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Favorite Religious Books

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1. Mystical City of God : A Popular Abridgement This book was written by Mary of Agreda in 1665 and is a detailed biography of Mary, the mother of Jesus, as manifested to Mary of Agreda in corporeal, spiritual, and intellectual visions over a ten year period. In the introduction, God states, "....On this same account the person of the incarnate Word said to his disciples at the last supper: 'Many things have I to say to you but you are not yet disposed to receive them' (John 6, 12). These words He addressed to all the world, for it was not yet capable of giving full obedience to the law of grace and full assent to the faith in the Son, much less was it prepared to be introduced into the mysteries of his Mother. But now, mankind has greater need of this manifestation, and this necessity urges Me to disregard their evil disposition. And if men would now seek to please Me be reverencing, believing, and studying the wonders, which are intimately connected with this Mother of Piety, and if they would all begin to solicit her intercession from their whole heart, the world would find some relief. I will no longer withhold from men this mystical Ciry of refuge...". I would highly recommend the unabridged, four volume, version, available from Caritas of Birmingham, Box 120, 4647 Hwy. 280 East, Birmingham, AL 35424

2. The Poem of the Man-God, by Maria Valtorta. The Poem of the Man-God is a biography of Jesus as revealed to Maria Valtorta during the mid 1940's. Her very descriptive visions are recorded and include very detailed conversations and situations between Jesus and disciples. This five volume set contains over 3500 pages. In it Jesus states, "If you object that the revelation was closed with the last Apostle, and there was nothing to add, because the same Apostle says in Revelation: 'If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to him every plague mentioned in the book' (22:18) and that can be understood for all the Revelation, the last completion of which is the Revelation by John, I reply to you that with this work no addition was made to revelation, but only the gaps, brought about by natural causes and by supernatural will, were filled in. And if I wanted to take pleasure in restoring the picture of My Diving Charity, as a restorer of mosaic in its complete beauty, and I have decided to do it in this century in which Mankind is hurling itself towards the Abyss of darkness and horror, can you forbid Me from doing so?" This set is also available from Librairie Mediaspaul, 250, boul, Saint-Francois Nord, Sherbrooke (Quebec) Canada JIE 289. 819-569-5535. Click here to see other books by Maria Valtorta.

3. Pilgram Church, by William J. Bausch. ISBN 0-8190-0624-6. This is the best book that I have seen covering the history of the church over the past 2000 years. It is a general popularized church history written for the average educated person whether adult or student.

4. The Faith of Millions, by Rev. John A. O'Brien, 1974. The teachings of the Catholic Church, as seen from the inside. This is an extremely vigorous book, covering the pros and cons for just about every possible theological discussion. The author asks only that the reader bring an open mind to the investigation of  discovering the church established by Jesus Christ.

5. Separated Brethren; A Survey of Protestant, Anglican, Orthodox, Old Catholic, and Other Denominations in the United States,, by William Joseph Whalen. This is a sweeping, informative, wide survey of every major branch of Christianity (and several other non-Christian religions) practicing in the United States. All Christians in the United States should read this book to understand how their religion fits into the history of the United States, into the history of the world, and into the diversity of Christian theology and ritual.

6. Padre Pio the Stigmatist by Carty. Padre Pio died September 23, 1968, his funeral attended by over 100,000 people. During the fifty-eight years he was a priest, his monastery at San Giovanni Rotondo, Italy, became a mecca for pilgrims from all over the world. Born Francesco Forgione on May 25, 1887 at Pietrelcino in southeastern Italy, Padre Pio joined the Capuchin Order in 1903 and was ordained in 1910. On September 20, 1918, he received the sacred wounds of Christ, which he bore the rest of his life. Renowned for the stigmata, which modern medical science could not explain, Padre Pio also possessed other unusual qualities, such as bilocation, celestial perfume, reading of hearts, miraculous cures, remarkable conversions, and prophetic insight. Although he did not leave his monastery and was under obedience not to write or preach, this humble Capuchin monk became world famous for his piety, his counsel, and his miracles, and has been universally regarded as a saint in his own time.

7. St Thomas Aquinas Summa Theologica, by St. Thomas Aquinas. "Even though I have been dead for 400 years, buy my book! Or better yet, give your money to the church!" Aquinas, a controversial and ground-breaking writer in his time, was certainly one of the first-rate philosophical minds of Western thought. Aquinas' "Summa Theologica" is daunting at first, but inciteful once you get the hang of it. St. Thomas' summa is one of the most important pieces in the history of Christian and Western thought. No one can properly understand the developement of early modern philosophy and theology unless they first have a firm grasp on Aquinas and medieval scholastic thought. However, reader beware! The summa is also one of the most difficult texts to read. Make sure you read up on secondary material before attempting Thomas' own writings.

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