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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.

—Thomas Keating


If in your heart you make
A manger for his birth
Then God will once again
Become a child on earth.

—Angelus Silesius


Life is painful
Because of the ones who have died.
Joy is painful
Because of the ones who are crying.
Love is painful
Because of the ones who hate.
And while I am loving, laughing and crying,
I am waiting for you my Lord!

—Julia Esquivel


Gently, relentlessly as fine dew, the Divine soaks into a wanting humanity.

We work our way toward Christmas. With quiet excitement, we go about those simple gestures that ratify the mystery about to take place. We help ourselves to see again, in the outward sign, the inner truth. If we are awake and if we live the earthly process, we will feel what is inner and hidden. We make the wreath and light the candles, and we gain from them courage to stop the wheeling and dealing of our outer life: to sacrifice the wheels that grind away in our heads, the endless rationalizations…the wheels that grind away at outward “progress” at the cost of peace and justice in this world…the wheels that dial and roll and spin and whirl and drive us to distraction. The sacrificed wheel of the Advent wreath encourages us to stop and wait.

—Gertrud Mueller Nelson


Love is the subtlest force in the world.

—Mahatma Gandhi


Awake my dear, be kind to your sleeping heart; take it out into the vast fields of light and let it breathe.



…the Infinite Love that is the architect of our hearts has made our hearts in such a way that nothing less than an Infinite Union with Infinite Love will do. It’s a setup. For Infinite Love to create us in the image of itself is for Infinite Love to create you as a CAPACITY TO RECEIVE THE FULLNESS OF INFINITE LOVE as your destiny.

—James Finley