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5 Books to strengthen a man in his vocation


Ben White | Unsplash CC0

Theresa Civantos Barber - published on 05/24/20

Growing in prayer and faith takes work, and these spiritual works are valuable guides.

While prayer is central to the Christian vocation, at times it gets hard to stay the course on “the narrow road that leads to life” (Matthew 7:14). Luckily there are many classic spiritual writings to help along the way.

The Catechism tells us,

“Man is made to live in communion with God in whom he finds happiness: ‘When I am completely united to you, there will be no more sorrow or trials; entirely full of you, my life will be complete’ (St. Augustine)” (45).

Seeking out and living in that communion is the ongoing work of a lifetime. These books can serve as a road map to your destination, or a word of encouragement from a comrade-in-arms.

New Testament and Psalms for Men

St. Josemaria Escriva once wrote, “How I wish your bearing and conversation were such that, on seeing or hearing you, people would say: This man reads the life of Jesus Christ.” This little book is just what you need to spend time each day reading the life of Christ:

This New Testament and Psalms is the perfect daily companion for fathers, husbands, sons, brothers, and priests. Special inserts containing prayers, writings from the saints, and more dot the interior, offering even more tools for men trying to live a Christ-like life.

Consecration to St. Joseph

As the father of the Holy Family, St. Joseph is a role model for all Christian men. This book includes a program of consecration to St. Joseph, information on the 10 wonders of St. Joseph, and prayers and devotions to St. Joseph.

Abandonment to Divine Providence

Fr. Jean-Pierre de Caussade wrote this book centuries ago, but its timeless wisdom remains remarkably relevant to present-day trials. The book description says,

Do you doubt? Do you suffer? Are you anxious about the trials of life? Father de Caussade offers the one sure solution to any spiritual difficulty: abandon yourself entirely to God by embracing the duties of your station in life.

Manual for Men

This book includes an eloquent and rousing exhortation by Bishop Thomas Olmsted as well as “a treasure trove of prayers, Church teachings, and writings from the saints that serve as a tremendous source of inspiration for men seeking to become better men of God,” according to its description.

An Introduction to the Devout Life

In 1923, Pope Pius XI proclaimed St. Francis de Sales a patron of writers and journalists, because he made such extensive efforts to use publications and books to evangelize. His most famous work, An Introduction to the Devout Life, originated as a series of letters to his cousin, a layperson with a high social position who wanted to know how to seek holiness in the midst of the world. The thoughtful counsel de Sales offered is as helpful today as it was 400 years ago.


Read more:
7 Great picks for your Catholic book club

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