Time to Get Ready: An Advent Reader to Wake Your Soul
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Time to Get Ready: An Advent Reader to Wake Your Soul

Paraclete Press / 2015 / Paperback

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For many Christians, Advent and Christmas have simply become just another time of year, albeit more frenetic. It is for them that Mark A. Villano has written this book. He opens up the Scriptures, themes, and liturgical traditions of these holy seasons to better appreciate their meaning. He reveals the life-changing mystery of Christ and the invitations of grace all around us. Consider this book a daily retreat for the four weeks of Advent and beyond, a time to let go of the activity and noise of life and simply listen.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 180
Vendor: Paraclete Press
Publication Date: 2015
Dimensions: 8.50 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 1612615597
ISBN-13: 9781612615592

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Editorial Reviews

This is a wonderful book to begin in Advent and carry through Christmas and the "ordinary" year ahead. There is much food for thought to apply to our personal preparation for a hectic holiday season, but also to digest in the bleak months of winter (and beyond), when decorations, cheer, and song seem to have been stowed away with all the other ornaments of Christmas. Mark Villano weaves everyday concerns with touchstones from faith, contemplation, and Christian tradition. The light he shines on them is warm, encouraging, and filled with grace.—Maureen Pratt

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars


Can you feel it? Christmas is coming! Mark Villano presents ways to to meditate on and absorb scriptures and stories related to the birth of Christ. If you're preparing your heart for the season through reflection and and imagination, you'll enjoy this Advent book. You may also find yourself thinking of ways to engage life and service in practical ways. Be prepared for meaningful transformation of the soul as you engage the retelling of the events leading up to Christmas and the stories told by the author. Villano offers pastoral encouragement for the Advent and Christmas weeks. He'll help you make the most of the season, regardless of the fluff and frills that surround Christmas.—Rosa Smith, 3booksfull.blogspot.com

"This is a richly written volume that surely will bring inspiration to your Advent and Christmas. I highly recommend Time to Get Ready, for personal reflection, retreat days, and group study."Lisa Rand

There are many Advent devotionals available but I think this one stands out among them. It is steeped in scripture and include many quotes and stories to help the reader get more out of their spiritual life during this time of year. I liked that the readings are included at the beginning of each chapter. There is a description that unpacks the biblical message then a scriptural response. At the end of each chapter there is a summary statement that packs a punch.

We are introduced the idea of chronos and kairos to measure time. Chronos is linear time and Kairos is God's time. But we are not just passively waiting but we are called to action. We are called to bring ourself as gift to others during this season of preparation. When the author speaks "God does not want to fit comfortably into our schedule. God wants to be a living presence in our lives, fire in our hearts." This is evidence of God's call in our lives to minister to others. First we have to find our true selves "Come to know yourself better and you will be able to know others better as well. Be happy with who you are and who you aren’t. You will see more clearly the One who gave you your true self." From the beginning of advent to the epiphany, Time to Get Ready will keep you engaged. For instance with quotes like this "An epiphany is defined as a manifestation of Christ. Franciscan author Richard Rohr, in Everything Belongs, gives his own twist to that definition: an epiphany is a place where God is both hidden and revealed. Perfectly hidden and perfectly revealed — like the manger or the cross. Not everyone is looking for those epiphanies, not everyone sees. But those who do will " gather together." Their journeys converge in Bethlehem. Their hearts "thrill and rejoice."
I would recommend this book to you for inspiration during your Advent and Christmas season. The format is easy to follow. The author's voice is conversational and punctuated with scripture throughout the book. Time to Get Ready will help you make the most of your waiting for the Incarnation when God is with us in history, mystery and majesty.—Patricia McKenna

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Author/Artist Review

Author: Mark A. Villano
Located in: Los Angeles, CA
Submitted: September 07, 2015

    What do you hope folks will gain from this project?  I hope that this book can serve Christians who are coming from either liturgical or non-liturgical church traditions.

For those who are already familiar with Advent and Christmas as liturgical seasons, this book can serve as an aid to daily prayer and reflection during these special times of the year. When we notice the "holiday season" arriving, we know that we need to prepare in a spiritual way for Christmas. However, sometimes we are swept away by the busyness of the season, and we miss out on what Advent and Christmas are met to do for us. This book can be a kind of "retreat" that allows us to take some time in our day to slow down, remember our spiritual journey, and appreciate the deeper meaning of these celebrations.

For those who are not coming from liturgical churches, this book can also help to make the time leading up to Christmas and beyond, a more reflective time of spiritual preparation. We know how our secular and commercial culture celebrates the Christmas holiday: there's non-stop noise for a month before it comes, then, when the holiday gets here, we can be left feeling flat, or tired, or we just want to clean up. The season of Advent is different. It's still festive, but the emphasis is on spiritual preparation, so that when the feast comes, we're more ready to receive it, and to extend the celebration into the Christmas season. This book is accessible to all Christians, as it uses scripture to reflect on the meaning of Jesus' birth and the salvation he brings.

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