Short but Powerful Spiritual Reading

I enjoy reading, but I’m a slow reader, so thick books intimidate me. That’s why I’m always on the lookout for short books, ones I can finish in 1-2 weeks (or in a few days of full reading when I have to cram last minute for a blog).

The thinner the spine, the better. And the books I’m recommending are all under 170 pages! Hooray!

Don’t let their size fool you though. They’re tiny but hard-hitting in the best way, holding tons of mind blowing wisdom, truth, and beauty within their few pages. Many times I wanted to underline whole paragraphs or chapters and all of these I’ve either referred to since reading for the first time or expect to reread going forward. Each filled me with inspiring hope and gave me practical tools, whether explicit or implied, for living a deeper union with God.

So, without further ado here are five short but powerful spiritual reading recommendations, starting with my latest favorite.

#1—I Thirst: 40 days with Mother Teresa by Father Joseph Langford

Based on Mother Teresa’s spirituality, which is centered on Jesus’s words from the Cross, “I thirst,” this book is a beautiful deep dive into God’s thirst for His children and how to satiate our own thirst for Him. Each day (chapter) is less than 3 pages, making it easy to pick up and read any time throughout the day.

Since this book is about God’s yearning love for us it’s overwhelming in a good way. It’s kind of like a big warm hug from God. It’s the book I wish I’d been gifted as an angsty teenager when I was so infatuated with worldly romance that I spent more time in my daydreams than reality, when I felt so ugly and unlovable because I never had a boyfriend and desperately desired to be desired. If I’d read this then, I would’ve had more self confidence and self-esteem because this book filled me with the joy that I’d always dreamed of growing up, of knowing I’m loved.

Father Langford explains God’s thirst for our hearts simply yet profoundly, piercing readers with the infinite depth of Our Lord’s love. His meditations help us experience the beauty of Jesus’s sacrifice more intimately so that we clearly see His suffering for the personal gift that it is.

His reflections remind us that God’s thirst to be thirsted for is ever present, in prayer, those in need, our sins, our wounds, and that His response to our thirst is perfect giving readers courage to surrender all to Him Who is Love.

#2—The Love of Eternal Wisdom by St. Louis de Montfort

St. Louis de Montfort gives inspiring insight on why we should strive to obtain Eternal Wisdom (Jesus) by highlighting Our Lord’s goodness and mercy and His desire to be united with each of us from before His Incarnation, during His life on earth, and after His death and Resurrection. He also shares the means to love Jesus more, emphasizing an ardent desire, prayer, universal mortification, and a devotion to our Blessed Mother as ardent as Jesus has for her.

This book was a game changer in my spirituality and vocation discernment a few years ago. It was the first spiritual reading that opened my eyes to the magnitude of Jesus’s loving (and perfectly planned) sacrifice for us, leaving me in awe and inspired to love Him more.

I’d highly recommend it if you read and enjoy I Thirst, with which it shares many similarities, for more insight into God’s love as Eternal and Divine Wisdom. (I’d actually suggest reading I Thirst firstbecause the English translation for The Love of Eternal Wisdom is an older form. So I Thirst might serve as a good base for better grasping St. Louis’s beautiful prose.)

#3—Unleashed by Sonja Corbitt

This practical read helps women connect more deeply with the Holy Spirit in our everyday, focusing on how He communicates through Scripture. Each chapter is centered around a question Jesus asks in the Gospels, which Sonja discusses thorough personal anecdotes and Church teaching, emphasizing how the Holy Spirit works with us in our behaviors, relationships, circumstances, and desires, and is continuously calling us to be receptive to Him.

It’s a great book for learning to discern God’s will in whatever stage of life we’re in, and Sonja is an encouraging guide. Her personal sharing also makes this an accessible read that’s easy to connect with, especially for readers at the beginning of their spiritual journey.

#4—Real Women, Real Saints: Friends for Your Spiritual Journey by Gina Loehr

I love men saints. I think we women can learn so much from them and my favorite saint is even St. Francis of Assisi. But having a book dedicated to women saints is also such a gift.

This book is a compilation of about 100 women saints in the Church’s history, sharing glimpses into each of their inspiring lives as daughters of God. It’s amazing to learn more about my sisters in Heaven who dedicated themselves to the service of God and others and to see how God uses all His children no matter our temperament or when or where we come from to be His witnesses. These women are great role models not just for their holiness but because they struggled as I do, battling the same sins, even if through different trials and time periods.

I highly recommend it as a gift for anyone, man or woman, but especially for young women saturated with our present “influencer” culture to introduce them to relatable and inspiring big sisters in Christ.

#5—Heart of the Gospel: How the Beatitudes Show Us God’s Plan for Happiness by Father Sebastian Walshe

Most of us are only familiar with the Beatitudes on a surface level, taking them at face value, but this thorough exploration of what Jesus spoke in His Sermon on the Mount reveals a layered and deliberate order to living the Gospel, so that we can start enjoying the fruits of Paradise in this life.

Father Walshe provides a roadmap for embracing each Beatitude in a simple and encouraging structure that leaves readers inspired to make them an essential part of their spiritual journey. He explains who will inherit the Beatitudes, how fitting each reward is, how Christ and the saints exemplify the Beatitudes, and how to overcome our aversion to living them ourselves.

My biggest takeaway from this jaw-dropping book is that it helped me see how perfect God is and how perfect His works are. It’s something I understood in my head, but now I have a stronger conviction in my heart of how detail-oriented He is, letting nothing go to waste.

God is so cool, and I love Him.

If you have read or choose to read any of these books, let me know what you think below. Or if you have any spiritual reading recommendations (preferably under 200 pages), definitely share them so I can add them to my TBR!

About Author

Citlalin Ossio is an avid fantasy writer and reader, whose work is heavily inspired by her Catholic faith, her Mexican heritage, and Nintendo’s Legend of Zelda. Her fantasy short stories have been featured in various anthologies, and one, She Has No Voice, won second place in the Prose category for Rehumanize International’s 2021 Create | Encounter. She is a joyful single living in Texas with her family and enjoys creating art, playing video games, and watching anime and Korean dramas. When she’s not writing or spending time with her loved ones she’s on Instagram @citlalinossio, or dreaming about raising a panda army.

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