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15 Life-Changing Books To Deepen Your Spiritual Life Latest

15 Life-Changing Books To Deepen Your Spiritual Life

Dec 04, 2020 by

I was in my late teens when self-help books became all the rage. From my teen years up until my early twenties, I read as many of them as I could get my hands on.  

Scott Peck's The Road Less Traveled was my favorite. To this day, I remember the first line of that book: "Life is difficult."

Scott Peck's premise was that, yes, life IS difficult, but as soon as we can recognize that fact—and stop chasing the easy or happy life—things can change for us. We find that the "difficult" life is no longer so intimidating.

Replace Self-Help Books with Spiritual Reading

I now realize that it is only when I place my cares, sufferings, goals and desires into the hands of Jesus that I will be truly satisfied in this life.  

While I rarely read "self-help" books anymore, our customers occasionally ask for recommendations of books to deepen their spiritual life.  

We decided to ask some of our employees to tell us about "life-changing" books which they can wholeheartedly endorse. 

In answer to customer request, here it is: a "staff favorites" list (in no particular order!) of life-changing books for spiritual enhancement.

A List of Favorite Spiritual "Self-Help" Books

I will start us off with two recommendations of favorite books!

#1: The Imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis

The Imitation of Christ

" A spiritual classic credited to Thomas à Kempis called The Imitation of Christ, is the second most widely read spiritual book after the Bible. Popular for centuries, probably because its profound bluntness resonates with ordinary Christians, this book has been called a supreme 'call-to-arms'. For me, this book is a reminder that to be a Christian is not to live an easy life. On the contrary, it is difficult. Yet it is sublimely sweet. Although its words often pack a punch, The Imitation of Christ never fails to offer bountiful spiritual advice for how to live as an 'ordinary' Christian." 
—Whitney Hetzel, Writer for The Catholic Company 

#2: Into Your Hands, Father by Fr. Wilfrid Stinissen

Into Your Hands, Father

"This is a little book, yet it is full of wisdom! I recommend it for anyone seeking how to truly abandon themselves to the will of God. Father Stinissen explains the three degrees (or stages) in abandonment: first, accepting and assenting to God's will in the circumstances of life, second, actively doing God's will at every moment, and third, abandoning oneself so completely that one becomes a tool in the Hand of the Father. Learning to abandon ourselves to the Will of God is not easy and yet it is the differentiating factor for a life that is truly dependent on God This book gave me practical ways to surrender daily to God's will in my life." 
—Also recommended by Whitney Hetzel 

#3: Cultivating Virtue: Self-Mastery with the Saints

Cultivating Virtue: Self-Mastery With the Saints

"I have cycled through this book for three years now, and am able to read about 70% of the daily meditations each year. I always get something new and something more out of the readings every time. It is filled with some of my 'favorites'—St. Vincent de Paul, St. Francis de Chantal, St. Francis de Sales, just to name a few. And it makes a wonderful gift!"
—Helen Fountain, Director of Merchandise for The Catholic Company

#4: Advent of the Heart by Fr. Alfred Delp

Advent of the Heart by Fr. Alfred Delp

"I ordered this book thinking that it 'might be nice for Advent.' It far surpassed my expectations. In fact, I think it was the most profound Advent devotional I have ever come across. Fr. Alfred Delp—who was martyred by the Nazis—had a deep love for this liturgical season, and experienced it in a most vivid and urgent way. His reflections (many of which were smuggled out of his prison by faithful souls) are striking, deep, and transformative. It deepened my own experience of Advent and gave me much to ponder."
—Genevieve Cunningham, Writer and Editor for The Catholic Company 

#5: Seven Secrets of Confession by Vinny Flynn

7 Secrets of Confession

"So many people are scared to go to confession, but Vinny Flynn is so down to earth and gentle about the topic in this book it's great!"
—Mary Clare Peoples, Email Manager for The Catholic Company

"I have probably given this one book to more people than any other book. And it made me look forward to going. You think you know all about Confession? Think again."
—Helen Fountain, Director of Merchandise for The Catholic Company

