by Liz Kerwin, CSJ.

Please slow down your pace
Now notice all around you
Wait, watch and welcome

Advent calls us to wait expectantly for the one who brings peace, and also to recognize the presence of the One already here among us. At least it invites us to slow down and be aware, to notice and not miss what is right here right now. The gift of Advent is peace. It call us to be peacemakers. Meanwhile, almost everything in our culture encourages us to rush and accumulate, to be competitive and fearful.

I have noticed that slowing down is a gift of aging—if we welcome it and let it reveal the presents in the present. By doing this we receive peace and also contribute to the peace which the world so needs.

Thich Nhat Hanh writes: “Each breath we take, each step we make, every smile we realize, is a positive contribution to peace, a necessary step In the direction of peace for the world. In the light of interbeing, peace and happiness in your daily life means peace and happiness in the world.”

We are called to peace not only during Advent but daily. Perhaps the haiku could become a mantra.

I slow down my pace
And notice all around me
Wait, watch and welcome