Monday, May 10, 2010

15 Documents Every Catholic Should Read

Marcel of of Aggie Catholics has listed down 15 documents every Catholic should read:
  1. The Holy Bible. No replacement for Divine Inspiration. Several good commentaries available.
  2. The Catechism of the Catholic Church. The basics of the faith in an accessible format. The first general catechism in nearly 400 years. I recommend the Pauline edition.
  3. The 4 Dogmatic Constitutions of Vatican II. While I recommend that everyone eventually read all 16 documents of Vatican II, start with these 4.
  4. Humanae Vitae - Pope Paul VI. The encyclical that rocked the Church.
  5. Theology of the Body - John Paul II.
  6. Writings of the Church Fathers. There is a ton of stuff out there. So, I recommend both this one-volume book or, even better, this three-volume set of books on the Church Fathers.
  7. JPII's most important encyclicals - Veritatis Splendor, Redemptor Hominis, Laborem Exercens, Centesimus Annus, Evangelium Vitae, Dives in Misericordia, Redemptoris Missio, and Fides et Ratio. All of these can be found on the Vatican's website.
  8. Pope Benedict's three encyclicals.
  9. Spiritual Writings of the Saints. This is a huge category. I would start with the mystics - St. Teresa of Avila, St. John of the Cross, St. Bonaventure, St. Bernard, etc. and the Doctors of the Church.
  10. Code of Canon Law. I don't necessarily recommend a cover-to-cover reading, but at least a good introduction to it. This is a decent intro.
  11. Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church.
  12. General Directory for Catechesis.
  13. Evangelii Nuntiandi - Pope Paul VI. On evangelization.
  14. St. Thomas Aquinas' Summa Theologica.
  15. History of the Catholic Church. I recommend the Warren Carroll four-volume version. If you want a shorter volume, try Triumph by Crocker.
I would add Confessions by St. Augustine.

Do you have any others ?


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