Listers, SPL once again brings you a list of the best Catholic Christmas gifts of the season. We are extraordinarily pleased to be able to offer you a special Christmas gift discount subscription to the excellent Catholic literary magazine Dappled Things. Also featured on this list are two excellent works: the well-known final volume of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI’s Jesus of Nazareth and the newest text from EWTN’s National Catholic Register Executive Director Dan Burke entitled Navigating the Interior Life. Finally, SPL has come a long way in a little over a year and is this Christmastime able to offer you products from our very own SPL Store.
1. Jesus of Nazareth: The Infancy Narratives
Our Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI has published his third and final volume in the Jesus of Nazareth series. The first two works – Jesus of Nazareth: From the Baptism in the Jordan to the Transfiguration and Jesus of Nazareth: Holy Week: From the Entrance Into Jerusalem To The Resurrection – have proved to be immensely popular and valuable additions to Catholic academia.
Description taken from Ignatius Press on Amazon:
“The momentous third and final volume in the Pope’s international bestselling Jesus of Nazareth series, detailing how the stories of Jesus’ infancy and childhood are as relevant today as they were two thousand years ago.”
“In 2007, Joseph Ratzinger published his first book as Pope Benedict XVI in order “to make known the figure and message of Jesus.” Now, the Pope focuses exclusively on the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ life as a child. The root of these stories is the experience of hope found in the birth of Jesus and the affirmations of surrender and service embodied in his parents, Joseph and Mary. This is a story of longing and seeking, as demonstrated by the Magi searching for the redemption offered by the birth of a new king. It is a story of sacrifice and trusting completely in the wisdom of God as seen in the faith of Simeon, the just and devout man of Jerusalem, when he is in the presence of the Christ child. Ultimately, Jesus’ life and message is a story for today, one that speaks to the restlessness of the human heart searching for the sole truth which alone leads to profound joy.”
2. The “Keep Calm and Catholic On” Coffee Mug
Modeled after the classic British World War II poster, the “Keep Calm and Catholic On” coffee mug reminds you that no matter how pagan the world becomes Holy Mother Church will keep pressing on. Available at the St. Peter’s List Store.
White 11oz. mug with red lettering and red interior.
3. Navigating the Interior Life: Spiritual Direction and the Journey to God
Dan Burke is the founder of Roman Catholic Spiritual Direction and the Executive Director of EWTN’s National Catholic Register. His newest book offering – Navigating the Interior Life – equips Catholics with the spiritual tools necessary to map out and work through their spiritual life.
“No one seeks God alone. Everyone needs help. The journey, however, need not be a complicated one. Thanks be to God, you have in your hands a simple handbook for seeking God. It is informative, succinct, logical and balanced …a breath of fresh air for lungs who long to breathe the fragrance of God.” – Sister Regina Marie Gorman, OCD, Vicar General Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart of Los Angeles
“As a spiritual director, I’m thrilled that Dan Burke has written this book! I’ve been waiting for a book like this. It offers an honest, straight forward, and realistic presentation of how to grow in the interior life, and is sure to be of benefit to both spiritual directors and those seeking spiritual direction.” – Very Rev. Donald Calloway, MIC, STLauthor, No Turning Back: A Witness to Mercy
Amongst many of the praises for Dan Burke’s new book are the accolades from His Excellency Joseph F. Naumann of the Archdiocese of Kansas City.
Just as serious athletes would be foolish for not seeking coaches and trainers to help them learn from the experience of others how best to develop their natural skills, so for the Christian pursuing holiness it is foolhardy not to seek the counsel and direction of wise mentors in the spiritual life. Dan Burke’s Navigating the Interior Life is an immensely practical book to help a serious Catholic take advantage of the wealth of experience and knowledge of those who have trod the path to sanctity for the past 2,000 years.
Just as well–intentioned athletes can waste time, injure themselves, and hurt their team by embarking on an ill–conceived training program, so Christian history is strewn with examples of well–meaning individuals who went astray harming themselves and others by following a mis¬guided, imbalanced and imprudent spiritual path.
