The Unsheltered Heart

An At-Home Advent Retreat (Cycle A)

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Format: Booklet

Publication date: September 1, 2010


Award-winning author Ronald Patrick Raab, C.S.C., makes Advent a transformative journey through spiritual direction within a daily pattern of prayer, reflection, and action in The Unsheltered Heart: An At-Home Advent Retreat (Cycle A). Raab draws on his life and ministry at the St. André Bessette Catholic Church in Portland, Oregon, where his daily encounters with people living with poverty, homelessness, addiction, and mental illness complicate the meaning of the Incarnation in a fractured world. His narrative style unsettles, challenges, and enlightens, yet in the end offers the hope of Christ dwelling among us. The Unsheltered Heart provides a popular five-step retreat format for each day of Advent: pray, read, reflect, write, and act. The Sunday gospel readings for each week of the season underpin the retreat and a guide for optional reflection in small groups is available for free download.

Ideal Uses for The Unsheltered Heart: An At-Home Advent Retreat:

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

Product Details

Pages: 96

Trim size: 5.5 x 8.5 inches

ISBN: 9781594712548

Imprint: Ave Maria Press

  • “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, CSC
    Author of Gloria Patri

  • “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

  • “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! The Pastoral Magazine with the Liturgical Heart

  • “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: A Story of God Arriving in Strangers

Related Products

Additional Resources

Small-Group Discussion Guide
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