Spiritual Tools

Laudato Si by Pope Francis

In the heart of this world, the Lord of life, who loves us so much, is always present. He does not abandon us, he does not leave us alone, for he has united himself definitively to our earth, and his love constantly impels us to find new ways forward. Praise be to him! Pope Francis, Laudato Si

In his second encyclical, Laudato Si: On Care of Our Common Home, Pope Francis draws all Christians into a dialogue with every person on the planet about our common home. We as human beings are united by the concern for our planet, and every living thing that dwells on it, especially the poorest and most vulnerable. Pope Francis letter joins the body of the Church’s social and moral teaching, draws on the best scientific research, providing the foundation for the ethical and spiritual itinerary that follows. Laudato Si outlines:

  • The current state of our common home
  • The Gospel message as seen through creation
  • The human causes of the ecological crisis
  • Ecology and the common good
  • Pope Francis’ call to action for each of us

Our Sunday Visitor has included discussion questions, making it perfect for individual or group study, leading all Catholics and Christians into a deeper understanding of the importance of this teaching.

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Compendium of the Catechism

Catholics’ hunger for the faith continues to grow. Pope Benedict XVI gives the Church the “food” that is seeks in the 598 questions and answers in the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. This 200-page volume offers a quick synopsis of the essential contents of the faith as promulgated in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

Like the 1992 Catechism, the Compendium has a four-part structure, and includes a section on common prayers and Catholic doctrinal formulas. Because of the question-and-answer format, catechetical leaders-parents, pastors, teachers, principals, and catechists-have a unique opportunity to dialogue with the faithful, and reinvigorate the Church’s ongoing mission of evangelization and catechesis. Individuals can come “to know the unfathomable riches of the salvific mystery of Jesus Christ” by reading, using, and memorizing parts of the Compendium of the Catechism.

An essential tool for youth and young adults, the Compendium is the perfect companion to a youth or young adult’s Bible, spiritual reading, or textbook. Catechetical leaders in high schools, colleges, and parishes will appreciate its versatility-as a reference book, discussion starter, or core resource for RCIA programs. Fourteen images taken from masterpieces of Christian art set a tone for each part or section. “The sacred images, with their beauty, are also a proclamation of the Gospel and express the splendor of the Catholic truth,” explained Pope Benedict XVI.

The Compendium of the Catechism was prepared by a commission presided by the then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger. Following the request for greater appreciation of the Catechism, and in order to meet a widespread need that emerged during the 2002 International Catechetical Congress, in 2003 the Holy Father established a special commission, presided by the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, that he charged with preparing a Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, containing a more concise and dialogic version of the same contents of Catholic faith and morals.

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Purchase this book at your local Catholic bookstore or online. Don’t forget – if you shop on Amazon, make sure to start at Smile.Amazon.com and request that Pilgrim Center of Hope receive a portion of your purchase at no cost to you. Thank you for your much-needed support of this ministry.

Finding God’s Will For You by St. Francis de Sales

If your life seems to make no sense, or if you don’t know which path to take, St. Francis de Sales will console and inform you. In this warm little book, he explains to you what God’s will is and how He reveals it yes, even to you, and even in the seemingly random events of your life.

No matter what you’re going through now (or may have gone through), you’ll see why you should love and trust in God’s will and long for its fulfillment. Best of all, you’ll learn a sure method for discovering God’s will in any situation today!

As you begin to discern God’s loving hand even in seemingly chaotic events, St. Francis de Sales will lead your mind and your heart to the still waters of God’s gentle consolation.

From St. Francis de Sales you’ll learn:

  • Four signs that your heart conforms to God’s will does yours
  • How to accept God’s will even when it seems terrifying and painful
  • Sacred inspirations: not just for the prophets. The many ways God may be knocking on your door — now!
  • Changing your life’s direction: how to spot and avoid all-too-common dangers
  • The simple rule of charity: how it can help you make vital decisions
  • Are you as mature in the virtues as God wills you to be?
  • How to distinguish zeal for God’s will from selfish arrogance
  • Three ways you can recognize a thought or sentiment that comes from God
  • The key ingredient that makes all your actions pleasing to God: can you name it?
  • Making decisions: practical advice to help you distinguish between times when you should move slowly and carefully, and when you should act quickly, without undue time for deliberation

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Purchase this book at your local Catholic bookstore or online. Don’t forget – if you shop on Amazon, make sure to start at Smile.Amazon.com and request that Pilgrim Center of Hope receive a portion of your purchase at no cost to you. Thank you for your much-needed support of this ministry.

