I don’t think one could ever fully comprehend the expansion of mind that takes place through the act of reading unless he enters into it for himself. I could sit here and write to you all of the incredible occurrences that will transpire throughout your life if you construct the habit of reading great works, but I’m going to assume that you already know that.
Therefore, let me jump that and provide for you my missioner’s reading list. These are the books that I read when I moved to Belize, and these are the very writers that have helped shape my heart.
Maurice & Thérèse: The Story of a Love by Patrick Ahern
The Risk of Education by Luigi Giussani
Man’s Search for Meaning: An Introduction to Logotherapy by Viktor E. Frankl
A Man of the Beatitudes: Pier Giorgio Frassati by Luciana Frassati
G.K. Chesterton: The Apostle of Common Sense by Dale Ahlquist
St. John Bosco by F.A. Forbes
Kateri Tekakwitha: Mohawk Maiden by Evelyn M. Brown
The Religious Sense by Luigi Giussani
Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis
The Waste Land by T.S. Eliot
You may be saying to yourself, “My goodness! What a Catholic list this is,” to which my reply must be, “Yes! Yes, it is.” The missions are the very fields where the frail spirit of man will be tested. I find that it’s through reading the lives of the saints coupled with serving Christ’s Bride that I grow ever more in love with Him. A friend of mine recently asked me how he might strengthen his faith and I told him just this, come to know the saints.
I’d recommend The Risk of Education to anybody that is considering teaching and Maurice & Thérèse to anybody gearing up to serve the most vulnerable of the world. Dale Ahlquist’s book is a magnificent introduction to Chesterton’s body of work and a chapter of Mere Christianity every night before bed makes for the most beautiful dreams.
Oh, and the poetry? I’ll admit The Waste Land is a touch heavy, but our house’s nightly poetry readings are becoming a favorite trend of mine. It’s good to stay active in the arts, so pick up whatever poetry collection you like.
Do you have any favorite reads? I’m always looking to add to the collection.