Every mom has a stack of books beside her bedside table, thick with titles she has every intention of reading — once she has a free minute. We get it — it’s tough to set aside the time to enrich yourself intellectually and spiritually when your days are long and most of your waking hours are consumed by the needs of others.

We’ve put together a list of religious titles that can help you deepen your faith, connect with the teachings of the Church, and are books that can be read in small increments. If you only have 10 minutes each morning, grab your coffee and one of these books, and feed your soul before you feed everyone else breakfast.

Best of all, all four titles are available at the Salzmann Library at Saint Francis de Sales Seminary, where any member of the general public can apply for a library card and check out titles on the Catholic faith.


“The Seven Last Words” by Venerable Fulton Sheen

There is just no better preparation for Holy Week than this thoughtful and short meditation on the words Christ spoke from the cross. Just 63 pages long, Venerable Fulton Sheen’s book, originally written in 1933, is rich food for thought that can be consumed again and again — as the dying words of Our Savior hold within them countless mysteries for contemplation. “There was never a preacher like the dying Christ,” writes Sheen. “There was never a congregation like that which gathered about the pulpit of the Cross. There was never a sermon like the Seven Last Words.”


“Holiness for Housewives (And Other Working Women)” by Dom Hubert Van Zeller

This book was written in the 1950s, but make no mistake about it: the wisdom and theology is as relevant today as it was back then. Don’t let the title deceive you, because this is a useful handbook for every woman who finds herself with too many tasks, not enough hours in the day, and who feels frustrated that God keeps being pushed to the bottom of her to-do list. You may find yourself befuddled that a priest is able to understand so well the mental load born by busy mothers — until you remember that priests, too, are (spiritual) parents born down by a great many pressing cares.


“The Power of Silence: Against the Dictatorship of Noise” by Robert Cardinal Sarah

Giving a mother a book about silence may feel like giving a starving man a book entitled “1000 Hi-Res Photos of Hamburgers” — but retreating inside this volume for a stolen five minutes can help bring a spiritual calm to an otherwise chaotic day. The theology that Cardinal Sarah explores, illustrating the essentiality of silence to the Christian’s relationship with his Creator, is both breathtaking and renewing. He breaks his treatise into “thoughts,” easily digestible responses to questions posed by his frequent collaborator, French journalist Nicholas Diat.


“Reasons to Believe: How to Understand, Explain and Defend the Catholic Faith” by Scott Hahn

Hahn is one of the premier apologists of our age, and his writing is not only compelling, it’s easy for those of us with zero Ph.Ds and giant sleep deficits to understand. This book is written to assist Christians in fulfilling the Biblical charge to “make a defense to anyone who calls you to account for the hope that is in you.” (1 Peter 3:15) Hahn deftly illustrates both natural and Scriptural support for that hope, and the spiritual reflection his words will inspire within you will give you reasons not only to believe, but to marvel, at the magnificence of our faith.