There’s a lot of serious problems in the world that deserve our attention and our action. There is no question that God is calling us all to reflect on our personal and societal responsibilities and take stock of our own character, our empathy and self control. What a person can and should do is going to look different from everyone else, but taking care of yourself and your mental health is just as important. You can’t change the world until you change yourself first.

So when it’s time to sit down and rest, curl up with one of these lovely reads that are good for your soul in more ways than one.

Roses for the Most High by Ronnie Smith

If it’s serenity you are looking for and a quick moment of peace, poetry is the best medicine.

Holacaust survivor Corrie Ten Boom once recounted how while she was living in the lice infested barracks in a concentration camp her sister reminded her that they must praise God in all circumstances. So she encouraged Corrie to praise God for the lice. Grumbling a little, Corrie agreed. A little while later they found out that the privacy and freedom from abuse that they found in the barracks was because the guards refused to enter a building with such bad lice infestation!

So sit back and let Smith’s verse help you praise the Lord for the lice in your life.

Discovery by Karina Fabian

If you haven’t read a Karina Fabian book yet then you have never truly known laughter.

This scifi adventure featuring religious sisters in space on a heroic mission to discover alien technology will whisk you away from the problems of this world and take you on an adventure.

Sisters of the Last Straw Series by Karen Kelly Boyce

If you have littles in your life or just need an excuse to giggle at yourself Sisters of the Last Straw is the perfect medicine.

Even without children I found these books a pleasure to read. The author turns annoying human habits into raucous good natured comedy.

If you’re going stir-crazy from people with you in quarentine– this series is the one for you.

Saint Michael: Above the 38th Parallel by Shanti Guy

If you are a superhero fan or just need something quell the fear, then Saint Michael is here!

But seriously, watching St. Michael literally fight the communist army in North Korea is the most fun antidote to anxiety I can think of!

Me, Ruby & God by Linda Crowley

If you need or have some fur-babies in your life these stories about a musher and her dogs will melt your heart.

Crowley also has some lovely prayers reflections written between each chapter that are all about regaining serenity and learning to trust God with the fearlessness that her dogs trust her to lead them.

Wanderings of an Ordinary Pilgrim by Tim Bete

If you’re itching for travel these poems will certainly take you on a journey of serenity and self-discovery. Written while on pilgrimage in Europe, Bete’s words bring you along for the ride.

The poems are simple but in that simplicity, they are accessible enough for anyone. It’s in that accessibility that Wanderings of an Ordinary Pilgrim has its true strength. In being accessible to all, all are invited to a deeper contemplation of their relationship with Christ.

The Book of Jotham by Arthur Powers

Written from the perspective of Jotham, a mentally challenged disciple of Jesus, Power’s beautiful prose imbues peace and acceptance in every line.

This isn’t poetry but it might as well be. Breathe and live in the moment with this historical fiction novella.

Vigil by Russell Newquist

If you find yourself in need of equal parts courage and laughter, look no further than Vigil.

It’s the campy punch-the-devil-in-the-face action flick everyone needs in their life. It’s a lot like if Big Trouble in Little China were set in the catacombs of an ancient church. Also there is a dragon, and a damsel and a lot of self-deprecating humor. If anything can make you forget life’s troubles and fill your chest with courage this can.

McCracken & the Lost Lady by Mark Adderley

If Indiana Jones were Catholic, Scottish and went on adventures with his breastfeeding wife and two kids then he’d be McCracken.

Much like Vigil, the books in this series will have you giggling away and getting lost in adventure. This one is a bit more appropriate for middle grade and children though, and with all the funny accents included, it makes for a fun bedtime story.

But you don’t need to have kids to entertain your inner child.

Murder in the Vatican by Ann Margaret Lewis

If you’re in quarantine or social distancing might as well get cozy right?

Lewis capture’s Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s voice perfectly in these short stories involving our favorite detective and the Catholic Church. There is even a story told in the voice of Pope Leo XIII when he hires the detective on to help him out.