Explore books and study programs that guide you to learn and experience the transforming power of the Bible and our faith tradition. These books have won numerous awards and have been endorsed by pastoral leaders and scholars internationally. The links are provided where you may purchase them.
For a list of endorsers, click here.
Click individual books for more details.
Transformed by God's Word: Discovering the Power of Lectio and Visio Divina
Bestselling author and biblical scholar Stephen J. Binz offers the first book to combine the ancient Western practice of lectio divina (sacred reading) with the lesser-known Eastern Orthodox tradition of visio divina (sacred seeing). Binz suggests a life-changing way to pray through twenty gospel readings paired with beautiful, never-before-published contemporary icons.
St. Benedict urged his followers to listen to God's Word "with the ear of the heart." Eastern Orthodox spiritual writers focused on gazing at icons, as St. Paul said, with "the eyes of the heart." Binz draws on the richness of both traditions by combining lectio and visio divina.
Contemplation is more difficult than ever during this digital age and Binz offers a proven and profound way to cut through the noise and pray the gospels. He will walk you through six steps: reading, seeing, meditating, praying, contemplating, and acting. Binz also provides simple suggestions for self-reflection that can lead to practical changes in your everyday life.
The book's twenty Bible passages--starting with the Annunciation and ending with Pentecost--are paired with full-color icons of each story. The original, never-before-published icons, written by Ruta and Kaspars Poikans, are displayed in the Unity Chapel at the Mary of Nazareth International Center in Israel.
"As one who both practices and teaches visio divina, I highly recommend this book that beautifully links art, prayer, and the healing power of both." - Br. Mickey McGrath, O.S.F.S., BeeStill Studios
Saint Junipero Serra's Camino: A Pilgrimage Guide to the California Missions
Travel Saint Junipero Serra’s Camino to the twenty-one California missions, stretching from San Diego to Sonoma, north of San Francisco Bay. This work presents the life and work of Saint Junipero Serra, and it challenges pilgrims to continue, in their own way, the forward journey that he began in the 1700s. This carefully researched narrative explores both the historical roots and the spiritual heritage of the missions and their inhabitants, creating an unforgettable and indispensable pilgrimage guide for those who want to experience the missions in person--or in an armchair at home. Each of the missions is a unique jewel and a spiritual oasis. Some are found wedged into cities; others are surrounded by mountains and valleys. They range from simple to ornate. The grounds are filled with bells, statues, fountains, and gardens, all symbols of life and feasts of color. Old Spanish mission art can be found next to Indian wall paintings. Symbols of piety from two centuries form a wonderful holy mix. Enhances with the author's own photography, prayer experiences, and practical travel information for every missions station, this guidebook is a must-have for any pilgrim exploring America's own pilgrim way, the Camino of St. Junipero Serra.
Here is an article entitled "St. Junípero Serra’s Camino" in St. Anthony Messenger magazine, text and photography by Stephen J. Binz. Take a look at color photos of the missions and ideas for making a pilgrimage to the twenty-one missions of California.
Panorama of the Bible: Old Testament and New Testament
While every character, story, and book of Scripture is significant in itself, stepping back for a broad, panoramic view of the entire Bible helps us to take in and understand God's single, unified plan for human history. In this two-part panorama of the Bible, noted Scripture scholar Stephen Binz shows us how all of the Bible's many parts fit together in a grand and awesome narrative. With a clear vision of this sweeping unity, we can then understand far better our own place within the storyline and our own personal role within the mission of God.
Saint Peter: Flawed, Forgiven, and Faithful (Walking with Peter from Galilee to Rome)
In Saint Peter: Flawed, Forgiven, and Faithful, biblical scholar Stephen Binz takes readers on a pilgrimage from Galilee to Rome—from the spot where Peter first dropped his nets to follow Jesus to the place where he gave his life out of love for his Lord. Through sound scholarship, first-hand experiences at places of pilgrimage, and spiritual reflection, Binz helps us embrace the reality that God works through broken human beings to accomplish truly beautiful things.
"A marvelous book, which seamlessly combines biblical scholarship, travel narrative, historical research and spiritual reflections, to help us more fully understand one of the most fascinating men ever to have lived, and surely one of the most human." - James Martin, SJ, editor at large at America Media, author of Jesus: A Pilgrimage
Threshold to God's Word: A User-Friendly Guide to Scripture Study
Newcomers and scholars alike will appreciate Binz' accessible, insightful style as he shows that reading the Bible is not primarily an intellectual exercise, but a devoted and passionate search, an enthusiastic and joyful discovery. Taking us into the gospels and books such as Jonah and Exodus, Binz explores everything from contextual interpretation to the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Written for individual or group study, and with reflection questions that help connect the transforming power of Scripture to our own spirituality, this captivating, informative and deeply prayerful guide is an invitation to unlock the doors to Scripture, to joyfully welcome Christ across the threshold, and receive the fullness of life he offers.
Scripture, God's Handbook for Evangelizing Catholics
In Scripture-God's Handbook for Evangelizing Catholics, Stephen Binz brings to light the power of scripture to not only renew our lives, but make us living witnesses of the Gospel. Inspired and influenced by Pope John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI, and Pope Francis, Binz shows us the indissoluble connection between their call to New Evangelization and its necessary connection to the Word of God.
