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Christmas Hidden Treasures: Advent Retreat Guide

November 24, 2015 by  
Filed under Advent, Christmas, Fr. Bartunek, Retreat Guides

The Hidden Treasures of Christmas:
A Retreat Guide for Advent


The newest Retreat Guide from RC Spirituality, The Hidden Treasures of Christmas, is now available at www.RCSpirituality.org

Advent and Christmas time are always busy, busy, busy. They come and go so quickly, and when the New Year arrives, we always feel like we should have lived them better; we should have given more time and effort to the simple things, the spiritual things, the real meaning of these important liturgical seasons. This Advent Retreat Guide, The Hidden Treasures of Christmas, won’t solve that problem completely, but it will surely help.

The hidden treasures of the Christmas season are the rich liturgical celebrations that happen during the weeks following Christmas itself. Those twelve days are packed with ancient, inspiring liturgical memorials, but because of the busyness and fullness of the season, we almost never allow ourselves to enjoy them.

So why not use Advent as a time to look ahead, liturgically speaking, to savor some of those liturgical feasts that the Holy Spirit has placed, so to speak, under the Christmas tree? Each of them gives us a fresh and uplifting take on the great mystery of salvation linked to Christ’s birth. Reflecting on them before Christmas arrives will help us enter into the spiritual atmosphere of Advent.

In the first meditation, we will contemplate the dramatic lives of two saints whose feast days are celebrated during the Christmas season: St. Stephen and St. Thomas Becket.
In the second meditation, we will contemplate the two feasts that turn our minds to the perennial Christmas value of family life: the Holy Innocents, and the Holy Family.
And in the conference, we will turn our attention to the Christian vision of how to organize human society for peace and prosperity—a vision linked to the Catholic way of celebrating New Year’s Day, which the Church recognizes as the World Day of Peace, as well as the liturgical memorial of Mary, the Mother of God.

Let’s begin by opening our souls to God, and humbly asking him, in the quiet of our hearts, for the grace to live this Advent better than ever, by savoring the hidden treasures of Christmas.

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About Fr. John Bartunek, LC

Fr. John Bartunek, LC, S.Th.D, received his BA in History from Stanford University in 1990. He comes from an evangelical Christian background and became a member of the Catholic Church in 1991. After college, he worked as a high school history teacher, drama director, and baseball coach. He then spent a year as a professional actor in Chicago before entering the religious Congregation of the Legionaries of Christ in 1993. He was ordained a Catholic priest in 2003 and earned his doctorate in moral theology in 2010. He provided spiritual support on the set of Mel Gibson’s "The Passion of the Christ" while researching the 2005 Catholic best seller, "Inside the Passion"--the only authorized, behind-the-scene explanation of the film. Fr. John has contributed news commentary regarding religious issues on NBC, CNN, Fox, and the BBC. He also served as the English-language press liaison for the Vatican’s 2005 Synod of Bishops on the Eucharist. His most widely known book is called: "The Better Part: A Christ-Centered Resource for Personal Prayer". His most recent books are "Spring Meditations", "Seeking First the Kingdom: 30 Meditations on How to Love God with All Your Heart, Soul, Mind and Strength", and "Answers: Catholic Advice for Your Spiritual Questions". Fr. John currently splits his time between Michigan (where he continues his writing apostolate and serves as a confessor and spiritual director at the Queen of the Family Retreat Center) and Rome, where he teaches theology at Regina Apostolorum. His online, do-it-yourself retreats are available at RCSpirituality.org, and he answers questions about the spiritual life at SpiritualDirection.com.

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