Anonymous. Cultivating Virtue: Self-Mastery with the Saints. Translated by A Member of the Order of Mercy, TAN Books, 2016.
Cultivating Virtue is a useful book for the spiritual life and developing virtue in ourselves.It covers a different virtue each month, gives a quote from a saint, and then gives a brief reflection on the quote/saint and the virtue being covered. Many people have asked for recommendations for a simple devotional, and this is one that I’ve been recommending; the pastor bought a copy and began recommending it because it’s so well put together and such an aid in the spiritual life.
Tanqueray, Adolphe. The Spiritual Life: A Treatise on Asceticaland Mystical Theology. TAN Books, 2000.
The Spiritual Life is not something I usually recommended to people because it contains quite a bit of heavy theology, and the language is in such a way that many people would get stuck just on that alone. Instead, I often use this treatise for preparing homilies and classes on the spiritual life. Need in depth information on something particular? This book has it and it’s useful! It’s laid out in such a fashion that makes it relatively easy to understand and digest if you’reused to reading theology books (I.e. priests/seminarians/etc). One of the most beneficial aspects of this book is really the specific examples of how to overcome the seven deadly sins. Someone struggling with anger? This will delve into what anger is at its root and give you real life ways to work towards conquering that sin.
Guardini, Romano. The Lord. Simon and Schuster, 2012.
Each chapter in The Lord is essentially Guardini’s reflections on that subject. It’s really good at presenting the life of our Lord from an intellectually challenging/engaging perspective, i.e. origin, ancestry, the BVM, the Incarnation, the Forerunner,Baptism & Temptation, etc. It’s pretty exhaustive in this regard. This is what I use for my daily holy hour; usually a chapter, or so each day. It was recommended by my spiritual director some time ago, and I’m just now getting around to reading it.
Aldridge, Kevin. Doctrinal Homily Outlines, web.
http://www.doctrinalhomilyoutlines.com/ This website is extremely helpful when preparing Sunday homilies; it identifies a theme running through the scripture readings, and provides the CCC references to help plan the doctrinal aspect of the homily.
The Catechism Explained, web.
https://bellarmineforum.org/bf_catechism/the-catechism-explained/catechism-explained-table-of-contents/ It’s an older resource, explaining an older catechism, but it does an outstanding job of explaining Catholic doctrine in very simple terms while remaining faithful to Catholic teaching.
USCCB Lectionary, web
http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings I generally begin all homilies with this website, gotta read the scripture before I can know what I’m preaching on!
Homiletic Directory, Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments
http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/ccdds/documents/rc_con_ccdds_doc_20140629_direttorio-omiletico_en.html This is very useful for finding doctrine that corresponds to the Sunday readings.
On Prayer, Benedict XVI
http://www.ewtn.com/library/PAPALDOC/b16chrstpryr.htm Benedict gave numerous Wednesday audiences on prayer, EWTN has graciously collected them into a single page. I use this when preparing retreats and such on prayer.