Well, it’s turning into a yearly thing now. But I read some wonderful books this summer and I feel like now’s a good time as ever for another edition of What’s on my Nightstand!
Searching for and Maintaining Peace by Father Jacques Phillipe. This book may appear minuscule but don’t be fooled by appearances! Every page is steeped with direct, rich, yet easy to understand wisdom on how we as Christians must focus on sustaining our inner calm. Fr. Phillipe encourages his readers that sainthood is much more achievable than we may think. I’ve only made it half way through this gem, precisely because I want to savor his advice and really read, re-read and absorb the point before moving on. My favorite analogy he uses is where he compares our souls to a still lake, and explains how even the tiniest ‘pebble’ or distraction or temptation can disrupt the stillness in our souls..and when that water starts rippling, what happens? It becomes harder and harder to see the beautiful reflection of the sun. So too with our inner peace, we must be vigilant to ward off and avoid any occasions for things that effect our peace, and cause us to inadequately reflect Christ’s love. Well worth having!
The Interior Castle by St. Teresa of Avila. I absolutely love the realness of this explanation (or education) on proper meditation! I always avoided reading St. Teresa because I assumed, since she is a Doctor of the Church, I would not be able to understand her writings. But how wrong I was! She writes simply and humbly, very understandably….so illuminating! I only read up to the 3rd mansion, as my priest friend suggested a stopping point. Apparently the theology does get pretty hefty later on in the book. But for now, I am grateful and better for it…for reading what I have!
This book, Divine Intimacy by Father Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, is absolutely phenomenal. If you add one new book to your collection this year— make it this one! You will not regret it! My spiritual director, and dear friend has been recommending this book for about 6 years now…and finally I received a copy of it, and now I can’t be without it. Father Gabriel is the foremost scholar on Carmelite spirituality and he was commissioned to write this book as a way to train Carmelites in proper formation of their spiritual lives. The book follows the liturgical calendar, each day is a different mediation and prayer consisting of perhaps 2 pages at most. It’s completely doable to add into your spiritual life, and it is one of those daily mediation books that is creepily dead on with whatever you are going through. I look forward to reading this everyday, and I know you will too! This book is a tremendous resource to anyone’s spiritual journey, no matter where you are on it!
Something Other Than God by Jennifer Fulwiler is a beautiful biographical expose of one woman’s journey from atheism to Catholicism. I really enjoyed the story a lot, and it was easy to read. I was more interested in it for the biographical aspect, since I follow Fulwiler’s blog. Naturally, I was interested in the full story of her conversion. I was amazed by the movings of the Holy Spirit in her life, and all the miraculous happenings that could only be attributed to God. I love reading God stories! A decent, breezy, summer read.
The Duggars 20 and counting! What can I say? I was skeptical of the Duggar clan at first, and then my whole family started watching the show. So mostly out of curiosity, I checked the book out from the library to find more. I couldn’t have been more pleasantly surprised. Seriously! I thought this book would be a la di da type read, but I could NOT PUT THIS DOWN. I am completely blown away with the power of the Holy Spirit in their life. This book, cheesy though it may seem, really made a difference in my heart and strengthened my faith. I LOVED this testimony of faith and trust in the Lord! Incredible.
My Sisters the Saints by Colleen Carroll Campbell. This testimony of Campbell’s journey from the highs of working as George Bush’s speechwriter, to her dealings with her father’s battle with alzheimer’s, to her own struggle with infertility was a heart wrenching and absolutely beautiful read. Definitely one of my favorites this summer. For each phase of her life, with each new struggle or joy, she drew near to a different saint that pertained to exactly what she was going through. The pictures she paints of these saints, completely invigorated my curiousity to learn more, to read more, to grow closer to these holy women too! I honestly never knew how encouraging to motherhood St. Teresa Benedicta was! Or how many writings she compose on the topic of motherhood. This book boosted my spirituality and gave me so much encouragement for my state in life. I HIGHLY recommend this book to all my blog readers!
And now, for the books that are coming up in the ranks… currently being reserved through my library system:
A Love that Multiplies : An Up Close Look at How they make it Work by Michelle Duggar.
My dear friend strongly recommended this to me. She told me it delves deeper into their marriage and prayer life, and was incredibly inspiring to her own life. I am eager to read it, Michelle Duggar honestly calls me on to greater holiness as a Mom, and anyone who does that… I want to get my hands on whatever they write!
The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel. This is the book that started Fulwiler on her journey to Christianity. It’s a journalist’s pursuit of truth in light of all the stories and claims of the “Son of God”. After Strobel conducted his investigative research, he converted to Catholicism. It definitely piqued my curiosity so I want to see what he has come up with that changed his mind so convincingly.
Well, that’s all I got folks! What have you all been reading? Please share any recommendation below! Happy Summer!