At home in Advent

At home in Advent

Author Gordon Giles
Publisher BRF £8.99
Format pbk
ISBN 9780857469809

This book invites us to take Advent and the Christmas seasons seriously. By using a number of meditations based on commonplace articles like traffic lights, burglar alarms and even Christmas jumpers, Gordon Giles unlocks the meanings of the story that shapes the time of year. This is a well-written book, which includes prayers and practical actions for the reader to undertake during the month it is based around. These are challenging and helpful. He provides questions that can be used by home or other study groups. The book has a definite context, having been written during the tight lockdown of early2020, which makes it even more relevant. We have all become far more acquainted with our own houses, the commonplace, and a book that seeks to see the spiritual significance of this is therefore most valuable. The author tackles issues of expectation, waiting, mortality and hope as well as celebrating the joy of the incarnation and the salvation that Jesus brought. This is a first class read and a valuable aid for the Advent and Christmas seasons.

Reviewed by CAVAN WOOD

Advent, Reflection

 

The Glorious Journey

The Glorious Journey

Author Liam Kelly
Publisher DLT £6.99
Format pbk
ISBN 9780232534931

The author takes us through this little book using his knowledge and inside information about two popes, Francis and Benedict. He refers frequently to them by name yet at the same time encourages us to see them more simply as two gentlemen of great faith. There is a DVD of the film, The Two Popes available to accompany this structured reflection. However this is not a necessity and the book alone can be helpfully used during a time such as a retreat, or during Advent or Lent. The eight chapters lead us through the journey of life with themes common to us all e.g. Loneliness, Love, Listening, and so on. Each chapter sets a simple theme which the author uses to explore the life experience and conversations between the two popes. Within each chapter we are invited to reflect on our own lives and questions are asked of us as fellow travellers on the journey of life. Each section ends with a prayer and a closing reflection quoted from a formal address by either Pope Francis or Pope Benedict XVI. There is much for us to treasure in this pocket-sized book, for it acknowledges the joys, sorrows, weaknesses and strengths of life for us all as human beings. There is also assurance that we never journey alone for the grace of God is always present.

Reviewed by SUE PIPER

Advent, Reflection