During Advent, we wait—counting the Sundays, weeks, and days until Christmas. Few of us are patient waiters. The spirituality of the season is joyful anticipation—and anticipation involves waiting. Most of us think of waiting as passive, but our attitude about the wait—both the process and what we’re waiting for—makes a big difference.
In Henri Nouwen’s book Finding My Way Home: Pathways to Life and the Spirit
, he includes a chapter called “The Path of Waiting.” He shares examples of biblical figures who waited—Zechariah, Elizabeth, Mary, Simeon and Anna. He holds them up as models for us because of the way they waited. Their waiting was active and faith-filled because they were waiting for something that had already begun for them.
I’ve selected a clip from the audio book Finding My Way Home
to share with you (Real Media
| Windows Media
). This book contains four chapters: "The Path of Power," "The Path of Peace," "The Path of Waiting," and "The Path of Living and Dying." While this book is not specifically an Advent resource, these themes certainly fit well within the season of Advent. Father Nouwen’s theology of downward mobility resonates with the Christian call to be countercultural, particularly during a season that’s so focused on material consumption. It also reminds us that our God “humbled himself to share in our humanity” and was born in a simple stable.
Reflect on a chapter each week of Advent—for your personal preparation for Christmas, with the pastoral staff or a small group. Keep a copy in your parish lending library for year-round use.
Pay attention this Advent. Wait patiently—being present to the presence of God in every moment.