The Unsheltered Heart

An At-Home Advent Retreat (Cycle B)

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Format: Booklet

Publication date: July 11, 2011


Inspired by the author’s ministry with Portland, Oregon’s most marginalized people and based on the Sunday gospel readings (included), this Advent booklet is unique in its profound challenge to find Christ in the disarming presence of the poor. This at-home, self-directed retreat follows the same widely praised format used in The Unsheltered Heart books for each liturgical cycle. 

In the tradition of Thomas Merton, Henri Nouwen, and Mother Teresa, Ronald Patrick Raab, C.S.C., 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 struggles with the meaning of the Incarnation in today’s fractured world and with his own calling to promote the Gospel message of justice. His narrative style unsettles, challenges, and enlightens, yet in the end offers the hope of Christ dwelling among us.

This retreat is based on the Sunday gospel readings for Advent (Cycle B) and the life-anchoring lessons Raab has gleaned from them. The Unsheltered Heart provides a simple four-step process for each day of Advent that includes the gospel reading, personal reflections, commentaries, prayers, writing prompts, and spaces to journal for each day. A guide for small-group use is available for free download.

Product Details

Pages: 96

Trim size: 5.5 x 8.5 inches

ISBN: 9781594712845

Imprint: Ave Maria Press

  • “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

  • “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, CSC
    Author of Gloria Patri

  • “A balance between prayer and action.”

    “The genius of this retreat is the balance between prayer and action. God will pitch a tent in the broken places of your heart and you will be nudged toward inner growth by the transforming power of the Incarnation.”

    Greg Rohde
    Director of Parish Social Ministry
    Catholic Charities
    Archdiocese of St. Louis

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Additional Resources

Small-Group Discussion Guide
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