Catholic Books on Suffering and Grief:
These are books I have read and highly recommend to address a variety of topics related to grief. They offer the reader hope, encouragement, and courage to work through what is arduous but necessary in order to obtain lifelong healing.
Healing Promises: The Essential Guide to the Sacred Heart by Anne Costa – A beautiful introduction to the Sacred Heart devotion, including powerful anecdotes from those who have experienced profound healing, transformation, and reunited relationships by becoming Sacred Heart of Jesus devotees.
The Rosary: Your Weapon for Spiritual Warfare by Johnette Benkovic – The Rosary has long been one of the most efficacious prayers against evil. Read this book and be consoled in your efforts to unite your prayers to those of Our Blessed Mother.
Praying for Those with Addictions: A Mission of Love, Mercy and Hope by Anne Costa – Anyone who has been affected by loved ones suffering from addictions will find this book to be more than just a how-to. It moves to the depths of healing with journaling questions specifically pertaining to the twelve steps of AA, including healing prayers for the loved ones suffering.
Littlest Suffering Souls: Children Whose Short Lives Point Us to Christ by Austin Ruse – This book is an excellent resource for those who truly want to grasp a greater understanding for the common question, “Why does God allow little ones to suffer?” Based on the concept of “innocent suffering,” Ruse does a fantastic job of unraveling the stories of young child-saints who learned at a young age to suffer well.
Marrying the Rosary to the Divine Mercy Chaplet by Shane Kapler – An incredible meditative book on wedding the two powerhouses of prayer – Rosary and Divine Mercy chaplet – into one.
On Suffering and Burnout by Mother Angelica – An unpretentious and refreshing take on how we suffer, including almost 20 different types of suffering. Excellent for private meditation or group study.
When You Suffer: Biblical Keys for Hope and Understanding by Jeff Cavins – Practical and Biblical guide that answers the question, “How do I suffer well?”
The Catholic Guide to Loneliness by Kevin Vost – A theologically sound explanation of how to change one’s sense of loneliness first through thought patterns. Dr. Vost is a Thomistic scholar, so this book isn’t for the reader who is looking for a “companion” to unravel and share stories about loneliness. I thought his chapter on finding solitude was particularly excellent for one who wishes to grow spiritually.
Mending the Heart: A Catholic Annulment Companion by Lisa Duffy – If you have been divorced or know someone who has, this is a fantastic book about the annulment process. Lisa Duffy walks the reader through each step, offering a hand of encouragement to the reader. Even more, she understands the depth of suffering related to divorce and the multiple losses that result. Her final chapter includes helpful tips for loved ones to accompany those in their families or friends who have recently gone through a divorce. Everything is very clear and true to the Church’s teachings on divorce and remarriage.
Grieving Together: A Couple’s Journey Through Miscarriage by Franco and Laura Fanucci – The best resource I have read on navigating miscarriage and infant loss. The Fanucci’s explain the physiological experience of losing a child, as well as the emotional and spiritual possibilities. They list what may be helpful or unhelpful, how to manage the questions and comments people offer, and list resources to assist couples in burying the remains of their child and finding ongoing support.
Journey in Love: A Catholic Mother’s Prayers after Prenatal Diagnosis by Kathryn Anne Casey – An incredibly powerful personal story written by Casey, who describes her daughter’s diagnosis of anencephaly and the grief that ensued. Her book is a fantastic grief resource specifically for women who have experienced this specific type of suffering.
Hiding in the Upper Room: How the Catholic Sacraments Healed Me from the Grief of Child Loss by Kelly Breaux – A powerful, honest, and raw memoir about the cross of infertility, miscarriage, losing a child at 15 days old, losing a child to illness, and caring for a child with a disability, this book is for any parent who needs support as they journey through grieving the loss of their child(ren).
From Grief to Grace: The Journey from Tragedy to Triumph by Jeannie Ewing – Catholic primer on what grief is, isn’t, how to recognize when you need professional help, and six spiritual principles to help you move from grief to healing.
Navigating Deep Waters: Meditations for Caregivers by Jeannie Ewing and Eileen Benthal – A short meditation journal for harried and hurried caregivers of all varieties, intended for use on the go. Thematically based on how water can drown us or heal us.
A Sea Without A Shore: Spiritual Reflections for the Brokenhearted, Weary, and Lonely by Jeannie Ewing – A thematic devotional with chapters on finding God’s mercy and grace, temptation and pruning, and darkness and the meaning of suffering. Each reflection is short, preceded by a quote from Scripture, a saint, or a theologian.
Secular Resources for Grief:
I have checked out the following websites, which offer information related to specific forms or types of grief. While they do not offer a definitive Catholic worldview, there is nothing I saw that is contrary to the Church’s teaching about death, suffering, or end-of-life issues.
Grief At Work booklet by American Hospice Foundation