For men discerning religious life, or any vocation, it is essential that you take the time to read up on how one discerns. Often we can get caught up in our lives and think some quick Googling is enough. We have to do more. Christ asks more from us as men and women made in His Image and Likeness.
We have also included below a number of our Reading Plans. Reading isn’t a luxury for a friar. No more than eating or prayer is. Being a “good reader” is not adopting a skill-set, it is part of the discipline of virtuous daily living. Obviously, you don’t have to be a scholar to enjoy or profit from books in a disciplined way.
There is time in your day to read. If you don’t believe me, re-evaluate your schedule by logging all your activities for the average week. I bet you’ll find plenty of in-between time that you can use for personal, smart reading. All you need is an hour or two of that kind of reading every day.
As St. Josemaria Escriva says: “An hour of study, for a modern apostle, is an hour of prayer.”
-Tuning in to God's Call by Andrew Carl Wisdom, O.P. & Christine Kiley, A.S.C.J.
Through a series of practical reflections, this book introduces you to five stages of the discernment process. Though our life purpose may not be understood all at once as doubts and fears may still persist, this book will assist you in making time to discern God's direction. Written in part by Fr. Andrew Carl Wisdom, a priest of the Central Province of Dominicans and a former vocations director, this book gets at the heart of how we discern practically and how we can measure our progress.
-A Living Sacrifice: Guidance for Men Discerning Religious Life by Benedict Croell, O.P. & Andrew Hofer, O.P.
A Living Sacrifice includes an overview of most forms of religious life in the U.S., as well as contributions from priests and brothers in many different communities, such as the Franciscans, Jesuits, Holy Cross, Norbertines, and many more. While authored by Dominican priests, the book is deliberately written for men discerning any religious community.
-Dominican Brothers: Conversi, Lay, and Cooperator Friars by Augustine Thompson, O.P.
Augustine Thompson's book gets at some of the details of our friarly life by articulating some of the differences within the vocation, between clerical and non-clerical brothers. While all equally a part of the Order of Friar Preachers, clerical brothers and non-clerical brothers have different ways of expressing their Dominican vocation unique to themselves.
-In the Image of St. Dominic: Nine Portraits of Dominican Life by Guy Bedouelle, O.P.
We have a saying in the Order: "If you've met one Dominican, you've met one Dominican." In other words: the ORder is gloriously diverse. However, there are currents and archetypes within the Order that we often find ourselves fitting into. The men and women in this book form a comprehensive image of one of the most significant movements in the history of Western Christianity. The Dominican order, whose particular charism emphasizes the sanctification of the intellect and the importance that sacred truth holds in the life of the Christian believer.
-St. Dominic: The Story of a Preaching Friar by Donald Goergen, O.P.
The Order of Preachers, the Dominicans, celebrated the 800th anniversary of their founding in 2016. This book by Fr. Don Goergen, a former student master and provincial for the Central Province, revisits the life of Dominic in light of the most recent historical research. At the same time it attempts to bring the saint of life, not in a hagiographical way but as someone who has contemporary appeal. Dominic was a man of real flesh and blood, with real challenges and struggles. Dominic provides an example of life for us today that is not sanitized or leeched of color, but rather tells us that the path to God is through becoming fully human. Just as Dominic did.
-The New Wine of Dominican Spirituality: A Drink Called Happiness by Fr. Paul Murray, OP
This lively and compelling book by Paul Murray OP names and celebrates aspects of the Dominican tradition which are at the very core of its spirituality. This tradition has often been described in the past, and for good reason, as scholarly and intellectual. But the lives of the Dominicans whose voices we hear in this book were also, and to an extraordinary degree, apostolic, exuberant, evangelical, risk-taking, mystical, and robust.
-Hounds of the Lord by Kevin Vost
They are called Hounds of the Lord, and Stoics on spiritual steroids. For 800 years they have barked out Christ's gospel message, saving countless souls and showing us how to think, do, and love for the glory of God.
Inspired by the stories of their saints, we join the Dominicans in celebrating the Jubilee of their first 800 years. In these pages, we draw inspiration and spiritual strength from the lives, lessons, and legacies of their intellectual giants and enrapt mystics, the men and women who scrubbed floors, and those who cared for the dying.
“The things that we love tell us what we are.”
-St. Thomas Aquinas, O.P.