This reflection is now available in Daniel P. Horan, OFM’s book Franciscan Spirituality for the 21st Century: Selected Reflections from the Dating God Blog and Other Essays, Volume One (Koinonia Press, 2013).



  1. I’m really thankful for this and yes, the wonderful words on Advent from Merton are new to me. I would like to read the complete essay I know you are hard pressed but if at some point you could tell me where I can read it in its entirety, it would be great.

    Beautiful post Dan .You are a real star for taking time to post at a time when you are so pressed.
    Blessings and prayers.

    1. Thanks, Phil — you can find that essay in Merton’s collection of essays titled, Seasons of Celebration: Meditations on the Cycle of Liturgical Feasts I have the older Farrar, Straus and Giroux edition, but I believe it was recently re-released (maybe by Ave Maria Press).

      1. Thanks for this Dan.
        I did a Google search and managed to find further parts of the essay to add to my own blog post with links to you .
        I don’t know if I got the whole essay this way.

  2. Dan–superb reflection! I knew Harry a little bit when I lived in Boston. I had no idea he was sick and, even though I barely knew him, I am saddened by his death. Your message is very timely for many during this holiday season, as we not only celebrate but also mourn the loss of loved ones. As I read your last line, it made me see the wisdom in the new translation. All of our waiting is not, in fact, joyful. Nevertheless, it is always blessed. Many blessings in my life have been quite painful at the time. God bless you and the friars, as well as your family during this season of hope!

  3. Your reflection means a lot to me. I’m very saddened about Harry’s death. I met him many years ago — in the Fall of 1982 to be exact — shortly after beginning my freshman year at St. Bonaventure Univ. I remember exactly where I met him too — at daily Mass in the Campus Ministry Center. After graduating, our paths crossed again years later at Mt. Irenaeus. We’ve kept in touch from time to time since then. Harry was a gentle soul. He had a good sense of humor. He was well-liked by many. Your reflection on Advent Hope along with Harry’s focus on the resurrection in his last days is a great comfort to me. Thanks for your insights.

  4. As I sat by the bedside of my dying friend, Mary, I picked up her Bible and thumbed to the familiar passages that had provided hope of healing during her 4 year bout with cancer. To my amazement, the words took on new meaning in light of this last day we would spend together on this earth, As I read, I became more and more excited and could barely contain my joy and just had to share them with her.. How does that happen? How can words that provide such earthly hope of healing and life extension give us the same hope of heaven and of life extinguishing. The mystery continues….

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