Advent Invites Us to Silence
Worth the Wait
Father Ryan Browning St. Thomas More Parish, Elgin Pastor Ethicist for the Diocese of Rockford
November 30, 2023
The first Sunday of Advent marks the beginning of a season characterized by anticipation, hope, and prayer. Silence is the theme of Advent, which echoes through the prayers, hymns, and scripture readings, inviting us to cultivate a profound quiet in our minds, hearts, and bodies.
 
In the silence of the mind, Advent encourages a detachment from the noise and distractions of the world. 
 
It is an opportunity to create a sacred space for meditation on scripture, allowing thoughts to settle like falling snow. In this mental stillness, we can turn our attention inward, fostering a deeper connection with our faith and a heightened awareness of the spiritual significance of the season.
 
The silence of the heart during Advent is a call to open oneself to the transformative power of hope and love. It is a time to listen attentively to God’s presence in our hearts, seeking a renewed sense of purpose and rekindling of the flame of faith. As the heart grows still, it becomes a fertile ground 
for the seeds of grace to take root and flourish.
 
Simultaneously, the silence of the body is emphasized during Advent, inviting us to embrace moments of physical stillness and restraint. In a world filled with constant movement and activity, this intentional pause allows us to embody the waiting and anticipation inherent in the Advent season. By slowing down and being present in the moment, one can fully appreciate the significance of the journey toward Christmas.
 
In the convergence of these three silences — of mind, heart, and body — the first Sunday of Advent becomes a sacred space for Catholics to prepare for the coming of Christ. It is a time to quiet the noise, to center our lives, and to make room for the transformative power of the Incarnation. As we embark on this journey of inner silence, we set the stage for a season of profound spiritual growth and joyful anticipation.
 
Creating silence in our lives can be a challenge. Striving for this silence will pay great dividends. Silence of mind, heart, and body will bear the fruits of the Holy Spirit in our lives — joy, peace, love, and deep faith. 
 
My dear friends, this is what Advent is all about.
 
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