In simple words, if God is Present now, why do we say that “God will come”? If one denies or is unaware that God is present now, one is in effect living in unbelief, living in the darkness of an empty soul. As expressing ultimate reality, as the truly good and unchangeable truth, the name “God” stands for the Presence in a human soul of that which gives understanding, guidance, meaning, wisdom, purpose, joy, peace, love. Without living attuned to this divine Presence, one experiences much anxiety, despair, fear of the future, mental confusion, an agitated drifting through life. The Presence of God anchors one in reality, not in fantasy, wild imagination, mere “dreaming.” On the other hand, if one thinks or claims that God is present now in such a way that one fully knows and loves God, one has closed off his soul in an arrogant condition called “Gnosticism.” One is “saved,” “has arrived,” “is already in the Kingdom of God.” Both denial of God’s real Presence in one’s soul, and claiming to be fully one with God now, break the tension of living in truth, and are forms of spiritual death.
To be ever aware of God’s Presence is the precondition for a life of faith, and of faith working through love. Also to be aware that one is not sufficiently attending to God, not sufficiently trusting God, and not fully obeying God is necessary for living humbly, honestly, openly. To encourage both real faith and humility, Catholic worship presents again and again these two truths: God is fully present to us, but none of us is fully present to God. Although God is here now, we are not fully with God, or loving God. That is the essential tension proclaimed and explored during Advent, and the liturgies are meant to help each of us wake up and live truly in the Presence of He Who Is, here and now. Although God is Present, you and I must allow the Divine to become more fully present in our hearts, minds, and actions, day by day. God is entering into you; are you attending? Such is the message and beauty of Advent.