The lament swells every December, as perennial as the jingle of Salvation Army bells: the season of Advent is lost in the secular trappings of Christmas preparation. For those aspiring to a reverent Advent but caught up in twenty-first-century to-do lists, A Season of Little Sacraments offers a fresh perspective on the secular-sacred December divide.
Susan Swetnam invites readers along on an ordinary woman's day-by-day walk through Advent, demonstrating that the very "distractions" accused of taking Christ out of Christmas can become "little sacraments"—occasions for grace to break through and faith to deepen—if approached with mindful reflection. For readers who want to experience a truly sacred Advent without fleeing completely from contemporary society, A Season of Little Sacraments will be a welcome source of nourishment and delight.
Susan H. Swetnam taught advanced writing courses for thirty-five years at Idaho State University and is the author of more than a hundred articles and seven books. Visit her at susanswetnamwriter.com.
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Grab a hot mocha and pull up a chair to the pellet stove-it's Advent in Idaho, and you're in for a treat! Susan, your guide, is a chef, runner, realist, widow, singer, English professor, organizer and snowshoer who's funny, generous, splendidly imperfect and attuned to the "small s" sacraments of every day. Spending this time with her and borrowing some of her suggestions will enrich your season immeasurably.
Kathy Coffey, author of When the Saints Came Marching In: Exploring the Frontiers of Grace in America
While many books advise readers to swim upstream during Advent by not putting up the tree or not sending cards to family and friends until Christmas Eve, Susan Swetnam's new book takes a different approach, one that helps Catholics both embrace and reverently celebrate the craziness and the sacredness of the season.
Our Sunday Visitor
This book gives honest insights into the frustrations and temptations that can steal from us the joy of what should be the most meaningful day of the year. We are led to truly make room in our homes and in our lives-room for the celebration of the coming of the savior into mortality.
Idaho State Journal
Your book has been a very real blessing to me this Advent season and one I plan to share with many friends next year. It has been a wonderful way of celebrating and honoring rituals and seeing them as part of Advent rather than a distraction or frivolity.
Hannah Morgan, Director of the Center for Disability Research, Lancaster University, UK