Rebuild my Church
Although the Church is always in need of renewal, it is difficult to not feel the unique urgency of this call in the modern world. As many of us know, it was from the crucifix that Jesus spoke these words to St. Francis, "Francis, rebuild my Church." While this work of renewing, rebuilding and repenting was not uniquely entrusted to St. Francis, his sons and daughters can't help but resonate with this call deep in their souls.
As young men move to New York City and begin their journey as Franciscan Friars of the Renewal, they will begin their education in participating in God's work of rebuilding. While prayer, communal life, and working are essential components to this formation, so is their intellectual formation. This list of books provides the intellectual foundation for these aspiring re-builders.
We begin our formation with the Word of God. The study of scripture will often be complimented by one of the CFR's favorite commentaries, Fire of Mercy, Heart of the Word and an in depth study of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (it's wisdom cannot be overlooked).
Of course, without a deep prayer life, our building is in vain! For this reason, we look to the great Carmelite Mystics, St. John of the Cross and St. Theresa of Avila, for our instruction on prayer.
As the men grow in relationship with God's word and interiorize it through daily prayer, we focus in on the person of Jesus and his Holy Mother through classics like Fulton Sheen's The Life of Christ and Fr. Michael Gaitley's 33 Days to Morning Glory.
Then we take a deep look at St. Francis himself, God's greatest instrument of renewal after Our Lord and Our Lady. While a number of great works have been created studying St. Francis, two great biographies are by Omer Englebert and St. Bonaventure.
To help our men translate their prayer and study into their modern situation, many will pick up books from Fr. Benedict Groeschel, Fr. Andrew Apostoli, and of course we always look at "Our Holy Aunt" Mother Teresa whose life and work closely resonate with Seraphic hearts.
This "short-course" for rebuilding the Church is certainly not for the faint of heart, but neither is the task at hand! May the Holy Spirit, the one who makes all things new, anoint your study and lead you deeply into the heart of God.
A portion of all proceeds will go to help the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal in their work to rebuild the Church among the poor in New York City and around the world.
Ignatius Journaling Bible (RSV, 2CE)
Catechism of the Catholic Church, English Updated Edition
Our Sunday Visitor
Life of Christ
33 Days to Morning Glory: A Do-It- Yourself Retreat in Preparation for Marian Consecration
Fire Within: St. Teresa of Avila, St. John of the Cross, and the Gospel-On Prayer
St. Francis of Assisi: A Biography
The Life of St. Francis of Assisi
Francis of Assisi in His Own Words: The Essential Writings
Paraclete Press (MA)
The Reform of Renewal
Fatima for Today: The Urgent Marian Message of Hope
The Gift of God: The Holy Spirit
What to Do When Jesus Is Hungry: A Practical Guide to the Works of Mercy
Walk Humbly with Your God: Simple Steps to a Virtuous Life
Something Beautiful for God