Books

Dion: The Wanderer Talks Truth (co-author with Dion DiMucci)

Dion came up out of the Bronx in the 50s and tore through the music charts in a ferocious display of talent. He continued to make great music while slowly returning to his Catholic roots. His hard-won wisdom filters through his stories whether he’s recalling how he want shopping with John Lennon and ended up on the cover of Sgt. Pepper’s, what it was like to travel in the Jim Crow South with Sam Cooke, or the true story of the Day the Music Died.

The Doubter’s Novena: Nine Steps to Trust with the Apostle Thomas (co-author with Christopher Bailey)

We are believers in God, but we also struggle with doubts.

The Apostle Thomas understood what it means to wrestle with doubt. But that’s only the beginning of the story. After Jesus answered his skepticism, Thomas became one of the Church’s most successful missionaries, evangelizing India despite hardships, misunderstandings, and temptations.

Even today, whether you are inclined to trust or to question, you can find tremendous satisfaction by meditating on the life and works of Thomas. This collection of nine daily readings and prayers reveals his faithful witness that will increase your faith and alleviate your doubts. Whether your concern is large or small, ongoing or concerned with an individual, specific instance, let Doubting Thomas show you the way to confidence in Christ.

A Year With The Church Fathers: Patristic Wisdom for Daily Living

In A Year With The Church Fathers: Patristic Wisdom For Daily Living, Mike Aquilina, popular author on Patristics, gathers the wisest, most practical teachings and exhortations from the Fathers of the Church, and presents them in a format perfect for daily meditation and inspiration.

Who are the Church Fathers? What can they teach us? With these daily meditations, you will learn to humbly accept correction from St Clement of Rome. Let Tertullian teach you how to clear your mind before prayer. Read St Gregory the Great and deepen your love of the Eucharist.

Do you suffer from pain or illness? St John Chrysostom’s counsels will refresh you. Do you have trouble curbing your appetite for food and other fleshly things? St John Cassian will teach you the true way to moderation and self-control.

A Year With The Church Fathers is different from a study guide and more than a collection of pious passages. It is a year long retreat with the Fathers of the Church that in just a few minutes every day will lead you on a journey of contemplation, prayer, resolution, and spiritual growth that is guaranteed to bring you closer to God and His Truth.

Beautifully bound in two tone Premium UltraSoft cover, with a ribbon marker, and gold edges. The perfect gift!

Take Five: Meditations with John Henry Newman (co-author with Fr. Juan Velez)

John Henry Newman’s journey to Catholicism is one of the greatest stories of the nineteenth-century Church. He relied on divine revelation, together with logical reasoning and historical facts, to reach religious truths and vigorously defend religious doctrines.

Each topical entry begins with an excerpt from this saintly man’s writings, followed by these helpful prompts:

 

  • Think About It — Points that serve as a springboard for prayerful consideration of each meditation topic.
  • Just Imagine — A scripture scene that brings the issue at hand to life.
  • Remember –A simple memorization passage to help you work through the meditation topic.

Learn how to apply John Henry Newman’s inspiring teachings to all of the situations in your life!

Roots of the Faith: From the Church Fathers to You

If you could travel back to the early days of the Church, would you recognize it? Would the Mass seem familiar? Could you go to confession? Would you feel supported if you made a case against abortion? And would those early Christians be puzzled if you suggested praying to the saints?

In Roots of the Faith, Mike Aquilina makes it clear that as far as the essentials are concerned, that time-travel trip would reveal a Church familiar to Catholics today. Just as an acorn grows into a tree and yet remains the same plant, so the Catholic Church is a living organism that has grown from the faith of the earliest Christians into the Body of Christ we know today.

Why Me? When Bad Things Happen

This new book is part of the “30 Minute Read” series. Why me? Why anyone? Suffering is everywhere. Why does God let this happen? It’s because he loves us. He has a plan. Don’t you want to find out what it is? Noted Catholic author Mike Aquilina helps us to see our woes as blessings – things that lead us toward God instead of away from him.

