Introduction to the Devout Life by St. Francis de Sales (Church Doctor)

This book has a few specific chapters on friendship that are very very valuable.

Download this handy PDF for A4 paper:

English translation

Original French

Intro to the Devout Life (google)

Intro to the Devout Life (babelfish)

INTRODUCTION TO LIFE DEVOTION. Of Saint Francis de Sales. Full text, published after the edition of 1619. INTRODUCTION TO LIFE DEVOTION... - 42k

Intro to the Devout Life (original french)

INTRODUCTION A LA VIE DÉVOTE. DE SAINT FRANCOIS DE SALES. Texte intégral, publié d’après l’édition de 1619. INTRODUCTION A LA VIE DÉVOTE ... - 42k

Royal Scholars to the King become Catholic

September 20th is dedicated to the memorial of St Andrew Kim Taegon, St Paul Chong Hasang, and their companions. Breaking with tradition in 1984, Pope John Paul II canonized 103 saints, not in Rome, but in Korea. Korea is the only place in the world to become catholic through books and the grace of Jesus Christ. When catholics in Korea asked for a priest in a letter to Rome, the pope did not know where Korea was. Many of these scholars ended up being killed. Why?

As I struggle with PDF files in the creation of catholic content, it dawned that I should consider the intercession of the Korean saints, co-workers through and with Jesus Christ, in the unity of the Holy Spirit. When looking for a public domain portrait of the 103 saints, I came across something of happy memory:

The True Meaning of the Lord of Heaven by Matteo Ricci (Popular among scholars of the royal court in Korea)

Only part of this work is available online in English. Matteo Ricci was an Italian mathematician/scientist/linguist/all-around-nerd/priest writing to a Chinese audience. He was extremely close to converting the Chinese Emperor.

Thanks to "西儒 ─ The Western Confucian" for making the Korean feastday worthwhile this year. ("To put the world in order, we must first put the nation in order; to put the nation in order, we must put the family in order; to put the family in order, we must cultivate our personal life; and to cultivate our personal life, we must first set our hearts right" ─ Confucius.)

True Meaning of the Lord of Heaven (Jesuit Primary Sources in English Translations Series I : No. 6)

The Wise Man From the West : Matteo Ricci and his Mission to China

Roman Catholic Church in Korea: Korean Martyrs, Myeongdong Cathedral, Jeoldu-San, Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Daegu, Bishop of Pyongyang

The Korean Martyr Saints - Founders of a Church

Current Philosophical Trends Challenging an Absolute Truth: Investigating Faith and Reason

This talk was given at WYD2008 in Sydney, Australia, and presented by Creston College.
An hour and a half presentation at World Youth Day. It's a bit slow, but has some reasonable parts, especially beyond the hour mark and towards the end.
  • 05-28min -- "Positivism: Old Age and the Value of Life" by Kirsty McKillop? Further reading: "Tuesdays with Morrie" by Mitch Albom
  • 28-32min -- Questions given to Kirsty
  • 32-49min -- "Relativism" by Katrina George, a lecturer in law at the University of Western Sydney and a director of Women's Forum Australia, an independent think tank that conducts research, education and public policy on women's issues.
  • 49-56min -- Questions to Katrina: Basic needs vs basic goods. Recommended reading Robert George (books on natural law), Q: Catholic Church "holds the fullness of Truth". Institutional structure give the splendor of truth? ie. slavery. Q: Freedom of religion and law, A: More trust in reason, basic goods
  • 56-1:26min -- "Freedom and Truth" by Patricia AUT management commerce law northland ethics. Free will, happiness (to be loved and to love properly), love requires freedom, erroneous views of freedom, tolerance and truth, relativism and truth.
  • "Truth is God. Truth is a Person and someone we can choose to trust and to love. Authentic freedom is choosing God and allowing ourselves to be taught by God and to follow His Will." -- Pope Benedict XVI
  • Tolerance is compatible with an absolute truth.
  • Intellect and reason should be used in searching for that truth.
  • Freedom is to choose and love the truth.

