The spirit of Advent is the realization that we cannot be happy without a relationship with this immense Mystery that vastly transcends all categories and yet deals with us in an incredibly personal way. In Advent, we perceive our misguided and distorted values. We know that we cannot save ourselves. Hence, out of our inmost being comes the cry for help. The realization comes that there is nothing we can do to change this inner situation except to wait and offer this longing, too deep for words, to God’s infinite compassion.
Longing for the light eventually brings the light. Faith opens into trust, and trust is not disappointed because the love of God is poured forth in the hearts of the brokenhearted. Our hearts have to be broken in the sense of realizing that our programs for happiness cannot possibly work. Our longing to be whole can come about only by God’s gift, all we can do is wait for it. To know how to wait for God is the greatest of all knowledge.