Jun 202017

A couple of weeks ago, I took my 12-year-old daughter to the town library in search of something to read. When I asked the librarian in charge of the YA section to recommend something without suicide or sex, she said, without hostility but quite firmly that we were in the wrong section.

She goes on to review For Steam and Country: Book One of the Adventures of Baron von Monocle.

I am currently reading this book and greatly enjoying it. More and more my source of books is often independently published ones. The publishing gatekeepers, for the most part, seem to want to promote preachy SJW tracts disguised as novels.

“As writer Walker Percy cracked about vapid contemporary Christian novelists, they’ve sold their birthright for “a pot of message.” Unfortunately this is also now true of secular writers. I wouldn’t mind message fiction as much if there was actually craft in the storytelling, instead the story is subservient to the “message”.

Feb 052015

One of my absolute favorite books I read last year was the Manual for Spiritual Warfare by Paul Thigpen, which I reviewed here.

I see today via Brandon Voght that the Kindle version is on sale.

For the last several weeks, I’ve been carrying the beautiful leather bound edition of Manual for Spiritual Warfare with me to Mass, reading a few passages afterward. It’s loaded with spiritual advice from the saints and Church fathers on how to overcome temptation and defeat those nagging sins.

TAN Books, the publisher, told me it “destroyed our projections” by selling thousands of copies in the first month, which means the leather bound edition is now out of print. They said it should be back in stock in about 10 days.

But in the meantime they’ve decided to significantly drop the price of the Kindle version. Instead of $29.95, you can now now get it for just $4.99:

If you’re looking for some powerful daily reflections to lift your soul and equip you to resist the Devil’s attacks, this is a really great deal.

I am very happy that this book is doing so well. The leather bound edition is exellent, but I am thrilled to own it along with an ebook version.

Make sure you sign up for Brandon’s book deals newsletter at CatholicBookDeals.com. It has notified me regarding lots of sales I have taken advantage of.

Feb 172013

During the last period of Lent I used St. Thomas Aquinas’ “Meditations for Lent”. It was really quite excellent with nice reflections for each day of Lent. I had used a copy that was freely available on Archive.org. Unfortunately like many OCR books scans it was filled with format errors along with missing text formatting. So I had meant to clean it up and make it available before the next Lent. I remembered this on the day before Ash Wednesday and so have been working on cleaning it up for the last week. Using the PDF version as a reference I was able to add formatting such as italics back in which makes it much more readable.

So now I am making that available for everybody and I think it turned out quite well. Although I would not doubt that there might still be an errors in formatting in it. As I read through it again I will be correcting any of these errors I find.

The meditations themselves actually start from Septuagesima Sunday (Note 1) and go on to Holy Saturday.

Note 1: Septuagesima Sunday is the third Sunday before the start of Lent, which makes it the ninth Sunday before Easter. Traditionally, Septuagesima Sunday marked the beginning of preparations for Lent. Septuagesima and the following two Sundays (Sexagesima, Quinquagesima) were celebrated by name in the traditional Roman Catholic liturgical calendar, which is still used for the traditional Latin Mass. The three Sundays were removed from the revised liturgical calendar released in 1969; today, they are just denominated as Sundays in Ordinary Time. (source)


Dec 272012

I received this from John Quinn (Courageous Priest blog) about a book he and his twin brother wrote.

Amazon is promoting our new book called the Ultimate Saints Guide to the Immaculate Conception. We want to allow you to give it away as a gift to your subscribers/readers starting on December 26th –30th. We are giving it away as a thank you for all of the graces Our Lady has granted us. We humbly ask you, in honor of Lady’s Immaculate Conception, to offer this to you readers as a thank you or Christmas present.

We want to thank you for you time and consideration of spreading knowledge of our Blessed Mother. Knowing how busy you are, we are supplying you a possible post you could copy and paste with code to your site…

I want to say thank you and Merry Christmas. I am very excited to share this unique chance to get a free book about the Immaculate Conception of Mary. It is called the Ultimate Saints Guide to the Immaculate Conception, by Dan and John Quinn. Amazon is promoting this book by giving it away for a limited time (a few days after Dec 26–30).

In this book you will discover:

  • The ultimate proof of the Immaculate Conception.
  • Our Lady’s own description of the Immaculate Conception of Mary, as revealed by Saint Bridget of Sweden.
  • The virtually unknown story of Sts. Joachim and Ann, and their unique role in salvation history.
  • Arguably the best apologetic work of St. Robert Bellarmine, Doctor of the Church. This hidden gem has been read by only a handful of Catholics worldwide.
  • Definitive proof that the Immaculate Conception of Mary was proclaimed since the beginning of the Church. Discover, first hand, the oral traditions of the Early Church and their teachings.

You can download the book for free now at Amazon.

Oct 112012

The start of “The Year of Faith” coincides purposely with the start of the Second Vatican Council 50 years ago.  Much has been said about the false “Spirit of Vatican II” which was a purposeful misdirection to the texts of Vatican II.  While I have read some of the documents and parts of others I haven’t read through all of them.  So I figured this was an opportune time to correct that.

