From Season of Promises
The nearness of silence means also the nearness of forgiveness and the nearness of love, for the natural basis of forgiveness and of love is silence. It is important that this natural basis should be there, for it means that forgiveness and love do not have first to create the medium in which they appear.
(Max Picard, The World of Silence)
Where are you right now, this minute, as you read these words? Where are you? Where are you not only physically – in a house or apartment, in a church, riding on a train, bus, airplane, or subway – but where are you in your heart and in your mind? In your mind, are you in a quiet place or a noisy place? Is your heart quiet or full of noise?
To wait quietly during Advent is to make ready a place for the birth of Christ to happen. To wait quietly during Advent is to prepare a place for love and forgiveness to appear in our heart. To prepare a quiet place is to prepare a place to be filled by the joy of Christmas. If we do not empty a place there will be no place. If we do not have a quiet place there will be no place, and the love and forgiveness that are the gifts of Christmas will find no place in us.
Apart from an appreciation for silence – real silence, silence of the heart – we have but an incomplete grasp of Advent. Advent waits quietly for the fullness of God’s forgiveness and love to come into the world at Christmas. Advent waits quietly, and if we wait quietly, too, open to the true spirit of Advent, then we will experience the true spirit of Advent.
How to nourish a quiet heart in a noisy world? It’s perfectly possible. If we want some quiet in our life each day we will make some quiet in our life each day. We will. It’s as simple as that. And if we don’t, we won’t. It’s as simple as that.
Loving God of Advent, help me to make a time for quiet each day during Advent, so there will be a quiet place for love and forgiveness to enter in. Amen.