Unfortunately, complicating the matter even more not everyone, who claims the mantle of a spiritual director, is actually competent to lead others to holiness. Dan Burke gives very practical advice not only on how to find a good spiritual director, but also how best to access the wealth of resources in our Catholic tradition that can assist in develop¬ing our friendship with Jesus and growing in virtue.
4. St. Benedict’s Medal Crucifix
SPL recently published an extensive list explaining all of the symbolism and spiritual imports of the St. Benedict’s Medal. It has long been a bastion of spiritual defense and safekeeping amongst Catholics. The medal has a proven history of grace behind it warding against such things as witchcraft, temptation, evil spirits, poison, the dangers of storms and has been a boon for the conversion of sinners into Holy Mother Church, safe and timely births for children, and a general remedy against bodily afflictions. The medal attached to a crucifix is generally known as the “Cross of a Happy Death.”
One side of the medal bears an image of St. Benedict, holding a cross in the right hand and the Holy Rule in the left. On the one side of the image is a cup, on the other a raven, and above the cup and the raven are inscribed the words: “Crux Sancti Patris Benedicti” (Cross of the Holy Father Benedict). Round the margin of the medal stands the legend “Ejus in obitu nostro praesentia muniamus” (May we at our death be fortified by his presence).
The reverse of the medal bears a cross with the initial letters of the words: “Crux Sacra Sit Mihi Lux” (The Holy Cross be my light), written downward on the perpendicular bar; the initial letters of the words, “Non Draco Sit Mihi Dux” (Let not the dragon be my guide), on the horizontal bar; and the initial letters of “Crux Sancti Patris Benedicti” in the angles of the cross. Round the margin stand the initial letters of the distich: “Vade Retro Satana, Nunquam Suade Mihi Vana — Sunt Mala Quae Libas, Ipse Venena Bibas” (Begone, Satan, do not suggest to me thy vanities — evil are the things thou profferest, drink thou thy own poison). At the top of the cross usually stands the word Pax (peace) or the monogram I H S (Jesus).
5. The “Cheat Satan and Drink Coffee” Mug
According to the story, priests in Italy wanted Pope Clement VIII to ban coffee. They claimed that Catholicism had the sweetness of wine in the Eucharist but Satan had given the infidels a black bitter drink. However upon trying coffee for himself, the Pontiff proclaimed, “Why, this Satan’s drink is so delicious that it would be a pity to let the infidels have exclusive use of it. We shall cheat Satan by baptizing it.”
A white mug with black lettering. 15oz.
6. Dappled Things: Special Subscription Offer
Dappled Things is offering you a special subscription price for Christmas. Many may remember that Dappled Things was featured on our 3 Literary Journals to Feed Your Soul. In the list, Catherine writes:
“Dappled Things is pure Catholic joy. From the moment you open the journal, you will be inspired. Dappled Things includes short stories, poems, essays, and visual art by faith-filled authors, scholars, and artists. The artwork is uniquely exquisite with a wide range of styles from artists you may or may not heard of. My personal favorite of the artwork is the icon Our Lady of Merrimack by David Clayton in Fifth anniversary issue. The essays are edifying, interesting, and, at times, provoking in the good kind of way. However, my favorite aspect about Dappled Things is the editorial board is unafraid of exhibiting authors and poets who have a profound and deep love for Jesus Christ. In a world where it is taboo for an author to share the realities of Catholicism, Dappled Things is a voice crying out in the wilderness. One of my favorite short stories from Dappled Things is “Dirty Little Coward” by Gerald C. Matics in the 2009 Mary, Queen of Angels Issue.”
Visit the special Dappled Things Christmas Gift Subscriptions for Listers to view this special offer of “pure Catholic joy.”
Listers, please feel free to comment and share your own ideas for excellent Catholic Christmas gifts.