Every chapter brings you closer to Christ and closer to His Word as you:
- Grasp the importance of recovering the evangelical dimension of Catholicism
- Discover the "hero evangelizers" in Scripture and history
- Learn to read the Bible as an evangelizing Catholic
- Understand the key link between lectio divina and the New Evangelizatiion
- Identify the obstacles to hearing and witnessing to God's Word today
- Understand the role of Mary, the Star of the New Evangelization
Ancient-Future Bible Study: Experience Scripture through Lectio Divina
Ancient-Future Bible Study incorporates contemporary study of the Bible with an experience of the church's most ancient way of reading Scripture, lectio divina. This time-honored practice consists of five basic movements: biblical study (lectio), reflection (meditatio), prayer (oratio), discernment (contemplatio), and contemplative action (operatio). In six clearly written volumes, bestselling author Stephen Binz helps readers study the Bible in a way that leads to spiritual transformation and brings them closer to God.
Stephen Binz leads readers in a vivid study of key biblical characters, including Abraham, Paul, Peter, David, the women of the Torah, and the women of the Gospels. He shows all Christians who desire to have a transforming experience with the inspired Word of God how studying Scripture through lectio divina can enrich their discipleship. This ecumenical Bible study, designed for use by individuals or groups, includes questions for personal reflection and suggested action. Each volume includes leader's notes for guiding a study over the course of six sessions.
Lectio Divina Bible Study
In an exceptional combination of one of the most ancient forms of Scripture study with historical, theological, and scriptural perspectives, Lectio Divina Bible Study leads us on an incredible journey of enlightenment and appreciation in the areas of the Creed, Prayer, Sacraments, and the Mass.
Lectio Divina, the ancient practice of Scripture immersion, is at the heart of this process. Each lesson leads you forward through a sequence of listening, understanding, reflecting, praying, and acting. This series is suitable for parish, small group, or individual use.
Conversing with God in Scripture: A Contemporary Approach to Lectio Divina
Lectio divina is the most ancient and fruitful way of studying Scripture. This revered practice is rooted in the Jewish tradition of Jesus, and it has been nourished through the desert spirituality of the early centuries, the patristic writers of the ancient church, and the monastic tradition through the ages. In our day, lectio divina is experiencing a world-wide revival as Christians are returning to age-old wisdom to experience the Scriptures in a deeper and more complete way. This book will explain this ancient practice and show readers how to experience the ongoing power of the Spirit within the inspired text. Participants will learn how to move from attentive listening, to reflective prayer, to contemplative action.
Seasonal books include Conversing with God in Lent, Conversing with God in the Easter Season, and Conversing with God in Advent and Christmas. Each of these books leads readers through the movements of lectio divina for the Sunday lectionary readings from cycles A, B, and C. These are perfect seasonal resources for both individuals and parish groups.
Introduction to the Bible: A Catholic Guide to Studying Scripture
This work provides an easy access to the Bible for the beginning student of the Bible. With sensible advice, it will allow readers to discover how the Bible came to be, how to choose a Bible translation, how to interpret the Bible within Catholic tradition, and how to benefit the most from Bible study. Readers will find practical explanations that will make the Bible less foreign and more familiar.
Introduccion a la Biblia: Una guia catolica para el estudio de las Sagradas Escrituras
Introducción a la Biblia permite que sus lectores descubran cómo se desarrolló la Biblia y cómo escoger una traducción de la Biblia, interpretarla dentro de la tradición católica y beneficiarse lo más posible del estudio de ella. De mayor importancia, sin embargo, es que los lectores llegarán a entender el poder transformativo de la palabra de Dios mientras conocen más íntimamente la Palabra Encarnada, Jesucristo.
Stewardship of the Earth
As the only Bible study on ecology, this is a perfect companion to Laudato Si, by Pope Francis. The Earth, its environment and its creatures, is a wonderful gift and a sacred trust to humanity. Celebrate the beauty and rich diversity of the created world and develop a sense of loving care for our planet through the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures. Listen anew to the biblical texts which help us understand our privilege and responsibility in caring for the earth and humbly recognize our place within it. In our present age of vast environmental degradation, a biblical spirituality of God's creation can help motivate believers toward an understanding of ecological justice.
Advent of the Savior: A Commentary on the Infancy Narratives of Jesus
The biblical accounts of Jesus' conception and birth are the formative stories of seasons of Advent and Christmas. They serve as overtures to the writings of the evangelists and as bridges connecting the Old and New Testaments, pointing back to the history of Israel and forward to the ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus. The work will enrich the reader's understanding of these Advent texts and prepare the reader for the Savior's coming.
The God of Freedom and Life: A Commentary on the Book of Exodus
The experience of Exodus is ancient, yet always new. The journey from bondage and death to freedom and life is what God wants for all people. By entering into the liberating journey with Israel, we can more deeply encounter the God of freedom and life ourselves. The work helps the reader to understand the text and enter more personally the experience of Exodus.
