Robert R. Reilly
Ignatius Press, 366 pages
It is claimed that Enlightenment thinkers like John Locke, Charles Montesquieu, and Jean Jacques Rousseau and the theories of government “by the people” that they developed profoundly influenced the framers of the U.S. Constitution and its Bill of Rights. Robert R. Reilly not only denies this assertion, but turns it on its head. In fact, he traces the American concept of ordered liberty to the Judeo-Christian ideal of one God who creates man in His own image, to the ancient philosophers and their use of reason, and to the Person of Christ Himself. From this they drew the principles of natural law that were the real foundation of our nation, where freedom and reason must together prevail.
Ascension Press, 191 pages
Cleverly titled for a time of pandemic, this book by the founder of Catholic Missionary Disciples strives to train Catholics in the strategies and self-confidence necessary to share their faith effectively. Here he examines the example of Jesus, discusses the pathway to discipleship, suggests the kinds of questions that we might ask to open doors to evangelizing, what conversion really means, and how to share our own faith stories in various social situations. He also covers the importance of spiritual mentorship and some of the obstacles that holds Catholics back from success. It’s not a difficult read, but it is an important one if we are to step up in our God-given mission to spread the Gospel.
Catholic Answers Press, 287 pages
As Catholics, we may love our faith and even know it rather well, but there are times when we are challenged by a denominational Christian who cites Bible verses to counter our beliefs. We might not immediately have the words to refute the challenge, so we are left stammering while our questioner senses victory. Karlo Broussard’s excellent book raises 50 common Protestant objections to Catholicism based on Scripture and offers the tools for showing how Catholic teaching or tradition does not contradict the Bible but rather is in harmony with it. His language is straightforward, providing a worthy study to help us explain our faith when called upon.
Bishop Athanasius Schneider
Angelico Press, 321 pages
Interviews, even lengthy ones, can be riveting when the interviewee is fascinating to hear. That’sthe case with Bishop Athanasius Schneider, an auxiliary bishop in Kazakhstan, who expounds on a range of controversial topics affecting the Catholic faith and the Church. In this lengthy Q&A with U.S. journalist Diane Montagna, he offers articulate analysis of such topics as secularism, papal authority, Vatican II, the liturgy, doctrinal issues, interfaith relations, the third secret of Fatima, the state of the faith in the former Soviet republics, and the recent Synod of Bishops for the PanAmazon Region.
Matt Fradd and Fr. Gregory Pine, O.P.
TAN Books, 75 pages
St. Thomas Aquinas never wrote a word about Marian consecration, but wrote amply about consecration to the religious life. Yet, as the authors of this slim volume point out, the evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity, and obedience, lived radically by religious men and women, are to be lived in spirit by all baptized Christians. So here is the basis for this excellent nine-day preparation for Marian consecration through the teachings of Aquinas, with each day featuring a theological reflection based on Aquinas and a passage from his writings. En route to consecration, you’ll get to know both Aquinas and Our Lady much better.
Trent Horn and Catherine R. Pakaluk
Catholic Answers Press, 207 pages
The short answer to the title question is “No,” and the long answer is “Heck, no!” Or, as Pope Pius XI wrote in his 1931 social encyclical Quadragesimo Anno, “Religious socialism, Christian socialism, are contradictory terms; no one can be at the same time a good Catholic and a true Socialist.” Other popes preceding and following Pius XI agreed. In a political season where the S-word is bandied about with alarming frequency, authors Trent Horn and Catherine Pakaluk explain why this is so and debunk the claims of those who are trying to rehabilitate socialist thought even today. Timely and timeless wisdom here.
Sophia Institute Press, 40 pages
Here’s a unique way to teach young children about Mary, the mother of Jesus: through her clothing. Our Lady’s Wardrobe takes the child through events in Mary’s life, particular mysteries of the rosary, and several of Mary’s more prominent apparitions around the world. The illustrations by Juliana Kolesova are strikingly beautiful, truly colorful and exquisite, and Anthony DeStefano’s simple verses express the story of each Marian scene portrayed. There’s even a word of encouragement to make use of Mary’s sacramentals. It’s an ideal gift book for your young children and grandchildren, one that is sure to enhance their love and appreciation for our Blessed Mother.
Sophia Institute Press, 293 pages
What can 21st-century Catholics learn from the Angelic Doctor? Quite a lot, as Kevin Vost explains in his insightful new book. Readers won’t have to wade through the Summa Theologica, as Vost breaks down a dozen timeless lessons from Thomas’ writings on topics including how to practice justice in an unjust society, how to hate sin but love the sinner, how to grow in virtue so as to become a saint, and the all-important question of the meaning of life. Overcoming some of the key deadly sins is also covered here. There’s a lot more Thomas offers in his many writings, but this volume provides a good practical start.
Fr. William Saunders
TAN Books, 224 pages
For Catholics, Lent and Easter are all about ashes, fasting, fish on Fridays, palm branches, and those Easter Triduum liturgies, correct? Well, as Fr. Saunders relates in this fine book, there’s actually a whole lot more to these liturgical seasons that make them so rich in opportunity for spiritual growth. Here he explains the fuller meaning behind the familiar Catholic observances and takes us deeper: historical backgrounds, tips on preparation for one’s Lenten Confession, the significance of Holy Week liturgies, and the glorious feasts of the Easter season right up through Pentecost. Be prepared to experience these seasons of penance and new life like never before.
Christian’s Library Press, 107 pages
Isn’t getting to heaven the whole point of living? Scripture is very clear on that, considering all itstalk of the perils of storing up riches on earth and the futility of gaining the whole world but losing one’s soul. In this little volume, Fr. Broom describes a plan for navigating through practices that advance growth in personal holiness. This “road map” requires prayer, order, good habits, and a certain mindfulness about fulfilling this destiny. Working out one’s salvation is something that must be done daily, even hourly, and Fr. Broom’s “chronological approach” provides a suitable blueprint for realizing heavenly aspirations.