Aspirations of the Heart: A Beautiful List of Prayer Books to Give Someone for Christmas

“Prayer is an aspiration of the heart, it is a simple glance directed to heaven.  It is a cry of gratitude and love in the midst of trial as well as joy; finally, it is something great, supernatural, which expands my soul and unites me to Jesus.”–St. Therese of Lisieux

The prayer books we have listed below are a meager few of some of our favorites.  They are short and simple, enough for the busy lives we tend to lead. (Click on the picture to take you to for more information on each book.)

Word By Word: Slowing Down with the Hail Mary by Sarah A. Reinhard is a beautiful way to slow yourself down when reciting the Hail Mary.  After years of reciting the prayer, I, unfortunately, find myself rushing through the words. This book is a compilation of reflections and questions based on the short phrases of the prayer.  They are short enough for you to read one each day and spend a few minutes meditating on the questions asked at the end of each reflection.  It’s a wonderful way to look at the Hail Mary for those of us who have become “familiar” with the prayer.

Catholic Household Blessings and Prayers is a necessity for every Catholic home.  There are prayers for everything a family might have to deal with from joyous occasions to heartbreaking ones.  There are practical prayers for your home and prayers for the individuals living in it.  If each family is supposed to model the church, this prayer book is necessary.


Small Steps for Catholic Moms: Your Daily Call to Think, Pray, and Act by Danielle Bean and Elizabeth Foss was a gift from my sister last Christmas and it has helped me focus this year.  With a new baby this year and a two-year-old, I’ve had to make major readjustments to my prayer life.  While I used to pray often throughout the day, I find that very difficult for me now.  This book offers three short things to read each day.  Something to “Think” about (usually a quote from a saint),  Something to “Pray” about, and something to “Act” on.  I love the last thing for the day.  Often times it is difficult, but then I remember that action is a prayer as well, and Jesus loves the effort.  If you feel like you are a busy mom who is losing your mind, or you think you know one, this is a perfect book.


Be Not Afraid: A Book of Quotes for Catholic Men is written by Sam Guzman, the founder and editor of The Catholic Gentleman.  This book is simple and not really a prayer book, per se, but includes pages of quotes from men of the church.  It will definitely appeal to the Catholic man in your life since his images and quotes are geared specifically toward men.  The quotes are often profound and lend themselves well to reflection in prayer.  (While you’re at it, be sure to check out his blog.)


Whether we want to believe it or not, we are at battle with the devil.   Manual for Spiritual Warfare by Paul Thigpen is a book to help you think about and fight that battle.  The leather binding and the sword on the front will appeal to men, but the prayers are meant for everyone.  Every household should have this book.




The Original Mother’s Manual by S.J. A. Francis Coomes was a gift from my mother when I was pregnant with my oldest daughter.  Every prayer imaginable is in this book from praying for your newly conceived child to praying for your doctor to praying for your child’s choice of friends and their vocation.  It is a beautiful book that draws a moms to the motherhood of Mary and helps you understand her more deeply.  The book also includes encouragement for breastfeeding and gives wifely and motherly “duties” to ponder daily.  I pray from this book often and bring it with me to adoration regularly.


Like The Original Mother’s Manual, the Fathers’ Manual is full of prayers that fathers can pray for their children and their wives.  At the end it lists the duties of a strong Catholic husband and father.  I got this for my husband on his first Father’s Day.  He prays with it often.

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