Sharing Christ’s Priesthood: A Bible Study for Catholics

This engaging, straightforward Bible study shows how all Christians are sharers in Christ’s priesthood. It opens the door for laity and clergy alike to grow in faith and understand their priestly role.

Follow Scripture’s path of the natural priesthood, Jesus as the high priest, and then Biblical priesthood today with the masterful weaving of history, Scripture, Tradition, and insightful discussion questions. Perfect for group or individual study, the easy-to-follow format of this study guide will inspire and enlighten.

Take Five: Meditations with Pope Benedict XVI (co-author with Fr. Kris Stubna)

Discover Pope Benedict’s wise and visionary perspective as a guide for your own daily spirituality. Find clarity, direction, and inspiration with five brief minutes of quiet reflection as if led by Pope Benedict himself.

Each topic begins with a simple excerpt from Pope Benedict’s writings or teachings, followed by these helpful prompts for thoughtful meditation:

  • THINK ABOUT IT — Points that serve as a springboard for prayerful consideration of each meditation topic.
  • JUST IMAGINE — Brings to life a scene from the Scriptures, tying it to the issue at hand.
  • REMEMBER — A simple memorization passage to help you work through the meditation topic.

Let the Holy Father help you hear God’s voice in everything you do!

Fire of God’s Love: 120 Reflections on the Eucharist

Science falters and poetry fails when we try to speak of the Eucharist, but across the centuries saints, theologians and ordinary Catholics have nevertheless found words to express the inexpressible: Jesus, fully present, body, blood, soul and divinity, offers himself to humanity in this sacrament.

Mike Aquilina brings together 120 of those reflections to encourage and inspire you as you ponder the fire of God’s love revealed in the mystery of the Eucharist.

Praying the Psalms with the Early Christians (co-author with Christopher Bailey)

Gathered together in this book are reflections from some of the greatest saints of the early church on the psalms. Each of the short chapters on selected psalms is designed to help you pray these beautiful and personal Old Testament songs-not just to read or recite them, but to make them part of your lives.

Angels of God: The Bible, the Church and the Heavenly Hosts

Angels are everywhere–as a matter of fact, right at your side. Forget the sweet-faced cherubs of popular culture, however, and brace yourself for a far more potent reality: angels are powerful heavenly beings who play a significant role in the personal drama of daily life–your life. Drawing on Scripture (where angels appear often, carrying out crucial tasks), the words of the saints and Church teaching, Mike Aquilina shows how developing our “fellowship with the angels is not an ornament on our religion, it is a life skill.”

Companion Guide to Pope Benedict’s ‘The Fathers’

Popular author Mike Aquilina’s encyclopedic knowledge of the Church Fathers intersects seamlessly with Pope Benedict XVI’s insightful reflections about them in this faith-building companion guide.

It shows that the Fathers are much more than wise men from ages past who sacrificed their lives for what they believed: they are teachers and philosophers, orators and pastors, leaders and problem solvers, martyrs and heroes whose stories and example are still relevant today.

Discover a wealth of inspiration and insight on twenty-six Fathers of the Church as well as thoughtful reflection/discussion questions on what His Holiness and the Fathers have said. Divided into six sections, the Companion Guide to Pope Benedict’s The Fathers provides an easy road map for parish study groups or independent study.

Signs and Mysteries: Revealing Ancient Christian Symbols

Imagine the dangerous life of a First Century Christian. You’ve embraced your newfound faith in Christ but fear the risk of persecution or death at the hands of the pagans living around you. Then a trusted friend tells you about some of Jesus followers who secretly meet. He whispers into your ear, Look for a fish carved into the entranceway to the burialchambers beside the Via Tiburtina. You smile in gratitude.

Comparatively, modern society is awash in those same Christian symbols that kept early Christians safely connected: they appear on churches, bumper stickers, mugs even mints and stuffed animals. Yet, we are often ignorant of the origins of these symbols having lost the urgency of our spiritual ancestors hostile environment.

