the fulness of His grace, to renew them and to dwell in them. 3. That we may so prepare ourselves for the second advent that He may be to us a merciful judge. " Watch ye, therefore, because you know not what hour your Lord will come (St. Matt. xxiv. 42).
O God, Who hast brought joy to the world through Thy gracious advent, grant us, we beseech Thee, Thy grace, that we may prepare ourselves by sincere penance for its celebration and for the Last Judgment. Amen.
First Sunday of Advent
This is the first day of the ecclesiastical year; on it the Church begins to contemplate the coming of Our Saviour, and, with the prophets, to long for Him; she exhorts the faithful to true penance for their sins, which oppose Christ's entrance into their hearts; she sings, therefore, at the Introit of the Mass, in the words of the psalmist: " To Thee, O Lord, have I lifted up my soul.
Raise up Thy power, O Lord, we pray Thee, and come, that by Thy protection we may deserve to be rescued from the threatening dangers of our sins, and to be saved by Thy deliverance. Who livest and reignest, etc. Amen.
EPISTLE. Rom. xiii. 11-14.
Brethren: Knowing the season, that it is now the hour for us to rise from sleep. For now our salvation is nearer than when we believed. The night is passed and the day is at hand. Let us therefore cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us walk honestly as in the day: not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and impurities, not in contention and envy; but put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ.
What is understood here by sleep?
Sin, in which man, as if sunk in a torpor, no longer sees the light of the Gospel, no longer hears the warning of his conscience, neglects the means of salvation, and lives without care, until he awakes, alas! too late, as from a dream.