Deepening your understanding –
Useful resources

This page contains resources for adults, for resources suitable for children, click here.

The Christian faith is above all about a personal relationship with God, especially in the person of Jesus Christ. Foremost we do this through attendance at the Mass and working in the community, remembering that we should treat all as if they were Christ himself.

However, faith takes the whole person – mind as much as body and soul, and so please find below a list of useful resources to explore the intellectual side of the faith.

The Bible

The Bible is a misleading name really, as it appears as a singular in English, but was a plural in Greek. We would be better to call it “The Books” (which would be the literal translation). Each book has a different style or form – some are history, some proverbs, some poetry, some letters etc. This is important in trying to understand the Divine Revelation contained within them, for all are inspired by the Holy Spirit and contain “the word of God in the words of men”.

Book: The Bible. Getting a copy of the Bible is obviously invaluable. You can acquire a paper version, or equally get one for e-reader (e.g. Kindle) or phone. There are many translations available, but it is probably most helpful to use the Revised Standard Version: Catholic Edition as this is used in the new Lectionary.

P.S. If you are looking to compare how certain verses are translated differently, which can help uncover deeper layers of meaning, the try

Podcast: The Bible in a Year podcast- with Fr Mike Schmitz. The Bible in a Year Archives – Ascension Press Media (or find it at whichever podcast platform you usually use).  Fr Mike reads the whole Bible in 365 episodes, and explores and explains the Scriptures too.

The Lectionary

The Church has selected readings from Old and New Testament that “belong together”. These are set out in the Lectionary, and over the course of the 3 year cycle, the whole of the Gospels will be read. Contemplating the readings for each day can be an excellent way to study scripture, while studying the readings for Sunday prior to the Mass can deepen your connection with this aspect of the liturgy.

App: Catholic Daily Readings. This app is produced by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. You can find the readings for each day on it, and also look ahead to see what the readings will be on Sunday.

Podcast: Fr. Larry Richards of The Reason For Our Hope Foundation. The readings for each day and Fr. Larry’s homily.

Website: The Dominican Friars in Britain have a weekly homily which can be found here: Torch Archives – The Dominican Friars in Britain (, you can also find other reflections from the student brothers (who are based at Blackfriars in Oxford), here: Godzdogz Archives – The Dominican Friars in Britain (

Website: Fr Greg Friedman OFM will be familiar to you as Fr Claro often refers to his reflections on the Gospel for Sunday Mass. You can find Fr Friedman’s reflections here: Fr. Greg Friedman’s Reflections – Southwest Franciscans – Albuquerque, NM (

The Mass

The best way to know the Mass is to attend it, and regularly, but a study of liturgy will bring a deeper and fuller understanding of this central point of the Catholic faith.

Online article: What is Happening at Mass? – Word on Fire

Podcast episode: WOF 370: Source and Summit of Evangelization w/ Abbot Jeremy Driscoll – Word on Fire

The Catechism

Ever had a question about the Catholic faith- chances are there is an answer to it in the Catechism! (In fact, there are answers in there to questions you didn’t know you should be asking).

Book: You can get a hard copy of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and also the Compendium (as summary of the Catechism set out in question-and-answer format), from many bookshops and also from Catholic publishers, like Redemptorist Publications (Home | Redemptorist Publications ( and the Catholic Truth Society (Catholic Truth Society (

Website: The whole Catechism of the Catholic Church can be found on the Vatican’s website, here: Catechism of the Catholic Church (

Podcast: Crash Course Catholicism is an examination of the Catechism and teachings of the church by Australian doctoral student Caitlin West. Find it wherever you get your podcasts from, and if you are on Instagram, follow @crashcoursecatholicism .


Prayer is something we are called to do as often as we can, unceasing prayer should be our aim. The different types of prayer our outlined in the Catechism (see above), but praying takes work, so why not take advantage of some of the helpful suggestions below:

Book: Learning to Pray: A guide for everyone by Fr James Martin SJ, is a comprehensive tome outlining what prayer is, what to expect from it, and how to do it and do it better. Comes recommended by Father Claro!

Website: The Irish Jesuits offer daily scripture readings and prayers for reflection at

Website: Find examples and guidance for all the different types of prayer at Pray as you go – Discover (


The saints inspire us by their example, and help us through their intercession (If you struggle with this, have you ever asked a friend to pray for you? Well, why not ask a saint to do so, after all they are also our brothers and sisters in Christ?). Why not find one that you can particularly relate to: you might share a name, a profession, the same home-town or the same struggles.

Website: Saint of the Day. Find out which saint is commemorated on any particular day and learn more about their life at this Vatican webpage: Saint of the Day – Calendar of Saints – Vatican News

Website: Which Saint are you most like? From the Diocese of Westminster’s Youth Ministry, an engaging quiz for young people: Quiz: Which Saint are you most like? – Diocese of Westminster Youth Ministry (


Theology may be defined as “faith seeking understanding”. Such a quest will be lifelong, but a good place to start is with the writings of the late Pope Benedict XVI – universally acknowledged as a superb theologian.

Book: Introduction to Christianity by Joseph, Cardinal Ratzinger (later Pope Benedict XVI).

Faith and the culture today

How do we cope with the sometimes complementary and sometimes conflicting values of Christianity and the secular culture?

Podcast: The Word on Fire Show is part of the ministry of American bishop, Robert Barron, who as well as being bishop of Winona-Rochester, is also clearly a massive Bob Dylan fan. You can find it here: WOF Show Podcast – Word on Fire or wherever you get your podcasts from.

Youtube channel: Young Franciscan priest, Fr Casey Cole OFM, explores all manner of things related to the Catholic faith, from basic bits of theology to interesting trivia! Breaking In The Habit – YouTube

Youtube channel: Self-described “struggling Catholic thinker, apologist, writer, speaker” Brian Holdsworth is a lay Catholic who always seems to manage to be gracious to those he disagrees with in his wide-ranging videos: Brian Holdsworth – YouTube

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