Noted author Mike Aquilina conducts an intriguing tour of symbols that guided the first four centuries of the Church’s existence. He explains how Christians borrowed pagan and Jewish symbols, giving them new, distinctly Christian meanings. Recover the voice and urgency of our spiritual ancestors symbolic language and discover the impact the symbols still have.

Black and white illustrations by Lea Ravotti of artifacts uncovered throughout the Middle East beautifully complement the text, showing the variety of contexts in which they were found and the range of skills displayed in their execution.

Take Five: On the Job Meditations With St. Ignatius (co-author with Fr. Kris Stubna)

Build your career while you build your faith by discovering the balance and insight of one of history’s greatest workers–St. Ignatius–founder of the Jesuits.

Literally designed and written to be used in short breaks from work, there are three prompts following each meditation to help you apply St. Ignatius’s teaching to interpersonal issues, stress, office politics, goal setting, moral issues, and more:

  • Think About It – Makes the connection between the teaching and everyday work issues.
  • Go There – Helps you vividly imagine the scene in the Gospel story and ties it to the issue at hand.
  • Remember – Gives you a single sentence or phrase you can easily learn by heart to help you through the issue.

Americans spend the bulk of their lives at work. How will your investment and activity at work serve the Lord?

Love in the Little Things: Tales of Family Life

Paradise? Family life? Really? Yes–and one filled with laughter. If that doesn’t sound like your family but you wish it did, or if you’re just looking for a book to lighten your spirit, Love in the Little Things is for you.

Love involves sacrifice, Mike Aquilina notes, but as he spins humorous stories from his own family, it is evident that moms, dads and kids are happier when they lay down their lives for one another. Love in the Little Things nudges the reader toward a more satisfying family life.

The Resilient Church: The Glory, the Shame, & the Hope for Tomorrow

Beginning with the earliest martyrs and ending with the twentieth century, The Resilient Church offers a fascinating look at the trials and triumphs of the Catholic Church over the past two thousand years. Fast-paced sketches of critical periods in church history give readers perspective on the challenges faced by the church today. Short selections in each chapter highlight some of the great heroes who influenced the course of history. Mike Aquilina does not shrink from the realities of the past, including badly behaved leaders and those who betrayed the Lord. Yet he also leaves readers with well-founded hope for the future: God remains faithful in every circumstance and fulfills his promise to remain with his church always.

The Mass of the Early Christians

What did the first Christians believe about the Eucharist? How did they follow Jesus’ command, Do this in remembrance of me? How did they celebrate the Lord’s Day? What would they recognize in today’s Mass? The answers may surprise you.

In The Mass of the Early Christians, author Mike Aquilina reveals the Church’s most ancient Eucharistic beliefs and practices. Using the words of the early Christians themselves — from many documents and inscriptions — Aquilina traces the Mass s history from Jesus’ lifetime through the fourth century. The Mass stood at the center of the Church’s life, evident in the Scriptures as well as the earliest Christian sermons, letters, artwork, tombstones, and architecture. Even the pagans bore witness to the Mass in the records of their persecutions.

In these legacies from the early Church, you’ll hear and taste and see the same worship Catholics know today: the altar, the priests, the chalice of wine, the bread, the Sign of the Cross…the Lord, have mercy …the Holy, holy, holy …and the Communion.

You’ll see vividly how Jesus followed through on his promise to be with us always, until the end of time.

The Grail Code: Quest for the Real Presence (co-author with Christopher Bailey)

The Holy Grail stories possess a mysterious power that has seized human imagination for centuries. They tell of a great secret finally revealed, of surprising answers to the most profound questions, of a hidden mystery that satisfies our deepest longings. Writers, poets, artists, composers, and filmmakers have pursued the Grail for 1700 years. This great quest drives the legends of King Arthur, propels Indiana Jones’ greatest adventure, and keeps us turning the pages of The Da Vinci Code.

