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Advent Time: Waiting

This is the paradox of our age: We can easily become so trapped in an endless spiral to purchase more technological gadgets which promise to help us "save" time that we have lost the ability to "spend" time. We no longer know how to luxuriate in the present because we are obsessed with technologically "banking" our time for some never-quite-realized future enjoyment. Even actively committed Christians tend to see the issue of time as one of finding a place for "religious time" in their busy lives. They will heroically carve out a place for brief daily prayer, Sunday Eucharist, children's catechesis, and perhaps a weeknight parish meeting of one kind or another. But what is forgotten is the invitation which the season of Advent offers us, not just to carve out some time for God, but to undergo conversion in our very experience of time. It is in Advent that we learn, not to master time, but rather to submit ourselves to the flow of God's time. In Advent we can learn the spirituality of waiting.

- Richard R. Gaillardetz, excerpt from "An Advent Reflection," Commonweal, December 4, 1998.