa is a board member and producer for KNXT-TV where she hosts the television program Making the Grade and “Catholic Mom” segments. A podcaster, Lisa also hosts the award-winning Catholic Moments. She enjoys speaking around the country on a variety of topics including faith, family life, social media and the New Evangelization. Lisa was selected to attend the first-ever Vatican Bloggers Meeting, the “Bishops and Bloggers” meeting and the Catholic Press Association tour of Israel as a guest of the Israeli Ministry of Tourism.
Here are Lisa’s five must read books:
(in no particular order)
Story of a Soul: First given to me as a child, this book has remained for me a perennial favorite in that it unites me in a special way to my personal patroness, St. Therese of Lisiuex (also coincidentally the patroness of my diocese). Her “little way” has compelled me for years, but in studying more deeply the writings of this Doctor of the Church, I continually find new inspiration and guidance for both my vocation as a wife and mother and in my work.
Butler’s Lives of The Saints: I collect books on the saints and have written one of my own. For me, Butler’s remains a “go to” resource for information on the lives of these holy men and women. The fact that Rev. Alban Butler would devote so great a part of his life and energy to telling their stories is fascinating to me. My childhood pastor gave my favorite copy of this book to me shortly before his death. In it are Fr. Collins’ own notes on the saints, written in his hand over the many years that he owned and prayed with that book.
The Imitation of Christ: I’m perpetually praying with my tattered copy of this book by Thomas à Kempis. Even in its “classic” status, it has a tremendous relevance to my own life and spiritual journey.
Jesus: A Pilgrimage: This is a new book in my library, but one I know that I’ll be reading and enjoying for years. Fr. Jim Martin’s book appeals to the pilgrim in me. His own personal sharing and the way in which he opens up the gospel stories for us in new, deep and profound ways has me turning back to several chapters in this book as I read the gospels on a daily basis.
Blessed, Beautiful and Bodacious: Even if author Pat Gohn weren’t one of my best friends, this book on the dignity, giftedness and mission of women would be on my “must read” list. Pat’s compelling way of sharing, her intertwining of her own story, and her catechist’s heart and skill make this a perennial primer for me.