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Holy Spirit Oratory at 3815 S Cedar St, Lansing, MI 48910 US - THE HOLY HOUR - by Fr. John Byers

THE HOLY HOUR - by Fr. John Byers

Fr. John Byers
In the second year of my theology studies at Blessed John XXIII Seminary, near Boston, I listened to a tape by Bishop Fulton J. Sheen (1895-1979) titled simply: “The Holy Hour.” Bishop Sheen spoke of his commitment to the Holy Hour as one of two resolutions he made on the day of his ordination to priesthood. As he states in his autobiography “Treasure in Clay” Bishop Sheen said he would offer the Holy Eucharist (Mass) every Saturday in honor of the Blessed Mother to solicit her protection on his priesthood, and second, he would spend a continuous Holy Hour every day in the presence of Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. Bishop Sheen kept both of these resolutions in the course of his 60 year priesthood. In discussing the reasons why he kept the Holy Hour, and encouraged others to do the same, Bishop Sheen described the Holy Hour as a sharing in the work of redemption. He recalled Jesus’ invitation to Peter, James, and John in the garden on the night before he died: “could you not watch one hour with me?” Bishop Sheen described Jesus as not only seeking their companionship, but also an “hour of reparation” to combat the “hour of evil” that would be Judas’ betrayal. Bishop Sheen kept the Holy Hour to grow more and more in the likeness of Christ. We become like that which we gaze upon. Looking at the Eucharistic Lord for an hour transforms the heart in a mysterious way as the face of Moses was transformed after his companionship with God on the mountain. “As St. Paul puts it: We are transfigured into His likeness from splendor to splendor.” The Holy Hour says Bishop Sheen encouraged a deep personal encounter with Christ. “ The holy and glorious God is constantly inviting us to come to Him, to converse with Him, to ask for such things as we need and to experience what a blessing there is in fellowship with Him.” When I first made the commitment to the Holy Hour, it was the inspiration of Bishop Sheen that got me started. Today it is the realization that the Holy Hour is the perfect complement to the celebration of the Eucharist, the source and summit of our faith. Praying before the Eucharist strengthens my priestly identity which is clearly conformed to Christ the High Priest in the celebration of the Eucharist. For all of you who share with me a common Baptismal identity, I would suggest that the Holy Hour will strengthen your effectiveness in carrying out our common mission, that is, to bring the presence of Christ into every aspect of our lives. Christ beckons: "Won’t you spend one hour with me? In this year of the Eucharist, I invite you to make a visit to the Holy Spirit Oratory. Allow Christ to draw you closer. -- Fr. John

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