Quotes for Advent

Advent is that time of year we prepare for the Coming of Jesus in history (as a baby in Bethlehem), in mystery (as the Divine Intrusion into our own time and place), and in the fullness of time (at the Second Coming). To enrich our celebration of this beautiful time of the year, here are a few quotations about Advent that I found spiritually nourishing.

1) The season of Advent means there is something on the horizon the likes of which we have never seen before. So stay. Sit. Linger. Tarry. Ponder. Wait. Behold. Wonder. There will be time enough for running. For rushing. For pushing. For now, stay. Wait. Something is on the horizon. (Jan Richardson)


The Annunciation

2) The waiting of Advent teaches us to live in increments, in small pieces rather than large chunks. Waiting also teaches us to measure our progress slowly. Alcoholics and addicts know this more than most of us. They measure their recovery in single days. They know their waiting and recovery takes place one day at a time. (Holly Whitcomb)

3) Everything that is worthwhile must be waited for. (Carlo Carretto)

4) Jesus came to us as a child so that we might come to understand not only that nothing we do is insignificant, but that every small thing we do has within it the power to change the world. (Joan Chittister, OSB)

5) There is nothing so secular that it cannot be sacred, and that is one of the deepest messages of the Incarnation. (Madeleine L’Engle)

6) You could more easily catch a hurricane in a shrimp net that you can understand the wild, relentless, passionate, uncompromising, pursuing love of God made present in the manger. (Brennan Manning)

7) Mahatma Gandli once said, “There is more to life than merely increasing its speed.” May our slowing down this Advent be our gentle protest against the violence of our rushing world. May our slowing down give quiet, steady witness to the values of attentiveness, carefulness, patience, receptivity, stillness. May our slowing down enable us to make real and meaningful connections with people, nature, work, art, and (most importantly) with God. (Melannie Svoboda, SND)


8) Advent: the time to listen for footsteps. You can’t hear footsteps when you’re running yourself. (Bill McKibben)

9) The message of the Incarnation is not to behold an innocent baby resplendent in inertia, but rather to take sides with a God who agitates for reform and shatters the status quo. (Doris Donnelly)

11) Into this world, this demented inn in which there is absolutely no room for him at all, Christ comes uninvited. (Thomas Merton)

12) Perhaps the hardest thing to remember about Christmas is this: It celebrates the Incarnation, not just the Nativity. The Incarnation is an on-going process of salvation, while the Nativity is the once-and-for-all historical event… In the Incarnation, God entered our world so thoroughly that nothing has been the same since. (Liturgy Training Source Book)

13) Mark the season of Advent by loving and serving others with God’s own love and concern. (St. Mother Teresa)

Our song is a beautiful Advent song entitled “Waiting in Silence.”


Do any of these quotes resonate with you? If so, which and why?

What does the season of Advent mean for you?

I invite you to share your ideas with us… Don’t be shy…

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  1. Doris on November 28, 2016 at 7:31 am

    Quotations #1 (Richardson), #5 (l’Engle), #8 (McKibbon) especially invite my further reflection. “Waiting in Silence” is one of my favorite Advent hymns. If you have not yet come across an album by Jaime Cortez called “Adviento”, you may find it relevant to your Advent reflections. On my blog this week, I suggested one of the tracks called “Advent Litany” (“Letania de Adviento.”) Happy Advent!

  2. Kathleen on November 28, 2016 at 8:56 am

    I like #7 the best. Thanks for sharing.


  3. Rose on November 28, 2016 at 10:40 am

    #12 resonates with me as the incarnation is an ongoing experience every single day of our lives.

  4. Beverly on November 28, 2016 at 11:24 am

    #8 God, everyday, comes to us…just waiting for us to say, “Come, Lord, Jesus, into my heart.” But we don’t hear His silent footsteps unless we stop running and listen.
    Happy Advent!

  5. Jean Canatsey on November 28, 2016 at 11:24 am

    As I age, the season of Advent more & more shows me the necessity of slowing down to anticipate the preparation instead of rushing the celebration. Both #1 and #4 resonated with me but I think # 8 sums everything up, “Advent, the time to listen for footsteps. You can’t hear footsteps when you’re running yourself.”
    I loved, “Waiting in Silence” and plan to use it as the Communion meditation next Sunday at San Pedro Retreat Center in Winter Park, Florida.
    Thank you for reminding me to S l o w D o w n………

  6. Karen on November 28, 2016 at 11:37 am

    Definitely #11.
    He came. Despite all odds. He came.

  7. Barbara on November 28, 2016 at 1:33 pm

    #6 I love Brennan Manning’s analogy: One could ” more easily catch a hurricane in a shrimp net” than understand God’s unceasing, passionate love for us! I often ponder the ‘why’ of God’s love which NOTHING can strip away from us. How blessed we are! Thank you, Sr. Melannie, u for sharing these inspirational thoughts as our Advent journey begins. Blessings!

  8. Patty on November 28, 2016 at 1:47 pm

    Sister, Thank you for sharing. My favorites are: #4 and #7. Here is another Advent quote: “It is the beautiful task of Advent to awaken in all of us memories of goodness and thus open doors of hope.” Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger – 1984.

  9. Jean on November 28, 2016 at 1:47 pm

    Wonderful way to begin the Advent season.
    Thank you Sister Melannie.

  10. Kathleen on November 28, 2016 at 2:38 pm

    Boy did I need to hear this today! I’m dealing with many frustrations due to bureaucratic errors in settling my husband’s will. I especially am taken by the incarnation being an on-going process of salvation.
    Thanks you for this timely and much needed meditation.

  11. Joanne Bennardo on November 28, 2016 at 7:46 pm

    Dear Sister, In #1, Jan Richardson writes, “So stay. Sit. Linger. Tarry. Ponder. Wait. Behold. Wonder.” These one word sentences, these short commands are speaking to me. The meaning of which I do not have now, but thank you for presenting them that I may take them to prayer with me. Thank you also for the beautifully sung Advent song.
    And to Kathleen, I would like to extend condolences. May God bless you and Sister Melannie. Joanne

  12. Sister Mary Eamon Lyng on November 28, 2016 at 7:48 pm

    They all offer a special message. However, I like #8. These days are full of footsteps, my own! I keep running to the next project. Taking the time for silence and stillness allows me to hear the footsteps!

  13. Fr. Jack Lau, OMI on November 29, 2016 at 9:27 pm

    The words about the Incarnation speak to me for it is ongoing, unfolding and evolving. The Nativity is an affirmation of the Original Word that spoke forth creation into being 13.8 Billion years ago. And as the United Congregational Church reminds us, God speaks still speaking,,,,,,,,,,,

  14. Mary Black on December 1, 2016 at 4:05 pm

    #2. really spoke to me. #1 and 3 have a similar message in that we have to wait ….. I find that I want instant answers and a speedy resolve to every unpleasant situation. When I relax and learn to wait awhile life is better. If only I could learn this lesson without so many failures.

  15. Leonard on December 3, 2016 at 12:42 pm

    I have also been reading comments by FR. Richard Rohr. He also stresses in my mind that the Incarnation is an ongoing process until our world as we know it will end and we begin an eternity without end. I don’t think I have thought enough about the fact that the Incarnation has brought God into our world and therefore He is always with us’

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