One aspect of Advent is a waiting that is full of hope. In this, Advent enables us to understand the content and meaning of Christian time and history as such... Man is always waiting in his life... Mankind has never been able to cease hoping for better times. Christians have always hoped that the Lord will always be present in history and that he will gather up all our tears and all our troubles so that everything will be explained and fulfilled in his kingdom. It becomes especially clear during a time of illness that man is always waiting. Every day we are waiting for a sign of improvement and in the end for a complete cure. At the same time, however, we discover how many different ways there are of waiting. When time itself is not filled with a present that is meaningful, waiting becomes unbearable. If we have to look forward to something that is not there now - if, in other words, we have nothing here and now and the present is completely empty, every second of our life seems too long. Waiting itself becomes too heavy a burden to bear, when we cannot be sure whether we really have anything at all to wait for. When, on the other hand, time itself is meaningful and every moment contains something especially valuable, our joyful anticipation of the greater experience that is still to come makes what we have in the present even more precious and we are carried by an invisible power beyond the present moment. Advent helps us to wait with precisely this kind of waiting. It is the essentially Christian form of waiting and hoping.
~ Taken from 'Benedictus: Day by Day with Pope Benedict XVI'