All this makes the Holy Grail stories themselves something of a mystery. Why have these tales captivated humankind so thoroughly and for so long? They enthrall us, say the authors of The Grail Code, because these stories really do touch the deepest parts of our hearts. They are profound meditations on the human condition, showing humans at their most heroic and most vile–pointing us toward God’s remedy for what ails us. The Grail Code is a literary and theological detective story that ends where the Grail legends began–in the room where Jesus gathered his closest friends for the last time, spoke blessed words, broke bread, and shared a sacred cup.

The Fathers of the Church: An Introduction to the First Christian Teachers

Most Christians have at least a passing acquaintance with St. Augustine, but how many know much about Irenaeus, Cyprian, Origen, Polycarp, or Justin? These are just a few of the famous “Fathers of the Church” whose thoughts and teachings have influenced the entire history of Christianity. Now, in easy-to-read and understand language, Mike Aquilina offers “a first look” at the first Fathers.

Concentrating on the first centuries of the Church, this exciting historical overview of the formation of the Faith concentrates – not on the great movements and insights – but on the characters who gave voice to those ideas. From Clement, who was St. Peter’s successor, to John of Damascus, all the greatest names of the first millennium of Church history are present.

A must-read for all who seek to understand the Church’s past in order to prepare for her future.

The Great Life: Essays on Doctrine and Holiness in Honor of Father Ronald Lawler, O.F.M. Cap. (co-editor with Kenneth Ogorek)

The great life is the Catholic life. This collection of essays presents the answer of faith to many questions of our culture. It is an invitation not only to know the Faith but also to love, live, and teach it from the heart of the Church.

Talking to Youth About Sexuality: A Parents’ Guide (co-author with Fr. Kris Stubna)

A guide for faith-filled parents who want to provide their children with Christian education in sexuality and the family.

Living the Mysteries: A Guide for Unfinished Christians (co-author with Scott Hahn)

Until we get to heaven, we’re all unfinished Christians.

There are no “self-made” success stories in the spiritual life. No do-it-yourself kits for aspiring saints. That’s why Living the Mysteries is ideal for a family member, friend, or fellow parishioner who was recently in the RCIA program and received the sacraments of initiation – baptism, confirmation, and the Eucharist – at the Easter Vigil. That’s why it’s perfect for a lifelong Catholic, too.

The early Church had a process in which a teacher guided seekers through stages of inquiry and purification, culminating in a final phase called “mystagogy” – MIST-a-go-gee – “the revelation of the mysteries.”

The instruction the early Christians needed is what we all need, no matter when we were baptized, no matter how much theology we’ve studied. That’s because God’s mysteries are inexhaustible and, until we get to heaven, we’re all unfinished Christians.

Now eight of the early Church’s greatest teachers can be your guides as Living the Mysteries presents the wisdom and insights of:

  • St. Ambrose
  • St. Augustine
  • St. Basil
  • St. Clement of Alexandria
  • St. Cyril of Jerusalem
  • St. Gregory of Nyssa
  • St. John Chrysostom
  • St. Leo the Great

Designed as a devotional – and more – for the fifty days between Easter and Pentecost, Living the Mysteries is a rich spiritual resource valuable any time of the year. Each day features:

  • A passage from the Church’s great teachers that focuses on a relevant point of the mystical or moral life
  • A plan with practical applications for letting that reading inspire your prayer and actions throughout the day

You will treasure these timeless lessons on gaining eternal life.

Praying in the Presence of Our Lord: With St. Thomas Aquinas

“Tantum ergo Sacramentum Veneremur cernui!” – “Down in adoration falling, Lo! The sacred Host we hail!” These words, written by the great theologian St. Thomas Aquinas, have inspired millions over the past seven centuries. St. Thomas’s devotion to the Eucharist was profound. His brother Dominicans recalled that he would spend long hours kneeling before the tabernacle. When he faced a particularly difficult problem, he would lean against the tabernacle, as if to rest against the Master’s heart as did the Beloved Disciple at the Last Supper. Now St. Thomas’s immortal poems of praise – in both their original Latin and stunning translation – have been assembled along with insightful meditations and commentary by Mike Aquilina, in Praying in the Presence of Our Lord with St. Thomas Aquinas. Since we usually hear St. Thomas’s hymns during Eucharistic Adoration, it is especially fitting to let his words join ours before the altar. Pray these prayers as St. Thomas did, in the presence of Our Lord, before His tabernacle, where He dwells among us.

