Christians ought to keep up the beautiful spiritual practices of Advent year-round, Archbishop Alexander Sample said during a Dec. 11 livestreamed talk from his home chapel in outer Northwest Portland.

Being wakeful to the Lord’s presence, watchful for his second coming in glory and prepared for one’s encounter with the eternal — these are Advent’s themes and keys to Christian life at all times, Archbishop Sample said to about 2,400 viewers.

He urged them to use what is left of Advent to solidify habits of faith. But he acknowledged that the modern cultural rush in December makes it difficult, with the eruption of shopping, parties and decorating.

“Advent is a liturgical season that gets short shrift because of the secular influences of this time,” he said, calling the month one of the most hectic periods of the year. “People are stressed out to the max.”

Advent, he told viewers with a sad smile, is supposed to be just the opposite. It even has a penitential character, though not as deep as Lent’s. Christmas, he reminded listeners, does not start until midnight Mass and lasts until the feast of the Baptism of the Lord, set this year for Jan. 10.

Advent, the archbishop said, also has great Marian feasts, a reminder that Christians are to be like her Mary when she, as Scripture puts it, “took all these things and pondered them in her heart.”

Saying he knows it sounds morbid, he nevertheless suggested that Christians would do well and approach true happiness if they contemplate death, heaven and hell during Advent and all year.

“We do not live for this world,” he said, suggesting that Jesus could return at any moment. “This world will comes to an end.”

The archbishop said that even after 30 years as a priest, he needs to welcome Jesus more deeply into his life.