Why a Holy Hour?
Although any length of time can be spent with Jesus during Eucharistic Adoration, we are called to embrace the practice of a holy hour as a response to Christ’s own invitation: “Could you not keep watch with me for one hour?” (Matthew 26:40). The night before His crucifixion in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus in His agony asked his disciples to stay awake with him for an hour while He prayed. Likewise, when we make a holy hour, we too are being asked to remain with Jesus, staying in His presence.
Jesus asks for our company for one hour each week
In 1674 a holy hour was also taught as a practice to St Margaret Mary Alacoque by Jesus Himself. During His third apparition to St Margaret Mary while she was adoring the Blessed Sacrament, Jesus asked her to spend each Thursday from eleven o’clock until midnight (as in the Garden of Gethsemane, before the Last Supper) with Him, keeping Him company as He prayed to His Father. Thus, sharing with Him, the agony He suffered when His disciples abandoned Him at an hour when he was most in need.
Meeting God in silence
The meditative silence that accompanies a Holy Hour is uniquely purifying.
Nearly all of us, if we had less noisiness in our lives, would begin to notice things we were missing or passively ignoring. We’d become more aware of our own failings and have a greater awareness of the needs of others. The noise and business of today’s world keep us from hearing the “still small voice” of the Lord which is why most people are afraid of silence. When we decide we are ready to know God better, to seek the truth and to accept no substitutes, to face our fears, and have the desire to really come to know God, Eucharistic Adoration is the perfect place to start
How to spend your hour
Jesus is the one who longs for our company more than we long for Him.
Ultimately, it’s not so much about what you do in adoration as the spirit in which you do it. If it was just about ticking off the box and saying a few random prayers just to make up your time we would miss out on the whole point of our Holy Hour. It’s about “being” with our Lord Jesus, truly present, body, blood, soul, and divinity. Lingering in His presence, resting in His embrace, sitting at His feet, and allowing the waves of His love to roll over you like the ocean. Prayers during adoration are always important, but we also need time when we listen to Jesus and allow Him to speak to us.
We are all called
“The greatest joy for every believer is to respond to God’s call.” – Pope Francis.
Speaking from the Vatican in 2021 Pope Francis said that each time God calls someone it is “an initiative of His love.” Reflecting on the first call of Jesus’ disciples, Andrew and Simon Peter, Pope Francis notes how their hearts became inflamed after spending time with Him that afternoon. “They feel that light that only God can give, burst within them. When they leave and return to their brothers, that joy, this light overflows from their hearts like a raging river. One of the two, Andrew, tells his brother Simon when he meets him – we have found the Messiah”.
Why a Holy Hour?
Jesus Himself said, “Could you not keep watch for one hour with me?” (MT 26:40).
Prayer for faith in the Real Presence
We come to Thee, dear Lord asking for a vivid faith, that Thou art really present in the Blessed Sacrament, a strong and active faith, that we may live by it. Give us the faith of Thy beloved disciple, John, to recognize Thee and say: “It is the Lord, my God and my All!” Give us the faith of Peter to fall on our knees and confess, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God.” Give us the faith of Mary Magdalen to fall at Thy Feet, crying, “Rabbi, Master!” Give us the faith of the father of the sick boy, that faith which Thou didst reward with a miracle when he cried out in tears, “I do believe, Lord! help my unbelief.” Give us the faith of all Thy Saints to whom the Blessed Sacrament was Heaven begun on earth. In every Communion and at every visit, increase our faith, our love, our humility, our reverence, and all good things will come to us. Dearest Lord, increase our faith. Amen.