A Pocket Catechism for Kids (co-author with Fr. Kris Stubna)

From the very first “Who are you?” to the final “What other prayers does the Church recommend?” A Pocket Catechism for Kids is the ideal introduction to the treasures of the Catholic Faith for children grades 2 through 8. Using a popular question-and-answer format, authors Father Kris Stubna and Mike Aquilina explain the saving truths that Jesus taught in short, easy-to-understand-and-memorize sections that draw from both Scripture and the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

Examining the basics, A Pocket Catechism for Kids serves as both a primer on the Faith and a readily accessible resource and reference guide. A Pocket Catechism for Kids also contains sections on traditional Catholic prayers, a guide to making a good Confession, an explanation of the Mass, and more – virtually everything children need to know to understand and live the Faith!

The How-To Book of Catholic Devotions (co-author with Regis J. Flaherty)

What do you say when someone asks, “You’re a Catholic. So tell me, what do Catholics do when they pray a novena?” Or when they “offer it up.” Or “wear a medal.” Or “go to Confession.” Or any of the dozens of other devotions that set Catholics apart from other Christians.

If you’ve ever been tongue-tied trying to explain Catholic practices – or if you have a few questions of your own – or maybe you are just learning about Catholicism, you’ve got to read The How-To Book of Catholic Devotions. The How-To Book of Catholic Devotions is the only book that not only provides the who, what, where, when, and why of the most time-honored traditions of the Church but also the how.

In this collection of Catholic devotions, authors Mike Aquilina and Regis J. Flaherty outline everything you need to know but nobody ever taught you about the ways Catholics pray with sign and symbol. From the Angelus to an Examination of Conscience to First Fridays, Vigil Candles, and more, you’ll learn exactly what words to say, what gestures to make, what actions to take – in short, you’ll find step-by-step guidelines to all the devotional rites and rituals of the Catholic Faith. But that’s not all. The How-To Book of Catholic Devotions also furnishes a history of each devotion and a reflection on its importance in the prayer life of Catholics as well as succinct and salient quotes from saints and prominent members of the Church.

And there’s still more! With its down-to-earth, practical advice, The How-To Book of Catholic Devotions incorporates cautions, drawn from Scripture and Tradition for potential temptations and distractions as well as revealing the blessings and graces associated with the devotions.

If you want to learn what devotions comprise a truly Catholic life and share those practices with others, you can’t be without The How-To Book of Catholic Devotions.

The World’s First Christmas: Jubilee 2000 (co-author with Regis J. Flaherty)

It’s Christmas time in the city. And if you think that’s cause for celebration, you ought to see what’s going on in a little cave on the outskirts — the very epicenter of the extravaganza.

That’s the theme underlying this collection of writings and artwork published by the Diocese of Pittsburgh to mark Jesus’ 2,000th birthday. An ornamental Christmas keepsake in its own right, the colorful, coffee-table volume manages to evoke the season’s warm festivity while putting its cultural customs in their proper place: at the service of the Gospel event they commemorate.

“Christmas decorations, the tree, exchanging gifts and enjoying other Christmas traditions are all important and joyful events, but we should never let them distract us from the truth that is at the very heart of the Christmas season,” writes Pittsburgh Bishop Donald W. Wuerl in the book’s introduction. “On the first Christmas day, God came among us in the person of Jesus Christ, Emmanuel, God with us. Nothing in human experience is more exciting than this truth, and no one has so changed history as has the infant son of Mary, who is also the Son of God.”

