Recommended Books — Fr. Michael Gaitley’s List

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Theology of Communion – and Related Topics

The following list of books are recommended reading in Fr. Michael Gaitley’s work, The One Thing Is Three: How the Most Holy Trinity Explains Everything, which explains the “super concept” of communio, or “communion,” by looking at three aspects:  1) Communion with the Trinity, 2) Transforming Communion with Christ, and 3) Mission of Communion.

This book (as well as the 10-session video course) are available for free on  St. Clare parishioners should come to the parish office to pick up the St. Clare parish access code to register for a free, unlimited subscription.

Most of the following books, being newer, can be found at an online bookseller, such as Amazon.


Summa Summaries

Thomas Aquinas Spiritual Master (Vol. 2), by Fr. Jean Pierre Torrell, OP

Tour of the Summa, by Msgr. Paul Glenn

Knowing the Love of Christ: An Introduction to the Theology of St. Thomas Aquinas, by Michael Dauphinais and Matthew Levering

Going Deeper with Scripture

Catechism of the Catholic Church:  “Sacred Scripture,” nn. 100-133

The Gospel According to John (CD), by Leonardo de Philippis

The Ignatius Catholic Study Bible: New Testament, by Scott Hahn and Curtis Mitch

Jesus of Nazareth Trilogy, by Pope Benedict XVI

A Father Who Keeps His Promises: God’s Covenant Love in Scripture, by Scott Hahn

The Consuming Fire: A Christian Introduction to the Old Testament, by Fr. Michael Duggan

**Bible Basics for Catholics: A New Picture of Salvation History, by John Bergsma

Companions to the Catechism

Living the Catechism of the Catholic Church, by Cardinal Christoph Schönborn

Catholicism (10-part DVD series), by Bishop Robert Barron (also available on

Catholic Christianity: A Complete Catechism of Catholic Beliefs Based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church, by Peter Kreeft

YOUCAT, by Cardinal Christoph Schönborn (editor)

Communion with the Trinity

On the Trinity

Catechism of the Catholic Church:  nn. 232-267

“Holy Trinity” (Icon), by Andrei Rublev, Artist

The Trinity: An Introduction to Catholic Doctrine on the Trinity, by Fr. Gilles Emery, OP

Contemplating the Trinity: The Path to the Abundant Christian Life, by Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa, OFM CAP

On Sin

Catechism of the Catholic Church:  “The Fall,” nn. 385-421

Catechism of the Catholic Church:  “Sin,” nn. 1846-1876

The Concept of Sin, by Josef Pieper

The Screwtape Letters, by C.S. Lewis

On The Angels

Catechism of the Catholic Church:  “The Angels,” nn. 328-336

The Angels and Their Mission, by Cardinal Jean Daniélou

Angels and Demons: What Do We Really Know About Them?, by Peter Kreeft

Transforming Communion with Christ

On Creation (“The Journey Out”)

Catechism of the Catholic Church:  nn. 279-384

The Creation of Adam” (Sistine Chapel, Vatican), by Michelangelo

On Faith

Catechism of the Catholic Church:  “’I Believe’ – ‘We Believe,’”  nn. 26-184

Parochial and Plain Sermons, by Cardinal John Henry Newman

On The Sacraments

Catechism of the Catholic Church:  Part Two: The Celebration of the Christian Mystery

Living the Sacraments: Grace into Action, by Bert Ghezzi

On The Eucharist

Catechism of the Catholic Church:  nn. 1322-1419

Encyclical Letter, Ecclesia de Eucharistia, by Pope John Paul II

The Lamb’s Supper: The Mass as Heaven on Earth, by Scott Hahn

Jesus and the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist, by Brant Pitre

7 Secrets of the Eucharist, by Vinny Flynn

Divine Mercy

Diary of St. Maria Faustina Kowalska: Divine Mercy in My Soul, by St. Faustina Kowalska

Story of a Soul: The Autobiography of St. Thérèse of Lisieux, by St. Thérèse of Lisieux

Encyclical Letter, Dives in Misericordia (Rich in Mercy), by Pope John Paul II

Mission Of Communion

On The Church

Catechism of the Catholic Church:  “I Believe in the Holy Catholic Church,” Part One, Article 9

The Splendor of the Church, by Henri de Lubac

Loving the Church, by Cardinal Christoph Schönborn

On the Three States of Life

Catechism of the Catholic Church:  “Christ’s Faithful: Hierarchy, Laity, Consecrated Life,” nn.871-945

Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortations, by Pope John Paul II:

  • Pastores Dabo Vobis (I Will Give You Shepherds)
  • Vita Consecrata (Consecrated Life)
  • Christifideles Laici (The Lay Christian Faithful)

On Defending Faith (Apologetics)

The Handbook of Christian Apologetics: Reasoned Answers to Questions of Faith, by Peter Kreeft and Fr. Ronald Tacelli, SJ

Mere Christianity, by C.S. Lewis

Christianity for Modern Pagans:  Pascal’s Pensées, Edited, Outlined, and Explained, by Peter Kreeft

Rome Sweet Rome, by Scott and Kimberly Hahn

**The Case for Jesus: The Biblical and Historical Evidence for Christ, by Brant Pitre

On Other Religions

The World’s Religions, by Huston Smith

**Truth and Tolerance, by Joseph Ratzinger

On the Culture War

Encyclical Letter, Evangelium Vitae (The Gospel of Life), by Pope John Paul II

How to Win the Culture War: A Christian Battle Plan for A Society in Crisis, by Peter Kreeft

Man and Woman He Created Them: A Theology of the Body, by Pope John Paul II

On Baptizing the Imagination

Letter to Artists, by Pope John Paul II

The Chronicles of Narnia, by C.S. Lewis

The Lord of the Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkien

Babette’s Feast (film), by director Gabriel Axel


The Selfhood of the Human Person, by John F. Crosby

Person and Being, by Fr. W. Norris Clarke, SJ

The Art of Living, by Dietrich and Alice von Hildebrand

The Weight of Glory, by C.S. Lewis

On the Meaning of Suffering

Apostolic Exhortation Salvifici Doloris (On the Christian Meaning of Human Suffering), by Pope John Paul II

Arise from Darkness: When Life Doesn’t Make Sense, by Fr. Benedict Groeschel, CFR

Making Sense Out of Suffering, by Peter Kreeft


On Ignatian Spirituality

The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola,, by St. Ignatius of Loyola

Retreat with the Lord: A Popular Guide to the Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius of Loyola,, by Fr. John A. Hardon, SJ

All My Liberty: Theology of the Spiritual Exercises,, by Fr. John A. Hardon, SJ

**A Do It At Home Retreat: The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola, by Andre Ravier, SJ

**The Discernment of Spirits: An Ignatian Guide for Everyday Living,
by Timothy M. Gallagher, O.M.V.

**A Closer Walk with Christ: A Personal Ignatian Retreat, by Raymond Thomas Gawronski

**Note: these books were not included in Fr. Gaitley’s list, but were deemed appropriate and added by the editor of this web page.

Updated 5-3-16

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