Holy Hours

No, I’m not talking about once a week or once a month.  I’m talking about once a day.

Many seminaries require a daily holy hour of their seminarians, whether in common with the rest of the house or on your own.  This was incredibly daunting to me as I entered seminary; I occasionally did daily Mass before (also a seminary requirement) but never a daily holy hour; perhaps once a week I’d get one in.  Entering into seminary, I was unprepared for this new reality.  So, here’s some Q & As about holy hours.  In the upcoming weeks we’ll have more in depth posts about aspects of holy hours, this is intended to be an overview.

Are Holy Hours Important?

In order to be another Christ, we must know Christ; in order to be a priest, whose primary function is to consecrate the Eucharist at the Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, you must be a Eucharistic person.  Msgr. Steven Rohlfs, former rector of Mt. St. Mary’s Seminary in Emmetsburg, Maryland, worked in a chancery for many years dealing with priests who struggled or lived double lives.  He said the first question he would always ask priests who came to him was “How’s your prayer life coming along?” And without a doubt, any priest living a double life would have dropped his Holy Hour, his recitation of the Liturgy of the Hours, and any semblance of a ordered prayer life.  Prayer is essential to the priesthood.   Matthew 16:40 (RSV): And he came to the disciples and found them sleeping; and he said to Peter, “So, could you not watch with me one hour?

How Do I Go About Doing One?

Holy Hours work best when before the Blessed Sacrament, especially in adoration.  If you parish does not have an adoration chapel, just before the tabernacle is fine; if you can’t do that, any quiet and comfortable place in which you can pray for an hour will do.  You can either go in prepared with something to pray about on or not.  It’s good to start out with a short prayer like the Divine Mercy Chaplet, a decade of the Rosary, etc so as to remind yourself you are in the presence of God and put yourself in a mindset of prayer.  Take time to relate to God what is going on in your life, and most importantly take time to listen.  In a world where we have so much going on in our lives, we have constant phone notifications, and constantly have something to do, sitting down and listening to God in the silence is important.  It may be hard at first to try to expel any distracting thoughts from your mind, but try your best to silence your thoughts and just listen in the presence of God.

 

More things to do in a Holy Hour and more ways of prayer will be coming in future posts, stay tuned!

 

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