The book’s graphics are highlighted by full-page and inset displays of paintings by the masters — Botticelli, Raphael, Grunewald, Fra Angelico — while the text has been compiled from wide and varied sources spanning the centuries. Along with key Scripture passages and the lyrics of selected carols, here are homilies, liturgical readings, prayers, blessings, poems and reflections. The subject is just what happened in Bethlehem, circa 1 A.D., and among the luminaries who weigh in on the matter are St. John Chrysostom, St. Louis de Montfort, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Blessed Edith Stein, Caryll Houselander, G.K. Chesterton, Dorothy Sayers, St. Bonaventure, Pope St. Leo the Great and T.S. Eliot.

Also included are descriptions of popular customs and symbols, along with explanations of how each relates to historical observances of the birth of Christ. From the Christmas tree to the candy cane, from the hanging of stockings to the entry of St. Nicholas on the Christmas stage, all, directly or indirectly, situate us at the site where an unassuming Jewish girl has just given birth to a son.

“Dear children, as I write to you I am thinking of when, many years ago, I was a child like you,” writes Pope John Paul II in a 1994 Christmas exhortation. “[W]hen the star of Bethlehem shone, I would hurry to the crib together with the other boys and girls to relive what happened 2,000 years ago in Palestine. We children expressed our joy mostly in song. How beautiful and moving are the Christmas carols which, in the tradition of every people, are sung around the crib! … What joy and tenderness they express about the Divine Child who came into the world that Holy Night!”

The editors have chosen a decorative typeface that unnecessarily slows the eye in the prose passages. The payoff is its effect on the poetry. Especially intriguing is how even familiar verse, such as the carol “O Little Town of Bethlehem,” works here as silent reflection.

And as evangelical witness. “There’s no doubt that … conversions take place with greater frequency during the Christmas season,” the editors write in one section’s introduction. “It is on Christmas morning that churches ordinarily empty fill to overflowing.” Put this book under the tree for someone who needs to make a little more room in his life for Christ after the tinsel and lights have come down.

What Catholics Believe: A Pocket Catechism (co-author with Fr. Kris Stubna

Catholics of a certain age fondly remember the Baltimore Catechism, the gold standard question-and-answer catechism that provided an entire generation of Catholics with easy-to-understand-and-memorize answers to the basic truths of the Catholic Church.

Now, noted authors Mike Aquilna and Fr. Kris D. Stubna have taken this time-honored question-and-answer format and written a new catechism rooted in the Catechism of the Catholic Church and the documents of Vatican II.

From the very first question: “Who are you?” to the final “What prayers does the Church recommend?” this sure-to-become-a-classic is filled with the richness of Catholic teaching.

In addition to the question-and-answer section, What Catholics Believe also contains sections on traditional Catholic prayers, a guide to making a good Confession, an explanation of the Mass, and much, much more.

The Way of the Fathers: Praying With the Early Christians

From the pious to the practical, the reflections of the Fathers of the Church cover virtually every aspect of the Christian life. Noted author Mike Aquilina has compiled their ancient axioms into a concise collection of comments designed for busy, modern readers. Pray with the poetry of St. Gregory Nazianzen. Find clear direction in the practical advice of St. Jerome. And, let your heart turn toward the heavenly Jerusalem, following the 1000 timeless treasures in The Way of the Fathers.

Weapons of the Spirit: Selected Writings of Father John Hugo (co-editor with David Scott)

This collection of the writings of Father John J. Hugo offers an exceptional opportunity to reexamine and renew your desire to determine the will of God.

Father Hugo was a pioneer in the “retreat movement.” The spiritual advisor of Dorothy Day, founder of the Catholic Worker movement, and one of the most significant lay Catholic initiatives in the history of the American Church.

What makes Father Hugo’s writing so relevant is his ability to bring together the teachings of Jesus and the saints as they apply to today’s society. By “translating” the teachings of the Church’s spiritual classics, Father Hugo shows that the joy of Christianity lies in the high ceiling of each of us to a genuinely holy life.