Compiled by Peter Celano
It is challenging to focus on preparing for the true meaning of Christmas when every commercial environment is promoting the secular meaning of the holiday. That is when Peter Celano’s book “Christmas with the Holy Fathers” (Paraclete Press, $17.95) becomes a gem.
This little book is a compilation of passages taken from various addresses given by the Holy Fathers, from Pope St. Leo the Great to the two most recent pontiffs. The variety of speakers and topics help to demonstrate the timelessness of the Church’s message about Christmas as well as the universality of the coming of Christ. What was relevant to Christians in the fifth century is no less relevant to the modern reader. And what is important to those gathered to listen to Pope John Paul II at the turn of the millennium is equally as relevant this Christmas.
Each excerpt transports the reader back into the mystery of Christmas and the importance of Advent while not requiring a debilitating block of time in one’s personal schedule. The book is broken down into sections pertaining to Advent, Christmas Eve, the Nativity, the Ephiphany, and the significance of the Mother of God. Within each section are a variety of texts which can be read one at a time or together. Every address channels and important but simple message about Advent and Christmas that reminds the reader of the key role that the faith plays in this liturgical and cultural holiday.
“Christmas with the Holy Fathers” is perfect for carrying in a purse or backpack and convenient to read while waiting in line, for a moment or two before Mass, or while taking a break from work or school. In any situation, the book is guaranteed to bring the reader back to a calmer, more mystical place and to prepare them, in small increments of the coming of the Savior.
* Catholic News Agency columns are opinion and do not necessarily express the perspective of the agency.