See also:

"In the Grip of Vice: Tearing the Soul from Virtue" by Professor Hayden Ramsay

Theology on Tap: Sydney

"Have you noticed how often the call for freedom is made without ever referring to the truth of the human person? Some today argue that respect for freedom of the individual makes it wrong to seek truth, including the truth about what is good. In some circles to speak of truth is seen as controversial or divisive, and consequently best kept in the private sphere. And in truth's place -- or better said its absence -- an idea has spread which, in giving value to everything indiscriminately, claims to assure freedom and to liberate conscience. This we call relativism. But what purpose has a "freedom" which, in disregarding truth, pursues what is false or wrong? How many young people have been offered a hand which in the name of freedom or experience has led them to addiction, to moral or intellectual confusion, to hurt, to a loss of self-respect, even to despair and so tragically and sadly to the taking of their own life? Dear friends, truth is not an imposition. Nor is it simply a set of rules. It is a discovery of the One who never fails us; the One whom we can always trust. In seeking truth we come to live by belief because ultimately truth is a person: Jesus Christ. That is why authentic freedom is not an opting out. It is an opting in; nothing less than letting go of self and allowing oneself to be drawn into Christ's very being for others (cf. Spe Salvi, 28)." -- [Pope Benedict XVI Meeting with Seminarians and Youth at St Joseph's Seminary; Dunwoodie, New York; April 19, 2008]

    The New Jerusalem Bible, Douay-Rheims, Navarre Bible Series, Haydock Commentary...

    The New Jerusalam Bible (NJB) is the first catholic Bible that has made me generally happy since converting. The footnotes at the bottom of each page and cross-references in the margin are worthwhile. The translation and notes also seem better than the RSV (Revised Standard Version) and the New American Bible (NAB). The NAB is my least favorite edition. The Douay-Rheims Bible is good for translation, but sharing it with others without a taste for archaic forms of English is a bit of a problem.

    The Navarre Bible series is great and preferred as a starting point for commentary, but I don't own the whole set...and the New Jerusalem Bible is more portable and attainable at 2000 pages. For the curious, the Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary (1859 edition) is available online.

    New: Catena Aurea - The Golden Chain by St. Thomas Aquinas (Church Doctor): a commentary compiled on the Gospels by the Early Church Fathers.

    The versions of the Bible that I used while young were: (in order of preference, but I used them all simultaneously nearly verse by verse)
    • The King James Version (helped by a Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, 8th edition (1970-1980))
    • The Picture Bible by Iva Hoth (can help for clarifying people/events in your head)
    • A Children's Literature Bible (It was a complete Bible and somehow seemed more comprehensive/explicit than the "Good News Bible".)
    • The Good News Bible (with those odd stick-like figure drawings)

    Spiritual Combat by Fr. Lorenzo Scupoli

    *Update* Now includes a "Treatise on Peace of Soul", traditionally included in the publication of "Spiritual Combat".

    St. Francis de Sales, Church Doctor and Gentleman Saint, carried this book in his pocket for over 20 years.

    • PDF file: download [A4 paper, 36 pages + 6 pages "On Peace of Soul"]

    The Sinner's Guide by Venerable Louis of Granada

    *New* Original Spanish version at bottom. . .

    St. Teresa of Avila (Church Doctor) stated that this work of Venerable Louis converted over 1,000,000 souls in her day. She, along with St. John of the Cross (Church Doctor), St. Francis de Sales (Church Doctor), St. Charles Borromeo, St. Vincent de Paul, and St. Rose of Lima, all counted it among their favorite spiritual books.
    Download shortened PDF (guidance)
    Full version (why you shouldn't + guidance):

    By Venerable Louis of Granada (1504-1588) - The Writer of the Spanish Empire

    In the original Spanish:

    "In the Grip of Vice: Tearing the Soul from Virtue" by Professor Hayden Ramsay

    Theology on Tap: Sydney

    "In the Grip of Vice: Tearing the Soul from Virtue" with Professor Hayden Ramsay, 2nd June 2008...... leading to "natural law" (ie. things you can't not know -- is that a double negative? I'm sure it is.)

    Professor Hayden Ramsay

    Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Executive Dean
    School of Philosophy and Theology, Sydney

    If this isn't enough on natural law, check out:

    And author of recent books on natural law: (same university as Peter Singer, hah, small world)

    Theology on Tap in Sydney / Notre Dame Australia St. Thomas More Society: