Book Clubs

“Reading has made many saints”

St. Josemaría Escrivá, The Way, 116

Why is spiritual reading important?

“Spiritual reading is nourishment that spurs us to charity and incites us to pray. It brings together two inseparable dimensions: love for Christ (affectus) and knowledge of the Church's teaching (intellectus).” (José Manuel Martín, Entry on "Spiritual Reading" in the Diccionario de San Josemaría) Read more about the benefits of spiritual reading HERE.

Every Advent and Lent, we will recommend three different books for parish-wide spiritual reading. Why three books? Each book is selected from a different category to suit your needs, depending on where you are in your spiritual life and what you are most interested in:

  1. Theological: More focused on the study of the faith
  2. Spiritual: A spiritual classic, or reading from, or about, the Lives of the Saints, more focused on the interior life
  3. Scripture: More specifically focused specifically on the Word; diving into the daily or weekly Mass readings for the season.

Take a look at the information for the three recommended reads below and click the button for the Book Club Planner to help you decide which book to read, who you will invite to read it with you, and to plan when, where, and how often you’ll meet to discuss it.

BOOK CLUB PLANNER

2022 Advent Book Club

Category: Theological

Jesus and the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist: Unlocking the Secrets of the Last Supper by Brant Pitre

About the Book
“It's hard for a twenty-first century Christian to hear the words and actions of Christ with the ears of the Jews who heard and saw them first hand. Dr. Pitre gives you the eyes and ears of a first century Jew using the Bible and ancient Jewish tradition…Seeing the Eucharist from this perspective is like suddenly seeing 3D after living your entire life in two dimensions - mind blown…Pitre uses the Old Testament to explain the Catholic faith in ways that leave you screaming "Why have I never heard this before? He answers the question "why did early Christians so easily believe in the Real Presence?" in a very convincing and unique way. This book would be a time-bomb to give to a protestant and great for those who think Mass is boring or don't understand the Real Presence of the Jesus in the Eucharist.  This book is a must read and I highly recommend buying multiple copies to give away” - Edmund Mitchell

For a preview of this book, listen to a 1-hour Talk by the author on FORMED

Where to Buy (Be sure to select a copy with the “Study Guide Included”)

  1. Ignatius Press
  2. Available in Paperback, hard cover, Kindle, Audible, audio CD on Amazon Smile*

Reading & Discussion Guide
A guide is located in the back of the book. Click HERE for a recommended 4-week plan. The Guide recommends praying Lectio Divina with your group as a part of your meeting. HERE is a guide for how to pray with Sacred Scripture as a group.

Category: Spiritual

The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence of the Resurrection

About the Book
From a foreword by Henri Nouwen:  “Our lives are fragmented. There are so many things to do, so many events to worry about, so many people to think of, so many experiences to work through, so many tasks to fulfill, so many demands to respond to, and so many needs to pay attention to. Often it seems that just keeping things together asks for enormous energy…This fragmentation is probably one of the most painful experiences of modern men and women…Underneath the running and rushing of modern life often lurks the nagging feeling of being disconnected, alienated and bored…It is to this condition of fragmentation and alienation that Brother Lawrence speaks when he presents us with the practice of the presence of God…For Brother Lawrence, to live in the presence of God was his only concern. In the presence of God life became simple…A prayerful life is a life in which all we do - eating and drinking, working and resting, playing and praying - is done for the glory of God and God alone.”

Where to Buy
Available in paperback, Kindle, and Audible via Amazon Smile*. Several new and used editions are available.

Reading & Discussion Guide
Click HERE for a recommended 4-week plan (attach “Brother Lawrence Guide”). If you prefer a daily reading plan, click HERE for an edition with a built-in Study guide and Daily reading guide.

Category: Scripture

O Come Emmanuel: A Daily Musical Tour of the Daily Readings For Advent and Christmas by Gordon Giles

About the Book
“Make Christmas special this year by exploring the legends, message, and theology behind some of your favorite carols and hymns. This book of daily devotions will take you from December 1 to January 6, from the first days of Advent, through Christmas, ending at Epiphany. Each day, Gordon Giles invites you to draw closer to God through spiritual and historical explorations of beloved, familiar music.

As you read and reflect, you will be asked to consider the meaning of some of the famous Christmas carols that we sometimes sing without a passing thought. You will be introduced to obscure saints as well as living poets and musicians of faith, and you will hear the timeless truths of love and forgiveness, pain and loss, darkness and light.”

Where to Buy
Available in paperback from the publisher: Paraclete Press. There is a bulk discount available if you want to purchase books as a group.
New and used Paperback copies are also available on Amazon Smile*

Reading & Discussion Guide
A guide is located in the back of the book. HERE is a Youtube Playlist of the accompanying music.

*You can select St. Mary Magdalene as the beneficiary of a portion of the proceeds when you purchase via smile.amazon.com.

Save the Date!

At the conclusion of the season, we will gather together to share about our experience participating in the Book Club.

Advent Book Club Potluck Dinner
Friday, January 13
6:00-7:30pm in the hall
Details TBA