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The Peace of Christmas

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Member Reviews

Lovely holiday devotional that’s  could be read year round. Enjoying the writing and tips on how to bring more of the Holy Spirit into everything we do
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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.
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Although I am not a Roman Catholic I appreciate the wisdom of the current Pope and the thoughts of Ms Houdek. I look forward to reading these reflections for Christmas each year. 
This book can easily be appreciated by all Christians. Words from the Pope,  a reflection on those words by Diane Houdek and then a simple Christmas gift for yourself and/or others.
If you want a Scripture led Advent read this is probably not for you, although you would gain much from reading this volume alongside. The readings would only take a couple of minutes.
I was given this book by NetGalley and the publisher. This is my voluntary review.
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Diane M. Houdek uses some reflections from the Pope to reflect on the Advent season. Houdek's book begins with Thanksgiving and ends with Epiphany. Each of the daily readings follows a simple pattern. After a reading from Pope Francis (though there is no citation from where the remarks come from), there is a reflection by the author under the heading, "A Christmas Reality." In this section, the author shares her own experiences as she reflects on the Christmas story.

The frame for these devotionals is welcoming and easy to use. It invites, as the subtitle suggests, quiet reflections on one's own spiritual life during the season of Advent.
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The Peace of Christmas: Quiet Reflections with Pope Francis by Diane M. Houdek is an Advent devotional that “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.” Each short chapter begins with “A Quiet Reflection from Pope Francis,” where a few of his words on the season are shared. Then in “A Christmas Reality” the author expands upon Pope Francis's thoughts with her own insights. Each chapter ends with “Your Christmas Gift Today” where an action step is given for you to take to help you embrace the Advent season. I found this book to be a comfort. It helped me to look beyond the societal stress of Christmas and embrace its true meanings of peace and joy.

This review will appear in my church's newsletter in December 2018.
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The Peace of Christmas
A gentle little book where Diane Houdek’s reflections expand on the thoughts of Pope Francis.  This book is charming, full of ancient truths and fresh ideas.  A tranquil oasis for the busyness before Christmas.  The gift meditation at the end of each chapter is a lovely idea.
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