Today the Pope said “I have often insisted on the need to return, as it were, to the ‘letter’ of the Council — that is to its texts — also to draw from them its authentic spirit, and (it is) why I have repeated that the true legacy of Vatican II is to be found in them,”

So I have put together an ebook containing all the Councilar Documents which I will read this year and make available for others.



Reading these documents in context of the faith of the Church  is a good way to inoculate yourself against the false spirit of Vatican II.

Jun 142012

“Providing the Catechism in this particular electronic format will make this foundational resource even more accessible to people,” explained Bishop John Wester, chair of the USCCB Communications Committee. “It is free to anyone who has access to the Internet.”

Available through any Internet browser, the Catechism file displays and functions as an e-book. Users can bookmark or highlight areas, see footnotes in a “light box” without leaving the original page, and search within the Catechism, including by paragraph number.

…“The USCCB is wisely using technology to serve their constituents and they are raising the bar for engaging users,” said Dave Gallerizzo, CEO of Fig Leaf Software, the interactive Web agency that partnered with the USCCB to create the e-book. “There might be some e-book readers that have a few of these features, but I doubt you can find one that offers all of these features in a single application.”

OSV reported on this as Catechism now available in free e-book format which is not quite accurate since the actual ebook version in ePub format is $9.95. and they call it the “E-Catechism of the Catholic Church”, which is rather lame.

The online version is actually pretty good with a solid search and quick access to the index throughout. Judging from the url of the site they are using a viewer that translats the epub format for the browser. The epub format is actually a zipped file that contains html, css, images, etc. The functionally they mention of bookmarking and highlighting seems to be missing. I could find no way to do so and I tried it in a couple of browsers. You couldn’t even do a regular bookmark of a section since the url never changes as you navigate. The same goes for the footnotes which have links at the bottom of each section and simply link to the specific footnote using normal html navigation. Maybe I totally missed out how to do this?

For years the St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church site has had an online catechism with search and has been quite useful. The USCCB online version of the Catechism is I think a more effective implementation and more usable. If they actually implement the features they say they listed it will be quite excellent, until then it is the best way to read the CCC online.

Update: Jeff Geerling also post on this and finds the usability on a mobile device to be rather poor. I had only looked at it on the iPad myself and of course on it’s screen size there is no problem. This is definitely a rather serious oversight and I recommend that you read what Jeff has to say.

Jun 042012

Recently Pope Benedict XVI formally announced the selection of two new Doctors of the Church.

The Spirit, who “has spoken through the prophets”, with the gifts of wisdom and knowledge continues to inspire women and men who engage in the pursuit of truth, offering original ways of understanding and of delving into the mystery of God, of man and of the world. In this context, I am delighted to announce that on 7 October, at the start of the Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, I will proclaim St John of Avila and St Hildegard of Bingen Doctors of the universal Church. These two great witnesses of the faith lived in two very different historical periods and cultural environments. Hildegard was a Benedictine nun in the heart of medieval Germany, an authentic teacher of theology and a profound scholar of natural science and music. John, a diocesan priest in the years of the Spanish Renaissance, shared in the travail of the cultural and religious renewal of the Church and of all society at the dawn of modern times. But the sanctity of their life and the profundity of their doctrine render them perennially relevant: the grace of the Holy Spirit, in fact, projected them into the experience of penetrating understanding of divine revelation and intelligent dialogue with that world which constitutes the eternal horizon of the life and action of the Church.

When I originally found out about this announcement in regards to St. John of Avila some months back it sparked my interest in this saint and I wondered if any of his writing were online? One book containing many of his letters was available on archive.org, but like many public domain scanned-in books the formatting was messed up. So I have cleaned it up and am making available as an ebook. This book of letters of spiritual direction are quite good, not exactly surprising for someone picked out as a Doctor of the Church.

ePub Version – Most e-readers
Kindle Version

May 062012

Being an avid reader and always on the prowl for new titles I have quite a long wish list. Sometimes I will run across a book referenced on a Catholic blog that is likely in the public domain now. I came across a reference to “Meditations on Christian Dogma” on Fr. Powell, OP blog and was quite intrigued by what he wrote. I mean how could I not love a title like that? Originally written in 1898 I was able to find scanned copies of it for both volumes of it. Unfortunately the OCR scan of it wasn’t that good and so the text version contained multiple errors such as spacing and splitting words along with other format errors. So I went through both volumes cleaning them up as much as I could.

I then read the first volume completely and marked up the errors I found. Luckily with ebooks it is pretty easy to highlight text and at the end I had a notes page with links to all the error so that I could go and clean up the ebook.

This was quite a bit of work actually, but “Meditations on Christian Dogma” is just so excellent that I really wanted a fairly good copy of it available for others. This book as a series of meditations would be particularly useful as daily meditations that each consist of three parts. I would guess that there are enough meditations in the two volumes to last at least a year. These meditations are also particularly rich.

When I finish the second volume I will also make it available.

Fr. Powell has a a more in-depth review of the two books on his site.

I have set up a new page on my blog that will list all the free ebooks I make available. This is accessible via the top of my blog or here. I have multiple books and other documents such as encyclicals and other Church documents I had converted previously that I will be adding to this new page. You can find “Meditations on Christian Dogma Volume I” there.

Rev. James Bellord, D.D.