Recommended Books

Recommended Books

… for serious study of the Catholic Faith

The Bible

Obviously one needs a good Bible in which to study the Word of God within the Deposit of Faith handed on through Christ’s Apostles. There’s a popular retort to the question, ‘which translation of the Bible should I get?’ that says, ‘The one you’ll read.’ And, that’s true to an extent. My first recommendation is the Douay-Rheims for many reasons, but if you’re going to huff and puff about the “ancient language” then I could settle for the Revised Standard Version – Catholic Edition, 2nd edition put out by Ignatius Press… but I warn you, the pages are off-white and the ink is a bit grayish, so if your eyes are fading, it’ll be a hard read.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church

As it says in the introductory pages, the Catechism is a “sure norm” for teaching the faith. Though, it will also do well to remind the reader that the Catechism, in itself, is not infallible, but only wherein it quotes infallible teachings. The explanations and commentary, while usually helpful, are not part of the Deposit of Faith. Catechisms are put out by the Bishops of the Church in order to assist the faithful in learning and handing on the Faith.

The Companion to the Catechism of the Catholic Church

Upon reading the Catechism of the Catholic Church one would hard pressed not to notice the numerous footnotes and references made throughout the text. Thus, the Companion to the Catechism of the Catholic Church comes in handy since it contains the footnotes referenced in the Catechism, and also those references which are not directly cited in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. It is immensely helpful in better understanding and appreciating the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

The Sources of Catholic Dogma – Henry Denzinger

An invaluable source for pinpointing the dogmatic statements from various Popes and Ecumenical Councils. Denzinger’s Sources of Catholic Dogma contains the Papal and Conciliar texts in chronological order.

The Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma – Ludwig Ott

Alongside Denzinger’s Sources of Catholic Dogma, Ott’s Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma is invaluable to the reader searching for the sources, both Scriptural, Traditional (i.e., Fathers of the Church), and Magisterial statements regarding nearly every aspect of Catholic teaching. Ott also does the reader a significant favor in identifying the weight of each teaching presented (i.e., dogmatic, doctrinal, theological opinion, etc.)

Code of Canon Law

It’s just a handy reference to have. Insightful. Interesting. But I wouldn’t just sit down and start reading it cover to cover.

Canons and Decrees of the Council of Trent

I would list all the Ecumenical Councils of the Church as necessary reading, but that would be overwhelming. Suffice to say, I think getting a good grip on Trent and Vatican II would be beneficial to the Catholic seeking serious study of the Faith as Trent and Vatican II are probably the more popular and referenced Councils in dealing with apologetics.

Documents of the Second Vatican Council

In our current time, the reading (and re-reading) of the documents of Vatican II is an absolute necessity in order to avoid being swept away by the smoke of Satan that seeks to destroy the Church (rest assured, the devil cannot… but that doesn’t stop him from trying). Read what the Conciliar Fathers really wrote about the Faith.

The Raccolta

Because, as Dom Jean-Baptiste Chautard outlines in The Soul of the Apostolate, without an interior life, there is nothing. The Raccolta is a compendium of the indulgenced prayers of the Church. Rich prayers, printed both in Latin (usually) and English for every day and for every occasion.

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