A holy hour is spending time with God. Just as communication in marriage means listening, so the holy hour means listening; only in this case it means listening to God.
"Could you not watch one hour with me?" (MT. 26:40) The Lord speaks to the disciples when they are overcome by sleep while he is wrestling with the passion which he must undergo. Are you often like them? Do you often seem to be asleep spiritually in all the tensions and frustrations of daily life? Do you try to find your remedies in drugs, alcohol, having the perfect family, the perfect job, the perfect life, the perfect children? Do you always have to be right, beautiful, intelligent and successful, and hate every minute of it? This is because you are blocking the love God has for you.
You are created to be so completely in love with God that each moment of every day has divine meaning. You are created to know yourself, the world, and others from the divine point of view. Christ is pouring out his love for you much as he did when he wrestled with the passion in the garden, and yet you are so preoccupied with other things that you do not notice.
The only remedy for this spiritual torpor is prayer. This is not just vocal prayer, although vocal prayer is important. But the prayer which alone can heal must involve a communion of hearts of a regular basis, just as a good marriage must involve more than just words. A good marriage must also involve a communion of hearts on a regular basis. If the spouses never speak alone, the communication suffers.
One time-honored practice of spiritual communication is the holy hour in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament. The origin of the holy hour is the question Christ asked his disciples in the Garden: "Could you not watch one hour with me?" If you are in the midst of spiritual torpor or just wish to grow in the spiritual life, you must spend time with God.
What is a holy hour?
A holy hour is spending time with God. Just as communication in marriage means listening, so the holy hour means listening; only in this case it means listening to God. Just as you must spend time with our spouse just pursuing the personal relationship of husband and wife, so you must spend time with God. The holy hour places one in the presence of God to do just that.
Why should it be done in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament?
A holy hour can be done anywhere that you can bring your own self before the presence of God. There are several reasons for recommending that this be done in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament. The first is that this is an extension of the Eucharist in which Christ gives himself as our Living Bread for our spiritual life. The second is because it is normally a place without distractions. The third is that in Holy Communion your soul is permeated with God like wax melted into wax. There can be no deeper presence of God here on earth than the one brought to us in transubstantiation. This is why it called the "Real Presence."
What do I do during a holy Hour?
A holy hour is not a project to be accomplished but an exercise of love. You can read a spiritual book, say the Rosary, perform some act of piety which means something in your life, or you can just DO nothing. Just rest with the Lord. The important thing is to realize that you need time apart from the liturgical prayer of the Mass and even obligatory prayers like the Liturgy of the Hours for priests where you experience God's personal care for you alone.
Many people think there is a plaster of Paris image to which they need to conform and they try to look like the statues they see in the church. They do not want to talk about negative or hurtful things in God's presence because they think that this is unfitting. You cannot be like that. You must bring the REAL YOU before God. This means yourself with all the hurts, the warts and the strengths. You must ask God to heal you of your faults and help you to use your strength for his goodness.
How can I pray?
Normally, the classic method of experiencing the loving God and his providence for you takes four forms. The first is the recalling of some mystery of grace, which can either be found in Scripture, in the lives of the saints, or in a spiritual or theological book. This is reading (lectio). Once you place some mystery of grace before the eyes of your heart, then you apply it to your own life in some trouble or weakness, then you apply this mystery to some gift of God's goodness you have received either in yourself, from another, or from him. This is meditation (meditatio). You yourself respond to this desire for healing or knowledge of gifts received by a sighing of the heart, which may or may not be put into words. This is prayer (oratio). Finally, you rest in the goodness of God with the knowledge that God loves you so much to aid you in healing or shower you with his blessings. This is contemplation (contemplatio).
"O God, you are my God; for you I long, for you my soul is thirsting; my body pines for you like a dry weary land without water. So I will gaze on you in the sanctuary to see your strength and your glory. My soul shall be filled as with a banquet." (Psalm 63)
St. John Vianney is reputed to have asked a man who sat quietly for hours before the tabernacle what he was doing. The man replied, "I do not know. I look at him and he looks at me, and we are happy together."
Fr. Brian Mullady, OP, STD. "Watch One Hour With Me." New Hope Publications.
Reprinted with permission of New Hope Publications, New Hope: KY and Fr. Brian Mullady, OP.
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Fr. Brian Thomas Becket Mullady is the son of an Air Force officer and was raised throughout the United States. He entered the Dominican Order in 1966 and was ordained in Oakland, California in 1972. He has been a parish priest, high school teacher, retreat master, mission preacher and university professor. He received his Doctorate in Sacred Theology (STD) from the Angelicum University in Rome, Italy and was professor there for six years. He has taught at several colleges and seminaries in the United States. He is an academician of the Catholic Academy of Science. He is adjunct professor at Holy Apostles Seminary in Cromwell CT and preaches parish missions and retreats. He has had seven series on Mother Angelica's EWTN television network. He is the author of three books and numerous articles. is the son of an Air Force officer and was raised throughout the United States. He entered the Dominican Order in 1966 and was ordained in Oakland, California in 1972. He has been a parish priest, high school teacher, retreat master, mission preacher and university professor. He received his Doctorate in Sacred Theology (STD) from the Angelicum University in Rome, Italy and was professor there for six years. He has taught at several colleges and seminaries in the United States and is an academician of the Catholic Academy of Science. Father is adjunct professor at Holy Apostles Seminary in Cromwell CT. Father Mullady preaches parish missions and retreats. He has had seven series on Mother Angelica's EWTN television network and is the author of three books, including Light of the Nations.Copyright © 2007 New Hope Publications
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