Advent Week 4 – December 23, 2022

The Wisdom of Advent – Learning to Wait

Week 4: Peace.

Henri Nouwen says about the importance of patience, “A waiting person is a patient person. The word patience means the willingness to stay where we are and live the situation out to the fullest in the belief that something hidden there will manifest itself to us. Impatient people are always expecting the real thing to happen somewhere else and therefore want to go elsewhere. The moment is empty. But patient people dare to stay where they are. Patient living means to live actively in the present and wait there. Waiting, then is not passive.”1

Although you might feel stuck and are making no progress while waiting, Nouwen reminds us that waiting is not passive. Patient living is being in the moment and actively living with whatever is present. Being peaceful in the belief that something will manifest itself and that we are furthering the process by staying with the challenging moments.

  • Do you agree with Nouwen that patiently living in the present is not being passive?
  • Can you see any changes in yourself that have resulted from when you’ve been able to live in the moment?


1. Henri Nouwen, “Advent: Waiting,” in Seeds of Hope – A Henri Nouwen Reader, 158-9.

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