The Unsheltered Heart

The Unsheltered Heart

An At-Home Advent Retreat (Cycle A) 

Author: Ronald Patrick Raab, C.S.C.

Price: $5.95

Format: Booklet

Pages: 96

Trim size: 5.5 x 8.5 inches

ISBN: 978-1-59471-254-8

Imprint: Ave Maria Press

On-sale date: September 1, 2010

More Adult Faith Formation, Seasonal Resources, Small-Group Resources


From the award-winning author and radio commentator Ronald Patrick Raab, C.S.C., comes this courageously different, disarmingly honest approach to Advent that guides spiritual seekers out of the armchair and into the heart of the Gospel call for justice.

In the spirit of Henri Nouwen and Mother Teresa, Ronald Raab writes from the depths of his own conversion experiences. Living and working among some of the poorest and most marginalized people of Portland, Oregon, Raab wrestles with the meaning of the Incarnation in today's fractured world and with his own identity as a Catholic priest who is called to promote the Gospel message of justice.

Stories of Raab’s life and ministry, interpreted alongside the Sunday Gospel readings, bring startling clarity to the profound challenges facing Catholics today. This at-home, self-directed retreat is based on the Sunday Gospel readings for Cycle A and the life-anchoring lessons Raab has gleaned from them. His narrative style unsettles, challenges, enlightens, yet in the end offers the hope of Christ.

Ideally Suited For:

  • Advent retreats
  • Parish social ministry teams
  • Peace and justice committees
  • Young adult groups
  • Scripture-sharing groups
  • Small faith communities



"Outstanding writing."

"Father Ron Raab invites his readers to an Advent experience that will change them. His outstanding writing, lodged in his care for the women and men who make the street their home, is humble, provocative, and poignant. Prepare ye!"

Jack Jezreel, Executive Director, JustFaith Ministries

"Profoundly challenging."

"'Put not your trust in princes,' say the prophets. Father Raab urges love of the poor and the afflicted through conversion of our hearts—prompted by his profoundly challenging and distinctive Advent meditations."

Nicholas Ayo, C.S.C., Professor Emeritus,
Program of Liberal Studies, University of Notre Dame

"Welcome respite."

"In a season when most of us are lulled into torpor by too much—food, drink, partying, shopping—Ron Raab’s The Unsheltered Heart is a gentle but firm wake-up call to find our true selves in God by exposing our hearts to God’s Word. The simple practical format will make it, not another obligation, but a welcome respite for those wishing to deepen their Advent experience."

Bernadette Gasslein, STL, Editor of Celebrate!

"Dares his reader."

"Raab dares his reader in the opening lines of the opening chapter to pray, 'O God, unshelter my heart.' Most of us want God to shelter us, protect us, guard us, defend us. Raab suggests that what we really need is to become unsheltered, cracked open, deeply vulnerable—waking up to our solidarity with the suffering poor in whom God dwells."

Marilyn Lacey, R.S.M., Author of This Flowing Toward Me