Basic Norms for the Formation of Permanent Deacons

This document by the Congregation for Catholic Education serves as a guidebook for the formation of those desiring to become deacons. It includes both a history of the diaconate from its beginnings in the early Church, and wise instruction for those who wish to serve their communities in this particular way.

The document is available to read online for free at Vatican.va, and can be purchased as a hard copy here.

Holy Land Rosary - Meditations on the Gospel Prayer by Deacon Tom Fox

Holy Land Rosary Booklet by Deacon Tom Fox

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Deacon Tom Fox has written a Holy Land Rosary booklet which is available from Pilgrim Center of Hope.  This 80-page booklet includes meditations written by him, photos of the Holy Land, the history and explanation of the Rosary. The Rosary Booklet price is $9.95; all proceeds support this evangelization ministry.  Call us now for your order at 210-521-3377.

Redemptoris Missio (Mission of the Redeemer) by Pope St. John Paul II

Redemptoris Missio - by John Paul IIPope St. John Paul II marked the 25th anniversary of the decree of Vatican II Ad gentes, with his encyclical Redemptoris Missio on the missionary mandate of the Church. The Pope calls for a new impetus in the missionary work of the Church, a Church who is ‘missionary by her very nature’.

Respect for what is good in other religions should not stop the Church from proclaiming Christ as the “the only one able to reveal God and lead to God.” He says,

“’For if I preach the Gospel, that gives me no ground for boasting. For necessity is laid upon me. Woe to me if I do not preach the Gospel!’ (1 Cor 9:16) In the name of the whole Church, I sense an urgent duty to repeat this cry of St Paul. From the beginning of my Pontificate I have chosen to travel to the ends of the earth in order to show this missionary concern. My direct contact with peoples who do not know Christ has convinced me even more of the urgency of missionary activity, a subject to which I am devoting the present encyclical.”

Purchase this book at your local Catholic bookstore or online. Don’t forget – if you shop on Amazon, make sure to start at Smile.Amazon.com and request that Pilgrim Center of Hope receive a portion of your purchase at no cost to you. Thank you for your much-needed support of this ministry.

Evangelii Gaudium - The Joy of the Gospel by Pope Francis

Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel) by Pope Francis

We at Pilgrim Center of Hope highly encourage every Christian to read this document!

Pope Francis encourages every Christian to rediscover the joy of a personal encounter with Jesus and then to engage with renewed vigor in the mission of spreading that joy of the Gospel and becoming spirit-filled evangelizers.

“I have chosen to present some guidelines which can encourage and guide the whole Church in a new phase of evangelization, one marked by enthusiasm and vitality… I have decided, among other themes, to discuss at length the following questions:

· the reform of the Church in her missionary outreach;
· the temptations faced by pastoral workers;
· the Church, understood as the entire People of God which evangelizes;
· the homily and its preparation;
· the inclusion of the poor in society;
· peace and dialogue within society;
· the spiritual motivations for mission.”

(Evangelii Gaudium 17)

The Holy Father puts his vast pastoral experience and the outcome of the Synod on the New Evangelization in 2012 at the service of the whole Church and encourages every member of the Church to act on this renewed priority for the Church: “I want to emphasize that what I am trying to express here has a programmatic significance and important consequences. I hope that all communities will devote the necessary effort to advancing along the path of a pastoral and missionary conversion which cannot leave things as they presently are.” (EG 25)

Purchase this book at your local Catholic bookstore or online. Don’t forget – if you shop on Amazon, make sure to start at Smile.Amazon.com and request that Pilgrim Center of Hope receive a portion of your purchase at no cost to you. Thank you for your much-needed support of this ministry.

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Divine Mercy in My Soul - Diary of St Maria Faustina Kowalska

Divine Mercy In My Soul, the Diary of St. Faustina

The Diary of St. Maria Faustina Kowalska chronicle Sr. Faustina’s great experience of Divine Mercy in her soul and her mission to share that mercy with the world. In the Diary, this woman mystic’s childlike trust, simplicity, and intimacy with Jesus are stirring. Her spiritual insights will are surprising and rewarding. “Only love has meaning,” Faustina writes. “It raises up our smallest actions into infinity.”

