The first Sunday of Advent is just a few weeks away (November 29th) and The Bookshop at Knock Shrine now has a lovely selection of titles filled with prayers for Advent and daily reflections to further explore this wonderful time of hope, anticipation and preparation for the birth and spiritual renewal that comes with Christmas.
Here are some of the top picks from The Bookshop for this Advent.
This newly published book by Irish author, John Scally, is a collection of beautiful reflections from Mother Teresa for the days of Advent and Christmas and for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.
Mother Teresa explores how we can make the right choices and keep our hearts open. Mother Teresa is much loved around the world for her ability to find God’s love and light, in even the most darkest of places. This book will help people to bring Mother Teresa’s light into their Advent and Christmas season.
Let Us Adore Him is a page-a-day booklet that will enhance your preparation for Christmas. The content covers the 28 days of Advent, and 21 days of the Christmas season – from Christmas Day to the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord.
Noted liturgist Fr. Richard Fragomeni takes the Communion Antiphons from the daily seasonal liturgies and weaves them into a prayer aid that is timely, relevant, and inspirational.
For family reflections for Advent, Wake Up To Joy is a lovely collection of simple, Scripture-based devotions by author Mark Neilsen.
Wake Up To Joy invites parents and children to consider together all of the different ways Christ is in our lives as we prepare for Christmas.
Even though she is a Doctor of the Church, St. Thérèse of Lisieux is more well-known for being the “little flower” of Jesus. Through her “little way,” she has inspired many Catholics to love God simply, devoutly, and with great love.
In this book, John Cleary uses passages from St Thérèse’s autobiography, Story of a Soul (L’Histoire d’une Âme), to inspire readers this Advent to see past the glamour and hype of a material Christmas to the small miracle that comes on December 25.
For a more in-depth examination of Advent, this book is a comprehensive commentary on the season for preachers, teachers, liturgy planners and anyone who has an interest in the season itself.
The background and development of Advent is outlined by Thomas McCarthy OP and Vincent Ryan OSB. The liturgies for the Sundays of Advent are covered in detail by Brian Magee CM and those for the weekdays by Timothy O’Connor. The breviary in Advent is addressed by Seán Collins OFM while art in the season is dealt with by Stephanie Brophy. Jerry Threadgold writes on music in Advent and Maura Hyland writes on celebrating the season with children.
The three great figures of the Advent season, Isaiah, John the Baptist, and Mary each have a chapter, and the imagery and symbols of Advent are covered by Genevieve Mooney OP.
For spiritual thinker and writer Henri Nouwen, a life of faith is a life of prayer. In Unto Us a Child is Born, select excerpts from Nouwen’s much-loved works are used to form daily devotions for the weeks of Advent to help readers form the basis of a lasting spiritual practice. There are reflections and prayers for each day of the Advent season.
Nouwen was a Dutch Catholic priest, lecturer, writer and theologian who wrote more than 40 books on spiritual life, that have sold over two million copies around the world.