100 Books to Read Before the Four Last Things

The Essential Guide to Catholic Spiritual Classics

Marie I. George

So, you want to do some Catholic spiritual reading! But how to begin? Where to take a seat at so abundant and varied a banquet? What better offerings could there be than a return to treasured classics served up afresh and seasoned with select recent works arising from the heart of our own time? And this is what we find laid out in 100 Books to Read Before the Four Last Things. Here are short reviews—written by lay people of all ages and walks of life, for lay people equally diverse—that will not only guide readers through our rich heritage of Catholic works on the spiritual life, past and present, but help each select works and formulate a path tailored to their own background, temperament, and stage of spiritual development. Look no further. Delay no longer. Here is a book that, no matter who you are, offers stepping-stones to a path of spiritual deepening.

Praise for 100 Books to Read Before the Four Last Things

“It’s rare these days to be given renewed access to the treasury of spiritual classics that are part of the Catholic Church’s extraordinary story. Marie George has done just that and we owe her a debt of gratitude.”

— MOST REVEREND DAVID M. O’CONNELL, C.M., J.C.D., Bishop of Trenton

“Whether you want to check out an unfamiliar writer or return to one who’s already a good friend, this book provides a valuable and accessible resource for your spiritual life.”

— FR. MICHAEL J. DODDS, O.P., Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology

“With so many spiritual books ‘out there,’ the difficulty is knowing where wisely to begin. Marie George and her ‘team’ have put together an excellent map of the terrain, with great suggestions for landmark texts.”

— FR. AIDAN NICHOLS, O.P., Prior of the Dominican Priory of St. Michael the Archangel

“Here Catholic laymen and laywomen summarize an impressive list of spiritual works spanning the centuries, and explain simply and honestly which they find helpful, which they find less helpful, and why.”

— FR. THOMAS CREAN, O.P., S.T.D., author of God is No Delusion: A Refutation of Richard Dawkins

“What are the spiritual classics? Which ones should I read? What will I find? Where will I find it? If you ask these questions, you will definitely want to get a copy of this unique book.”

— THOMAS A. CAVANAUGH, University of San Francisco

“I immediately compiled a list of books I think will be helpful to me, and included some I would not have were it not for this guide’s recommendations. I am personally very grateful for the help.”

— LAURA BERQUIST, author of Designing Your Own Classical Curriculum

“What a wonderful resource for those walking the path toward God! Dr. George has compiled a broad range of ‘must read’ books.”

— MARIANNE T. JABLONSKI, O.P., Provincial President of the Lay Fraternities of St. Dominic, Province of St. Joseph

About the Author

Marie I. George

Marie I. George is a member of the Lay Fraternities of St. Dominic and has a BA from Thomas Aquinas College, a PhD in philosophy from Laval University, plus master’s degrees in biology and pastoral theology. She is a professor of philosophy at St. John’s University, NY. A past volunteer instructor for RCIA, she currently teaches CCD.