Book Review: Preparing for Christmas
Author: Richard Rohr
Publisher: Franciscan Media
I really enjoyed this little devotional booklet. For such a small package, it packs a wallop! In this collection of devotional thoughts, Richard Rohr calls the participating Christian to remembrance that Christmas not merely a “sentimental waiting for the baby Jesus,” but a very real message heralding the Incarnation of God in Christ. It is my opinion that in this call, Rohr succeeds.
I found the daily reflections challenging and thought provoking. While I read a few reviews that stated the writings weren’t challenging enough, I found just the opposite. There were some instances and days the meditation presented by Fr Rohr was all I could handle; a simple statement for consideration read with an open mind/heart was all that was needed to send me on a soul-searching adventure for the day. Personally, I appreciate such depth and insightful wisdom packaged in concise statements and questions. Sometimes, the less words are used, the better.
The structure and outline of the devotional weeks was very clean and easy to follow. Each week begins with a selection of Scripture texts that follow the Lectionary. All three years are included, so this devotional booklet can be used with any cycle (A, B, or C). The weekdays draw selectively from all of the years, some of them note the cycle they are drawn from and others do not. Rohr ends each meditation with a reflection question that helps to internalize the meditation and make it very personal. This Advent devotional is not about information… it is about transformation.
This will be a great resource for future Christmas seasons. It has everything a reflective sojourner might need for an Advent journey; it has daily meditations, prayers, Scripture readings, and reflection questions to spur deeper thought and introspection. Everything one might want or expect for such a journey all in a pocket-sized package. This is one you can be confident to add for your Advent resources.
Fr. Richard Rohr is a globally recognized ecumenical teacher bearing witness to the universal awakening within Christian mysticism and the Perennial Tradition. He is a Franciscan priest of the New Mexico Province and founder of the Center for Action and Contemplation (CAC) in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Fr. Richard’s teaching is grounded in the Franciscan alternative orthodoxy—practices of contemplation and lived kenosis (self-emptying), expressing itself in radical compassion, particularly for the socially marginalized.