By Bishop Robert Barron

We are an Advent people—a people who wait. Something (or better someone) is coming, and the best thing we can do is to wait in hopeful expectation.

Here is how the great prophet of Advent puts it: “Yet, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay and you are the potter: we are all the work of your hands” (Isaiah 64:7).

Now does this mean that we do nothing? That we sit like lumps waiting for God to do something with our lives? No. In fact, there is something very “active” about waiting.

Do you remember how lively and attentive you are when you are eagerly waiting for someone to arrive? When you watch for every car that comes by when you are waiting at the airport? Every sense strains to take in what is happening; your mind is alive with expectation. Your spirit is jumping. This is, I think, what waiting means in the spiritual sense; this is the mood of Advent.

Here are some practical suggestions for these remaining days of waiting. First, examine your conscience on a regular basis. Realize the prevalence and power of sin in your life, being especially attentive to the recurrent problems.

Second, pray. The Liturgy, the Scriptures, the Rosary, visits to the Blessed Sacrament, the Jesus prayer—whatever works for you. But lean into God with a special fervor and attentiveness during these final days of Advent.

Third, ask for forgiveness. Seek the forgiveness of those who you have hurt because of your sin. There is no better way to access our own helplessness before God.

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