Week 4: The Art of Waiting for God Goal of the Week: Discover God's Promise- "I will always be with you." Our Response: Deeper Patience and Perseverance
Quote: "What strikes me is that WAITING is a period of learning. The longer we wait, the more we learn about Him for whom we are waiting. Advent leads to a growing inner stillness and joy allowing me to realize that He for whom I am waiting has already arrived and speaks to me in the silence of my heart." Henri Nouwen, Genesee Diary.
"Patience is not mere passivity and lack of control over events that happen to me, but rather an active and growing engagement with God’s work. We wait with a sense of promise for something to be received with our cooperation. The farmer waits patiently for the seed to sprout and eventually bear fruit. A mother waits for her child to be formed in her womb and to be born. We enter into the experience of the present moment, even if it involves pain, with a trusting attitude that God is at work. In our anxiety, the temptation is to run away from the place we are rather than remain steadfast. We hope according to God’s promise, not just for our specific wishes, but according to his will." Nouwen
Response: "Our God is a God of peace. He does not speak and does not operate except in peace, not in trouble and agitation. Often, we cause ourselves to become agitated and disturbed by trying to resolve everything ourselves, when it would be more efficacious to remain peacefully before the gaze of God and to allow Him to act and work in us with His wisdom and power. Remember, God only leads up one step at a time. Interior Peace" Fr. Jacques Philippe
Quote: "We are to go into the chamber of our heart and we are to AWAIT the word that rises from within our heart. We receive it in gratitude. Here's the simplest formula for interior prayer. Go into your heart and wait for the word to rise within you." Deacon Keating.
Response: "Not only must we be careful to want and desire good things for their own sake, but also to want and desire them in a way that is peaceful. Our wanting must always be caring, peaceful, patient, detached, and abandoned to God. It should not be impatient, hurried, restless, or irritated waiting. A desire that causes us to lose peace, even if the thing desired is excellent in itself, is not of God. It is God who converts us and causes us to grow, not our nervousness, our impetuosity and our impatience." Fr. Jacques Philippe
Quote: "Seek Jesus! Let your life be a continual sincere search for Him, without ever tiring, without ever abandoning the undertaking, even though darkness should fall on your spirit, temptations beset you and grief and incomprehension wring your heart. These are things that are part of life here below, they are inevitable, but they can also be beneficial because they mature our spirit. We must never turn back even if it should seem to you that the light of Christ is fading. On the contrary, continue seeking with renewed faith and greater generosity" - JPII
Response: "Practice peace and patience in our own faults and imperfections - It is the enemy's tactic to banish peace from our heart because he knows that God abides in peace. Avoid fighting the wrong battle, which we believe is the battle to vanquish all our faults, never to succumb to temptation, and to have no more weaknesses or shortcomings. The real battle is to learn to maintain peace of heart under all circumstances, even in the case of defeat. It is entirely the grace of God that will obtain the victory for us in our spiritual journey." - Fr. Jacques Philippe, Interior Peace
Quote: "While we wait, we cannot say to Jesus, 'I desire you to come, but I do not permit you to come as you are. Don't come with your wounds, don't come with your suffering, don't come as you are.' We have to open wide the gates and permit him to come as He is. He will not storm the gates. He has to be let in freely." Come Lord Jesus - Mother Mary Francis
Response: "Our Lord often approaches us through the presence of others. Let us apply this principle then to a desire that we have that those around us would behave better, that this desire would be peaceful and without distress. How many people lose their peace because the want, at any price, to change those around them? We must reason, if the Lord has still not transformed this person, has not relieved him of such and such an imperfection, it is because He puts up with him as he is! He waits, with patience, the opportune moment. Then I must do likewise. Why be more demanding and impatient than God?" Fr. Jacques Philippe
Quote: "You are being readied for forms of prayer in which your soul will have no other attitude than that of waiting in kind passivity, a profound quiet, making no effort to reason, to imagine, to understand, but gently loving your God with a peaceful will." My Other Self.
Response: "Freedom, detachment and trust make room for God to enter more deeply into our lives. The work I had been unable to do in ten years was done by Jesus in one instant, contenting himself with my good will, which was never lacking." The Fulfillment of All Desire - Ralph Martin
Quote: "One may continue in God's presence, not only by hearing Him, seeing Him or speaking to Him, but also by WAITING to see if it may please Him to look at us, to speak to us, or to make us speak to him, or yet again, by doing nothing of all this, but by simply staying where it pleases him for us to be BECAUSE it pleases him for us to be there." My Other Self.
Response: One abandons oneself completely or not at all. The measure of our interior peace will be that of our abandonment, consequently of our detachment. "All things were given to me from the moment when I no longer sought them." St. John of the Cross
Quote: "I had the fantasy that one day God just might break through the hard shell of my resistance and reveal himself to me in such an intensive and convincing way that I finally would be able to let my "idols " go and commit myself unconditionally to Him. We want God to appear to us in a way that our passions and desires work, but these passions make us blind to His presence now. Focus on the ordinary part of yourself and realize God's presence there. "Henri Nouwen, The Genesee Diary
Response: "God asks for everything, but he doesn't necessarily take everything. The devil, in an effort to prevent us from abandoning ourselves to God, causes us to imagine that if we put everything in God's hands, God will effectively take everything and 'ruin' everything in our lives! Very frequently, the Lord asks only an ATTITUDE of detachment at the level of the heart, a disposition to give Him everything. But he doesn't necessarily 'take' everything. And if God requires effective detachment of us, He will have us clearly understand this in good time, and He will give us the necessary strength." Fr. Jacques Philippe