|With the Easter season rapidly approaching, this is a great time to re-commit to daily prayer. Here is my top ten list of the best Catholic daily devotional books. Each of these books is designed to be used every day, and most of them are interwoven with the liturgical year.|
- The Liturgy of the Hours: Also known as the Divine Office, this is more than simply a daily devotional; the Liturgy of the Hours is the public prayer of the Church, the official set of prayers for each day of the year, as many as seven times a day. Those who pray the Office join with the entire body of Christ in praising God. The bulk of the prayers come from the book of Psalms, arranged for daily use. There is a pretty steep learning curve for praying the Liturgy of the Hours, but the benefits far outweigh the beginning struggles. They are a continual source of inspiration and guidance for me. I'd be happy to help anyone who wants to learn to use them. Email me or leave a comment if you have any questions.
- The Vatican II Daily Missal and the Vatican II Sunday Missal: Here you will find the complete texts of the scripture readings used during Mass for each day of the year, accompanied by useful meditations and reflections.
- My Daily Catholic Bible: This Revised Standard Version of the Bible is arranged in 20 minute segments that are meant to be read over the course of a year.
- Prayers and Devotions by Pope John Paul II: This collection of meditations is drawn from the documents, writings and homilies of the late Pope John Paul II. This is a beautiful edition, containing some of the most eloquent and spiritually nourishing words of the twentieth century.
- Fr. Peyton's Rosary Prayer Book: Of the several rosary meditation books I've used, this is the one I keep coming back to. The meditations are clear, simple and relevant to everyday life.
- Divine Intimacy by Fr. Gabriel: This book of meditations has probably been the one that has influenced me the most in my spiritual growth. The wisdom pours out of this book like the wine poured out at Cana, miraculous and surprising with each new sip. The only difficulty is that since it was written before the Second Vatican Council, it can be challenging to find the correct meditation for the day. This is not a major problem, though, since a person could read straight through it, regardless of the day. I do NOT recommend the updated version.
- In Conversation with God: This set is a major investment, but the price is worth it. You get seven volumes of meditations covering every day of the liturgical year. Each day contains a set of three extensive meditations, usually based on the gospel text for that day's Mass. The reflections are thoughtful, relevant and challenging, and the dust covers are beautiful works of art.
- Lives of the Saints for Every Day of the Year: Simple and brief, this collection is great for sharing with your family. We use it in our house each day at dinner with the kids.
- Thirsting for God by Mother Teresa: The profound wisdom of Mother Teresa is served in bite-sized portions in this collection of daily thoughts. Perfect for morning meditation.
- Daily Readings in Catholic Classics edited by Fr. Rawley Meyers: This is the one book on this list that I don't yet own. Judging by the brief preview I saw on Amazon it looks terrific. Meditations include excerpts from works by Aquinas, Augustine, Chesterton, Guardini, Maritain, Merton, Pascal, Sheen, Teresa of Avila and Therese of Lisieux.
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