"It is Advent. ... The first thing we have to accept is, ever and again, this reality of an enduring Advent. If we do that, we shall begin to realize that the borderline between 'before Christ' and 'after Christ' does not run through historical time, ... it runs through our own hearts. Insofar as we are living on a basis of selfishness, or egoism, then even today we are 'before Christ'. But in this time of Advent, let us ask the Lord to grant that we may live less and less 'before Christ', and certainly not 'after Christ', but truly with Christ and in Christ: with him who is indeed Christ yesterday, today, and forever (Heb 13.8). Amen."
-Joseph Ratzinger, First Sermon, What It Means to Be a Christian (40)