On Cultivating the Mind that is Catholic

While books and learning do not guarantee salvation, they can nevertheless, if we let them, open us to those things that we ought to know, the highest things. Often times, we are confused about how to begin this cultivation of the intellectual life, which primarily stems from the fact that we do not know what we should read, or which authors bring us most fully into contact with reality and the totality of things.

Sertillanges implores us to build our own libraries. “Show me your library, and I can tell you the state of your soul” is a good adage to help incline and encourage us to begin collecting our own.

As a means of practical counsel, I have given a simple list of 10 books that one can go to in order to begin nurturing “the mind that is Catholic,” authors who help lead us onwards to wisdom:

1) The Intellectual Life by A.D. Sertillanges, O.P.

2) Another Sort of Learning by Fr. James Schall

3) The Mind That is Catholic: Political and Philosophical Essays by Schall

4) Leisure: The Basis of Culture by Josef Pieper

5) Confessions by St. Augustine

6) Summa Theologiae by St. Thomas Aquinas

7) Nicomachean Ethics by Aristotle

8) Orthodoxy by G.K. Chesterton

9) A First Glance at St. Thomas Aquinas: A Handbook for Peeping Thomists by Ralph McInerny

10) Prayer and Intelligence by Jacques Maritain

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