“Could you not watch one hour with me?” (Matthew 26:40)

Bishop Fulton Sheen reminds us that this is the only request our Lord ever made of his followers. The image of an hour with Jesus has been part of our Catholic Tradition since the very beginning. A Holy Hour gives us the opportunity to honor our Lord’s request and place ourselves in his Presence. We join our own prayers, works, joys, and sufferings with His and “by the mercies of God, present [our] bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is [our] spiritual worship” (Romans 12:1).

Bishop Sheen was also fond of saying, “if we truly desire to grow in our likeness of Christ, then we must spend time in his Presence.” This reminds me of a simple story: A visitor to a Catholic church noticed an old man sitting in the back pew with his eyes focused on the tabernacle. After some time, curiosity got the better of the visitor. “What are you doing?” The man replied, “I look at Him and He looks at me.”

This is a perfect summary of what a Holy Hour can be: simply sit in the presence of our Blessed Lord and just be. Quietly allow the silence: just you and Jesus, sitting in each other’s presence. Who of us has too much peace and quiet in our lives? The Holy Hour is given us by the Church, not as a law or a set of rules to keep, but as an opportunity for an encounter with the living God.

At St. Francis of Assisi we are so blessed to have a chapel that is open for many hours each and every day of the week. Many churches around the country are locked after the morning Mass. We also have exposition of the Blessed Sacrament for a day of Adoration every First Friday. I’ve been asked if we can make each Friday a day of Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament exposed in the Monstrance. I am gladly open to that possibility. I am asking you, if that is something you would be interested in, to please send me an email (mstanley@dsj.org). I can then decide the best way to approach this wonderful idea.

Fr. Matt, Pastor