During the Advent season, there is a season of joyous expectancy in the air. It can be difficult not to get swept up in the worldly trappings that surround modern Christmas celebrations. This slim volume provides an uplifting place to rest and reflect on what the season could mean for people who want to deepen their connection to the spirit during this special season.
Living the Days of Advent and the Christmas Season 2011, published by Paulist Press, provides a page of reading for each day from the beginning of Advent to the baptism of the infant Jesus (the day after the epiphany, or Three Kings Day). The book is slim and lightweight, making it easy to tuck into one’s bag. The pages are perforated, and this option of removing pages makes the book flexible—if you like, you can post the reading for each day in the place where you are most likely to see it. Each page also notes the feasts and holy days of the Catholic Church calendar.
On each page, Stephanie Collins presents a brief reading (6-12 sentences), a query for self-examination, a relevant verse from the Bible, and suggested Bible readings for further reflection. On one day, for example, Collins writes, “Advent is a time when we pretend we are waiting for God, but all the while God is really waiting for us.” She offers the words of the Prophet Isaiah (54:10): “For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but my steadfast love shall not depart from you.” The query suggested for this day states, “Today, I will take a moment simply to sit and let God’s love wash over me, then find an appropriate word of thanks.” This small glimpse of this helpful book gives a taste of the restful, encouraging tone of its pages. Regardless of how busy our days are, there can be time for refreshment here. It is available through the Paulist Press website for $3.95.
This year Advent begins on November 27, the Sunday following Thanksgiving in the U.S. As you prepare for this special season, perhaps you will include this book in your plans.