#6: The Way of Trust and Love

The Way of Trust and Love

"I struggle to have total trust in God and His will. This little book is full of wisdom on the topic, and contains simple guidance on how to deepen our faith in God's love for us and His plan for our lives. Some of Fr. Philippe's sentences were so profound (though simple!) that I was content to sit and ponder them before continuing my reading. I've read this book several times. Who knew that such spiritual nourishment could come from such simple writing?"
—Genevieve Cunningham, Writer and Editor for The Catholic Company

#7: Self-Abandonment to Divine Providence by Fr. de Caussade

Self-Abandonment to Divine Providence

"This is a timeless message of the importance of self-abandonment to God. Fr. Caussade writes about how to allow God to be God, finding peace in abandonment to his will even when it is repulsive, and how that promotes growth in holiness in the virtue of surrendering all in spiritual poverty." 
—Cheryl Hadley, Merchandise Assistant and Blog Writer for The Catholic Company

#8: Overcoming Sinful Anger by Rev. T. G. Morrow

Overcoming Sinful Anger

"This is a helpful guide in recognizing and working thru anger of all types, even that which comes from old wounds buried but never healed. Fr. Morrow breaks down strategies to master your emotions by learning to forgive, healing painful memories, step by step, and covers methods to help you change your habitual issues (yeah, I'm putting it out there with you, my brothers and sisters in Christ ;) He outlines a plan for working on this vice in a short and very approachable book of less than 100 pgs. It's hard work but a good way to get started."
—also recommended by Cheryl Hadley

#9: Consoling the Heart of Jesus by Fr. Michael Gaitley

Consoling the Heart of Jesus

"A wonderful book for Lent, or any time. It gave me some beautiful insight into how we can actually give consolation to Jesus... how He received consolation from us on the Cross."
—Helen Fountain, Director of Merchandise for The Catholic Company

#10: The Way by St. Josemaría Escrivá

The Way

"St. Josemaria Escriva forged his path to heaven by guiding and counseling others in the way of holiness. His words are poignant and filled with the Love of God, even as they pull no punches. This collection of spiritual maxims is a brilliant book to take to prayer."
—Peter Gohn, Writer and Editor for The Catholic Company

#11: Thinking Like Jesus

Thinking Like Jesus

"Written by a psychologist, this is a great book to learn the psychologically-sound way to grow in your spiritual life.
—Mary Clare Peoples, Email Marketer for The Catholic Company

#12: Introduction to the Devout Life by St. Francis de Sales

Introduction to the Devout Life

"Leads readers through practical ways of attaining a devout life without renouncing the world. Offers prayers and meditations to strengthen devotion in the face of temptation." 
—Peter Gohn, Writer and Editor for The Catholic Company

#13: Peace of Soul by Venerable Fulton Sheen

Peace of Soul

"I am currently reading this wonderful book and it is very good so far! I recommend Fulton Sheen anytime!" 
—Mendy Micken, Merchandising Manager for The Catholic Company

#14: Searching for and Maintaining Peace

Searching for and Maintaining Peace

"Everything by Fr. Jacques Philippe is incredible; he doesn't waste words, and as such I have underlining and notes on almost every page of his compact books it seems. Searching for and Maintaining Peace will always be one of my favorite books on spiritual growth; it showed me that peace doesn't mean the absence of conflict or anxiety, but an ability to remain serene in the midst of it all; a far more doable and valuable skill to have than simply trying to blocking out all the noise."
—Ashley Olik, Brand Manager for The Catholic Company

#15: The Art of Loving God by St. Francis de Sales

The Art of Loving God

"Beautiful book that breaks down steps to becoming holy in various areas of our lives that present the most common struggles and temptations against virtue. St. Francis de Sales gently counsels about how to reach holiness in these areas as only he can, with fatherly love and incredibly charity anchored in the truth."
—Cheryl Hadley, Merchandise Assistant and Blog Writer for The Catholic Company

Share Your Favorites!

If you read any of these recommendations and find them helpful, let us know in the comments below. We'd love to hear your thoughts on some of our favorites!

How about you? Do you have suggestions to add to this list? Share your favorite titles in the comments.