13 of The Best Catholic Audiobooks You Can Listen to Today
Whether you are a commuter or listen-while-you-work(er) there’s nothing like a good audiobook. We spend so much time in our cars or on public transit on the way to and from work – so why not use that time to enrich our minds? There are ample opportunities to grow in your spiritual life just by reading and pondering the words of these great authors. If you love listening to a good audiobook to pass the time, you will love some of the gems in this list.
This list contains what we think are the best Catholic audiobooks available to be listened to today on Audible. We have divided them into two categories, nonfiction and fiction, so you can look at what interests you the most. While the Nonfiction books focus are considered ‘spiritual reading’ the fiction books don’t all fall into that category. However, they do have strong Christian themes at the minimum. Enjoy the list!
NonFiction – Best Catholic Audiobooks
by C.S. Lewis
Our first nonfiction recommendation on the list of best Catholic audiobooks is Mere Christianity. Originally penned by Lewis as a series of talks given in London over the BBC during the challenging days of WW2, Mere Christianity is one of the greatest pieces of Christian literature of all time. For the non-believer, it is a great opportunity to get a bare-bones explanation of everything Christians believe.
For the believer, it is a great help in understanding why you believe what you believe. Many Christians, without really realizing it, believe things without knowing why. Here, Lewis breaks it all down, one component at a time. He is a master of using metaphors to explain complex theological truths in a simple wya.
The Lamb’s Supper
by Scott Hahn
Scott Hahn is a convert to Catholicism from protestantism and one of today’s greatest apologists for conversion to the Catholic Faith. In the Lamb’s Supper, Hahn describes in a very readable way what the Catholic mass means and why it is structured the way it is. He offers a refreshing perspective as to why is there a Mass, and how it is so much more than just a weekly routine that one is forced to go to.
Another benefit of listening to this audiobook is a bible study in the book of Revelation. The apocalyptic writings are part of his explanation of the mass. Scott Hahn explains his subjects really well, without talking down to you. As an added bonus, this audiobook is narrated by Scott Hahn himself.
by G.K. Chesterton
Orthodoxy is a masterpiece. Witty, hilarious, intellectually astute – Chesterton is in fine form throughout. The book is a defense of the doctrine of the church, commonly referred to as The Apostles’ Creed. Chesterton wrote it to overcome agnostic, humanist, and scientific arguments against the Christianity. Using paradoxes, comparisons, history, and facts, Chesterton defends the point that the Creed is not dull, dark and restrictive, but is in fact interesting, bright and liberating.
When the Church Was Young
by Marcellino D’Ambrosio
This is a wonderful book for anyone interested in a first look at the Church Fathers or early Christianity. D’Ambrosio goes from the apostles and their writings all the way through the pontificate of Gregory the Great, the life of Justin, the various Gregories and Jerome, just to name a few. He provides snippets of their lives and their notable writings which have survived. In the book you’ll find the origins of the Eucharistic feast as well as the sacraments of Baptism and Penance. He also covers the various heresies of the Church’s first few hundred years with emphasis how these Church Fathers wrote to combat them.
by Matthew Kelly
Matthew Kelly’s book will help you to do exactly what it claims – to rediscover Catholicism. Whether you’re a practicing Catholic looking to deepen your faith or are searching and hoping to return to the Church you knew and loved, this book will help. It’s not a bombardment of theological phrases or concepts and doesn’t seek to expound the doctrines of The Church. It’s just a simple, conversational, logical attempt to reawaken within us the joy of being part of Christ’s Church and all that she has to offer. Kelly does this with great success. This audiobook is highly recommended for a lukewarm Catholic
The Seven Storey Mountain
by Thomas Merton
The Seven Storey Mountain is Thomas Merton’s life and his conversion to Catholicism. Although it was written in 1948, it is still a very relevant lesson on faith. As you listen, you will feel you are traveling with Merton. We recommend this book to any one who is searching for belief in God because, for Merton, it was an intellectual conversion, and, for many, that makes more sense in today’s complex society.
by St. Augustine of Hippo
The Confessions is a powerful book for a believer, that also happens to be a classic work of literature. One could argue that Saint Augustine is the most human of Saints. Some of his youthful activities would be shocking even in the present day, and his conversion to Christianity and subsequent ordination were very slow in coming. Augustine takes you through his inner thoughts in this ‘diary’ of a saint who struggled with chastity. Though first penned over a millennia and a half ago, Confessions is just as relevant today as it ever was. This audiobook is also an excellent modern translation.