The Passion and Resurrection Narratives of Jesus: A Commentary
The accounts of the passion and resurrection are the climax of each of the Gospels. The work will illumine the reader's understanding of the text in each gospel and the reasons for the differences in each of the four gospels. A study of these texts will enrich the reader's experience of Lent and Easter.
St. Joseph, My Real Estate Agent: Why the Patron Saint of Home Life is the Patron Saint of Home-Selling
The work is a light and humorous look at the wildly popular custom of burying a statue of St. Joseph in the yard in order to sell a home and a serious look at how Joseph of Nazareth can be a mentor and guide for home life today. Whether the practice is pious tradition, popular spirituality, or a powerful source of heavenly aid, people throughout the world are attributing a successful transition to a new home to the influence of Joseph of Nazareth. The work speculates about the origins and motives for this fashionable practice and discusses the value of popular spirituality in the 21st century. It presents details of real estate in Nazareth and the Jewish home life of Joseph as well as spiritual inspiration for home-building, home-making, and home life. The work concludes with model prayer services for selling a house and blessing a new home.
These books have been endorsed by the following pastoral leaders and scholars:
Donald Wuerl, Cardinal-Archbishop of Washington
Timothy Dolan, Cardinal-Archbishop of New York
Blase Cupich, Cardinal-Archbishop of Chicago
Gregory Aymond, Archbishop of New Orleans
Charles Chaput, OFM. Cap, Archbishop of Philadelphia
Paul-André Durocher, Archbishop of Gatineau, Canada
José Gomez, Archbishop of Los Angeles
Joseph Kurtz, Archbishop of Louisville
Terrence Prendergast, SJ, Archbishop of Ottawa, Canada
Michael C. Barber, SJ, Bishop of Oakland
Richard J. Garcia, Bishop of Monterey
David L. Ricken, Bishop of Green Bay
Kevin W. Vann, Bishop of Orange
Donald W. Trautman, Former bishop of Erie
Gregory Polan, OSB, Abbot Primate of the Benedictine Order
Craig Bartholomew, Redeemer University College
Dianne Bergant, CSA, Catholic Theological Union, Chicago
Murray Bodo, OFM, author
John Cella, OFM, director, Franciscan Pilgrimage Programs
Sarah Christmyer, writer and speaker
Richard Clifford, SJ, Boston College School of Theology
Alexander Di Lella, OFM, Emeritus at Catholic University of America
John Donahue, SJ, Emeritus at St. Mary's Seminary and University, Baltimore
John Endres SJ, Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University
Scott Hahn, President of the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology
Aidan Hart, The Prince’s School of Traditional Arts, London
Mary Healy, Sacred Heart Major Seminary, Pontifical Biblical Commission
Lisa M. Hendey, author, founder of CatholicMom.com
Leslie Hoppe OFM, Catholic Theological Union, Chicago
Daniel P. Horan, OFM, author, Franciscan friar of Holy Name Province
Bill Huebsch, writer and consultant, Lifelong Faith Formation
Kathleen Hughes, RSCJ, Theologian and Author
Kevin Irwin, author and professor at Catholic University of America
Jan Michael Joncas, musician, University of St. Thomas
Edita Krunic, President, Select International Tours and Cruises
Judith Kubicki, CSSF, Fordham University
Francis Maloney, SDB, Catholic Theological College, Melbourne
George Martin, writer, founder of God’s Word Today
James Martin, SJ, author and editor at America magazine
Ralph Martin, Sacred Heart Major Seminary, Detroit
Carl McColman, writer, speaker, and spiritual companion
Mickey McGrath, artist at beestillstudio.com
George Montague, SM, St. Mary’s University, San Antonio
Jacques Nieuviarts, AA, Institut Catholique de Toulouse
Irene Nowell, OSB, Mount St. Scholastica
Kathleen O'Connor, Emerita at Columbia Theological Seminary
Peter Phan, Georgetown University
Msgr. Charles Pope, writer and pastor, Archdiocese of New York
Edith Prendergast, RSC, pastoral leader, Archdiocese of Los Angeles
Mary DeTurris Poust, columnist, journalist, and author
Thomas Ranzino, Vicar General and pastor, Diocese of Baton Rouge
Patrick Henry Reardon, writer and pastor, Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese
Elizabeth Scalia, author and editor-in-chief at Aleteia.org
Brian Schmisek, Institute of Pastoral Studies, Loyola University Chicago
Sandra Schneiders,IHM, Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University
Robert Senkewicz, author, Santa Clara University
Mark P. Shea, writer, speaker, blogger
James K.A. Smith, writer and professor at Calvin College
John Michael Talbot, musician, founder of the Brothers and Sisters of Charity
Paul Turner, writer, pastor, Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph
Catherine Upchurch, Director of Little Rock Scripture Study
Catherine Vincie, RSHM, Aquinas Institute of Theology
Brandon Vogt, Content Director at Word on Fire
Nick Wagner, director and founder of TeamRCIA.com
Kerry Weber, author and managing editor of America magazine
Macrina Wiederkehr, OSB, writer, St. Scholastica Monastery
Ronald D. Witherup, S.S., Superior General of the Sulpicians, Paris