I was writing my weekly column for the Catholic Universe last night and musing upon how quickly Advent has come up on us. It only feels like yesterday that I was chucking away the collapsed mush of hollowed-out pumpkin lanterns, which adorned our front doorstep for much longer than they should have done. In fact I'm still getting used to having to put on a coat every time I go outside following what seemed like an eternity of balmy summer sunshine, when October was unseasonably warm.
And now, suddenly here we are in Advent, and as per usual I haven't even begun any kind of physical preparation for Christmas. Chiding myself for my customary disorganisation, it struck me that this is a timely reminder of what Advent is all about. We aren't only joyfully anticipating the arrival of the baby Jesus in the manger, but the second coming of Christ at the end of time. I shouldn't have been surprised by the realisation that here we are in Advent, it's not as if the season or its timing is a surprise, but I was so caught up in other, worldly and mundane matters that I almost forgot that I needed to make ready. It was a reminder to keep the lamps lit, lest He should come, as He says he will, like a thief in the night.