Waiting in Hopeful Expectation by Bishop Robert Barron

We are an Advent people—a people who wait. Something (or better someone) is coming, and the best thing we can do is to wait in hopeful expectation.

Here is how the great prophet of Advent puts it: “Yet, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay and you are the potter: we are all the work of your hands” (Isaiah 64:7).

Now does this mean that we do nothing? That we sit like lumps waiting for God to do something with our lives? No. In fact, there is something very “active” about waiting.

Do you remember how lively and attentive you are when you are eagerly waiting for someone to arrive? When you watch for every car that comes by when you are waiting at the airport? Every sense strains to take in what is happening; your mind is alive with expectation. Your spirit is jumping. This is, I think, what waiting means in the spiritual sense; this is the mood of Advent.

Here are some practical suggestions for these remaining days of waiting. First, examine your conscience on a regular basis. Realize the prevalence and power of sin in your life, being especially attentive to the recurrent problems.

Second, pray. The Liturgy, the Scriptures, the Rosary, visits to the Blessed Sacrament, the Jesus prayer—whatever works for you. But lean into God with a special fervor and attentiveness during these final days of Advent.

Third, ask for forgiveness. Seek the forgiveness of those who you have hurt because of your sin. There is no better way to access our own helplessness before God.

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The Fullness of Time by Henri Nouwen

Jesus came in the fullness of time. He will come again in the fullness of time. Wherever Jesus, the Christ, is the time is brought to its fullness.

We often experience our time as empty. We hope that tomorrow, next week, next month or next year the real things will happen. But sometimes we experience the fullness of time. That is when it seems that time stands still, that past, present, and future become one; that everything is present where we are; and that God, we, and all that is have come together in total unity. This is the experience of God’s time. “When the completion of the time came [that is: in the fullness of time], God sent his Son, born of a woman” (Galatians 4:4), and in the fullness of time God will “bring everything together under Christ, as head, everything in the heavens and everything on earth” (Ephesians 1:10). It is in the fullness of time that we meet God.

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Christ in the Eucharist

Oh Jesus, help me overcome any fear I have of you or of being in silence. Help me remember how much you love me, how much you desire this time together, and how close you are to me in this sacrament. You are my Emmanuel, God with me. Thank you for coming so close to me.

-from A Eucharistic Christmas

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Something to reflect on… particularly as we draw closer to Christmas.

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