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of Christian enthusiasm: from Montanism

and Donatism to Jansenism and

Quietism. Much more captivating and

rewarding than it sounds!



‘The Quiet Light’

Louis de Wohl

This historical novel was written at the

Pope’s personal request. In 1948, Wohl,

an internationally acclaimed author, was

granted an audience with Pope Pius XII.

He asked the Holy Father what he should

write about next. ‘St Thomas Aquinas,’

the Pope replied, without hesitation. The

Quiet Light is the result.


‘Secrets of the Saints’

Henri Gheon

Gheon was an accomplished playwright

and dramatist, who applied his craft to

reinventing the traditional hagiography.

Secrets of the Saints artfully depicts the

human pathos and grace-filled triumphs

of four great saints: St Margaret Mary

Alacoque; St Thérèse of Lisieux; St John

Bosco; and St Jean-Marie Vianney.


‘Something Beautiful for God’

Malcolm Muggeridge

This is the book that introduced Mother

Teresa to the world, and changed the

world in the process. It is the fruit of a

1969 TV documentary by Muggeridge, a

writer and journalist who was at various

times an independent socialist, a British

spy, and, ultimately, through Mother

Teresa’s influence, a Catholic convert.

3. ‘

Theology and Sanity’

Frank Sheed

Sheed (who admittedly lived in London

but hailed from Sydney) is Australia’s

answer to G.K. Chesterton and C.S.

Lewis. He may not be as famous, but he

is every bit their equal as an apologist,

catechist, and popular theologian.

Theology and Sanity is Sheed’s

masterpiece: a profound but accessible

synthesis of Catholic theology.


4. ‘

Christianity and European Culture’

Christopher Dawson

Dawson, acclaimed as ‘the greatest

English-speaking Catholic historian of

the twentieth century,’ is undeservedly

obscure. This collection of Dawson’s

work ably demonstrates why he is so

celebrated in history and cultural studies,

and why he should be more widely

known and read.


‘The Catholic Revival in

English Literature’

Ian Ker

Published in 2003, Ker’s survey of six

great writers and Catholic converts –

Newman, Hopkins, Belloc, Chesterton,

Greene and Waugh – is surely destined

to join the literary pantheon of modern

classics. It is rightly described as ‘a

masterpiece of literary criticism as well as

a kind of theological primer.’


‘Enthusiasm: A Chapter in the

History of Religion’

Ronald Knox

The eminently readable Knox called

Enthusiasm ‘the whole of [my] literary

life; the unique child of [my] thought.’ It

documents the history and development