Though she died in obscurity in 1938, Sr. Faustina was hailed by Pope John Paul II as “the great apostle of Divine Mercy in our time.” On April 30, 2000, the Pope canonized, saying that the message of Divine Mercy she shared is urgently needed at the dawn of the new millennium. More than 800,000 copies of the Diary have been sold world wide. How did St. Faustina grow in deeper trust and intimacy with Jesus? What promises did He make to her? Discover the answers to these questions and many more in the Diary of St. Faustina.

Purchase this book at your local Catholic bookstore or online. Don’t forget – if you shop on Amazon, make sure to start at Smile.Amazon.com and request that Pilgrim Center of Hope receive a portion of your purchase at no cost to you. Thank you for your much-needed support of this ministry.

Introduction to the Devout Life

Introduction to the Devout Life by St. Francis de Sales

Francis de Sales’s Introduction to the Devout Life has remained a uniquely accessible and relevant treasure of devotion for nearly four hundred years. As Bishop of Geneva in the first quarter of the seventeenth century, Francis de Sales saw to the spiritual needs of everyone from the poorest peasants to court ladies. The desire to be closer to God that he found in people from all levels of society led him to compile these instructions on how to live in Christ.

Francis’s compassionate Introduction leads the reader through practical ways of attaining a devout life without renouncing the world and offers prayers and meditations to strengthen devotion in the face of temptation and hardship.

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Purchase this book at your local Catholic bookstore or online. Don’t forget – if you shop on Amazon, make sure to start at Smile.Amazon.com and request that Pilgrim Center of Hope receive a portion of your purchase at no cost to you. Thank you for your much-needed support of this ministry.

St Therese of Lisieux

Story of a Soul

The Story of a Soul (l’Histoire d’une Âme) is the autobiography of St. Thérèse of Lisieux. It was first published on September 30, 1898, a year to the day after her death from tuberculosis at the age of 24. The book was a single volume formed from three distinct manuscripts – manuscripts of different length, written at different times, addressed to different people, and differing from one another in character. The work of unifying these disparate manuscripts was carried out by Pauline, the sister of Thérèse. It was initially published with a limited audience in mind, the Carmelite convents and certain religious personalities, and just 2000 copies were printed. It quickly became a publishing phenomenon however and Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus was canonized in 1925.

Manuscript A, entitled The Story of a Little White Flower, and dedicated to her sister Pauline, was written between the beginning of January 1895, and the 20 January 1896. Pauline has described how, as she sat with her sisters on a winter evening in the one room of Carmel where there was a fire, the writing of the first manuscript was decided. ” One evening in the beginning of the year 1895, I was with my two sisters Marie and Thérèse. Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus told me several happenings of her childhood and Sister Marie of the Sacred Heart (my eldest sister Marie) said to me; ‘O Mother, what a pity that all this should not be written down for us. If you were to ask Sister Thérèse to write down her childhood memories, how much pleasure this would give us!’..I turned to Sister Thérèse, who laughed as though we were teasing her, and said: ‘I order you to write down your memories of your childhood.’

Manuscript B is a letter to Sister Marie of the Sacred Heart (the eldest sister of Thérèse), and written at her request in three days between the 13 and 16 September 1896. Marie asked Thérèse to write down her spiritual discoveries, what Marie described as her little way of trust and love.

The origin of the third part of the autobiography of Thérèse has been described by Pauline : “It seemed to me that these accounts were incomplete. Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus had concentrated on her childhood and early youth as I had asked her to do, her life as a nun was hardly sketched in. ..I thought it a great pity that she had not described the development of her life in the Carmel in the same way, but just then I had ceased to be Reverend Mother and Mother Marie de Gonzague held this office…seeing that Sister Thérèse was so ill..about midnight on the evening of the 2 June 1897..I went to see Mother Prioress.” Pauline asked the Prioress to order Thérèse to write about her life as a religious and the next morning Marie de Gonzague did so… Most of this manuscript was written during the month of June, 1897. Thérèse stopped writing in the first days of July, 1897. “Eventually the pencil fell from her hand as she wrote the last word, love. It is the final word of all three manuscripts.”

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A Story of a Soul is available for reading at Storyofasoul.com and Project Gutenberg.

Purchase this book at your local Catholic bookstore or online. Don’t forget – if you shop on Amazon, make sure to start at Smile.Amazon.com and request that Pilgrim Center of Hope receive a portion of your purchase at no cost to you. Thank you for your much-needed support of this ministry.