Advent is a season to be redouble our efforts to reform our lives, so that Jesus' second coming isn't a surprise.
One of the central spiritual themes of Advent is “watchfulness” or “attentiveness.” It is a time to be ready and watch patiently for the coming of Jesus into our hearts, but also for the second coming of Christ at the end of time.
We do not know the day nor the hour of Christ’s coming, and so Advent reminds us to bolster our spiritual life so that we are not caught off-guard when Jesus comes again.
Here is a prayer adapted from the 17th-century A guide for passing Advent holily, asking God to increase in us a watchful spirit.
Oh that I might say Lord with as much truth did the kingly Prophet, “My God early before the sun rises will I arise to seek you.” I long after you, my soul thirsts for you with burning desire. Yet, I know but too well that for lack of watching over my soul I have left it like an untilled field in which the evil weeds of bad habits have taken but too deep root my heart and has become the prey of a multitude of imperfect attachments and has lost many graces. If the Shepherds had been sleeping the Angels would not have announced to them your Birth. O my Savior, I desire to watch like them that I may profit by it. Lord, arouse my sleeping soul and establish it in Christian watchfulness by the authority of your Divine Word. Amen.
Advent is our chance to redeem lost time