Fiction – Best Catholic Audiobooks
The Screwtape Letters
by C.S. Lewis
Our first fiction recommendation on the list of best Catholic Audiobooks is from C.S. Lewis again. This classic, timeless, humorous and witty book, written by one of the great theologians of our time, is the letters of a senior demon to an inexperienced demon coaching him on how to capture the soul of a newly professed Christian. The writing is clever and entertaining, and has you reflecting on our own life throughout. The point of the book is that Satan acts in subtle ways in human lives. Lewis probes the human mind and uncovers some very uncomfortable truths.
The Great Divorce
by C.S. Lewis
We had to include one more C.S. Lewis book – The Great Divorce. This is a convicting parable about the next world, beginning with a flying bus trip. This is one of Lewis’ most humorous and beautifully written works. It is a great passion-filled fiction of heaven where the listener wonders what it really means to be in union with God. Though fiction, one may read it and get a full grasp of what Lewis meant in writing the book; the dark sides of human nature holding onto selfishness and ego, versus the nature of Christ in us that finds its full perfection when we surrender everything and all to Him alone.
A Canticle for Leibowitz
by Walter Miller
This book combines sci-fi, history, faith, cynicism, sarcasm, and allegory to warn us about a future which we now see on the distant horizon. The story is presented in three “acts”, each roughly 600 years apart, all revolving around Leibowitz’s monastic order. The first act is a post nuclear where society has devolved into a hunter/gatherer society. The second act is 600 years later where society has advanced to a feudal level of warring groups. In the third act, society has not only reached, but far exceeded the technological advancements attained prior to the Armageddon.
In each age, the scenes that unfold are frightening in their description of mans self destructive nature. In this ever repeating series of manmade apocalypses, humans continue to work towards peace on earth before destroying it totally . All throughout, we follow the monks of St. Liebowitz.
Lord of the World
by Robert Hugh Benson
This is another apocalyptic novel through a Catholic worldview. In the book’s world, Secular humanism has triumphed. Everything the late Victorians believed would bring human happiness has been achieved: technology has made it so no one needs to work for a living, the social sciences ensure a smooth-running social order, and, in the name of tolerance, religious beliefs have been uprooted and eliminated except for a single holdout – the Catholic Church.
It isn’t long before the price of world peace becomes the abandonment of religious belief, the acceptance of euthanasia and the annihilation of those who oppose an all-powerful government. Although it was written in 1907, the book predicted the future more clearly than 1984 or Brave New World. The growth of air travel, the introduction of nuclear weapons, massive legislation limiting all sorts of religious or cultural choices, the totally secular state, globalization, and the redistribution of wealth are all here.
East of Eden
by John Steinbeck
Steinbeck’s masterpiece, is set in the rich farmlands of California’s Salinas Valley. It follows two families – the Trasks and the Hamiltons – whose generations helplessly reenact the fall of Adam and Eve and the poisonous rivalry of Cain and Abel. This is an epic tale of family and humanity. This book is a gift to the mind and heart. One of the many brilliant things about it is the beautiful character development transcends the time period and geographic location. It is about the human condition, the exploration of good and evil and the ability to discover your own path.
The Lord of the Rings Series
by J.R.R. Tolkien
Are you really Catholic if you haven’t read Lord of the Rings? This seems to be the most popular movie trilogy among Catholics, and the books are surging in popularity among millennials. Tolkien’s Catholic worldview is infused in every character of these books. The epic story explores friendship, truth, virtue, and temptation as the fellowship embarks on a quest for a good of the world. And once you have listened to the audiobook, you can watch the masterpiece movies by Peter Jackson!
We hope you found a good suggestion in our list of best Catholic Audiobooks to accompany you on your next journey. Leave a comment with any recommendations you may have!