Advent Reflection - Second Week
A Time of Creative Waiting
We cling by faith to our belief that we are in the Presence of God. But to experience that belief, to experience God, this we have to “wait for”. It is important for our spiritual well-being that we realize that the waiting is not just putting in time. The waiting itself has meaning.
The waiting of Advent is “a waiting of joyous expectation”. It is not just time to be put in but time to be enjoyed. Such waiting is to be reveled in. For the joy of expectation participates in the joy of fulfillment. . . We await the Lord’s coming with the realization that he is already in our midst; but since we are not fully aware of his presence, we have to wait for our own consciousness to catch up with reality. But the waiting is living with the Mystery that is to come. It is watching it unfold. It is readying the atmosphere that makes that unfolding possible. Waiting is sinking into the meaning of the Mystery. (William H. Shannon, Silence On Fire)
A waiting person is a patient person. The word “patience” means the willingness to stay where we are and live the situation out to the full in the belief that something hidden there will manifest itself to us. Impatient people are always expecting the real thing to happen somewhere else and therefore want to go elsewhere. The moment is empty. But patient people dare to stay where they are. Patient living means to live actively in the present and wait there. Waiting, then, is not passive. It involves nurturing the moment, as a mother nurtures the child that is growing in her womb. (Henry Nouwen, The Path of Waiting)
The new universe story invites us to “expand our contemplative awareness”. . . Our ability to be aware, to be attentive, to see and to hear, to feel and to intuit—all come more fully alive when they flow out of a quiet, receptive heart. And so our participation in ongoing creation is predicated on our commitment to silence—to cultivating a listening heart and a peaceful spirit. (Judy Cannato, Radical Amazement)
- How can we enter ever more deeply into the process of creative waiting?
- Are we aware that God has already begun a good work within us - that we only need to nurture the seed through prayer so that it will come to fulfillment?
- We live with the promise of “a new heaven and a new earth”. Do we realize that this transformation has already begun and that the earth is constantly being renewed?
- What is our role as God’s co-creators in the transformation process?
- How can we “ready the atmosphere” so that the “unfolding” becomes possible?
— Anne Griffin, Presentation Associate