Monday, November 23, 2015

Meditations for Advent (Sophia Institute Press)

It is getting VERY close to the end of November, so now is as good a time as any to get your Advent and Christmas books on hand. This Advent and Christmas I will be turning to Bishop Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet's books Meditations for Advent and Meditations on Mary. I have previous experience with Bishop Bossuet's book Meditations for Lent, so it really was a no-brainer on who I would be choosing for these two seasons.

Meditations for Advent is 40 chapters in length. This is an interesting number considering that Advent ranges between 22 and 28 days. Therefore, I can only conclude one of two things. 1. You either start this "devotional" on November 15th so that you finish on December 24th, or 2. You start on the first Sunday of Advent and keep reading it through the Christmas season. The meditations in this book are each about 2-4 pages long and cover topics like Creation, John the Baptist, and Mary. Of the meditations, the first five were my favorite as I love to read interpretations, reflections, and commentary on Creation. In this book, there is talk on the creation of the universe, the angels, and man. It may seem odd to read about those events during Advent, but it is because of these events that God had to become man. Therefore, we have to see Creation and the Fall, and then we get the promise of a Messiah.

As beautiful as the reflections were, my favorite part in this book was actually the sermon for the Feast of Saint Joseph at the end of the book. It is entitled "Guard What Has Been Entrusted to You." In these thirty pages, Bishop Bossuet discusses the three things St. Joseph was entrusted with - 1. the virginity of Mary, 2. the person of his only-begotten Son, and 3. the secret of all his mystery. The "secret of all his mystery" made me scratch my head at first, but it simply means that Joseph knew Jesus was God Incarnate, but since that was not to be revealed until Jesus' hour had come, Joseph had to keep it a secret from the world. Bishop Bossuet does a marvelous job explaining how saintly Joseph was, both as husband and foster father, and whether he meant to or not, he also wrote a sermon that should be an inspiration to all husbands and fathers out there to guard what God has entrusted with us as well, i.e., our wife and children. Excellent sermon and worth the price of the book alone. If you are looking for a beautiful book to carry you through Advent, look no further than Meditations for Advent. After reading Meditations for Advent, I'd recommend turning my attention to Meditations on Mary.

This book was provided to me for free by Sophia Institute Press in exchange for an honest review. If you found this review helpful, please click here and hit Yes!