The Peace of Christmas: Quiet Reflections with Pope Francis by Diane M. HoudekThe Peace of Christmas: Quiet Reflections with Pope Francis by Diane M. Houdek
Published by Franciscan Media on September 28, 2017
Source: NetGalley
Genres: Devotional, Christmas
Pages: 144
Format: eARC
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The Peace of Christmas offers an opportunity to reflect with Pope Francis on the many moods and challenges of one of the central realities of our faith: Our God became one of us, came to dwell in our midst, and began life as we all do, as a tiny baby, needy and vulnerable and dependent on the people around him for his very survival.

Through the pope’s insights and reflections, you will be comforted and challenged, enlightened and reassured. He knows that Christmas is many things to many people, often changing with the times and circumstances, with your experiences in the months since last Christmas. Just as God chose to become one of us, so our lives are shaped and changed by the world around us.

While the book is divided into daily reflections, it’s more a book for browsing than marching through day by day. Keep it someplace handy, pick it up when you have a few minutes of quiet. Turn to its pages when you feel frustrated with the hectic pace of preparations or when you feel suddenly struck by the wonder and beauty of this season. Let the words of Scripture and the words of Pope Francis move you to a new appreciation of the incarnation.

The Peace of Christmas: Quiet Reflections with Pope Francis is a fine devotional for Christmas. Each devotion starts with a reflection from Pope Francis followed by a “Christmas Reality” where Ms. Houdek expands a bit on the reflection and talks about how it applies to her life and, by extension, ours. At the end of each is a “Christmas Gift,” which could be something like get rid of something on your to-do list in order to spend an hour with God, or visit a variety of nativities and notice the differences.

I’m not Catholic, but you don’t have to be to appreciate the Pope’s words. I think most Christians will find something meaningful here. I do with the piece from his writings/speeches was longer. Houdek’s comments were fine, but I picked up the book to read the Pope’s reflections, not hers. Most of the “gifts” are thought-provoking, asking us to look honestly at our lives, our values and our responses to the Christmas story.

About Diane M. Houdek

Diane M. Houdek is the digital media editor for Franciscan Media, as well as author and editor of Bringing Home the Word and a senior editor of Liberty+Vine. She has written extensively for Franciscan Media. She is a past editor of Scripture From Scratch and Weekday Homily Helps. She has an M.A. in English literature from Northwestern University and an honors B.A. in English and history from Marquette University.


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