Recent books in brief

Recent books in brief
The Messenger Advent Booklet 2021: reflections on the Weekday Reading

by Donal Neary SJ (Messenger Publications, €4.95/£4.50)

The author opens his little seasonal booklet with the observation that “Advent is the annual season of waiting”. This year, however, the notion of waiting has taken on an even heavier weight of expectation: will the pandemic die away, will things get back to normal, what will this year’s Christmas season bring, a welcome relief, or more of the same?

In these pages of reflection on the readings for the season Fr Neary widens the scope of our views. “Waiting in many ways is a good thing for us.” Certainly many, especially weekday Mass-goers, will find a resource in these pages. What we can be certain of is that this year’s Christmas will be different.

Advent & Christmas 2021-2022

(The Irish Jesuits/Sacred Space, €4.95/£4.50)

Those who are connected with Sacred Space, a creation of the Irish Jesuits, will also like to have the little booklet taken from their website This will provide an admirable supplement to the Advent booklet above. Briefly it looks forward to a “future filled with hope”, an appropriate thought.

Hearers of the Word: Praying & Exploring the Readings Advent & Christmas Year C

by Kieran J. O’Mahony OSA (Messenger Publications, €19.95/£18.95)

This is the latest volume in Fr Kieran O’Mahony’s popular series. But unlike the booklets above, these pages call for longer and more serious reflection. That said, however, the readers who buy this book should turn first to the section at the end called ‘The Table of Faith’, which explains with a simple image how four aspects of faith can be connected, and become like a table, supportive of personal identity and of community engagement.