Thursday, January 7, 2010


Alright Catholics – How many times have you heard that if you really want to improve your prayer life you need to start making a Holy Hour once a week? It’s advice that I both get and have received. Rarely however is there ever an explanation as to why. Why a Holy Hour?

There is nothing overly magical about it. It is common sense and you probably know the answer already. What is the purpose of prayer? Is it in order to get things? Well, not alone. We pray for the same reason we tweet, text, Email, call, and hang out with our friends. It is how you get to know somebody. When you want to get married you discovered that desire by spending time with that person. You came to know them and what is important to them. When time was short due to your busy schedule you made time for them. They knew through this that you loved them, you knew it, and so did everyone else. “Sorry, I’m spending time with my girlfriend that day.”

Holy Hours are not much different. You are spending some quality time with God. It is not a quick text message, “God, get me through this traffic,” or “God, get me through this and I swear I won’t do it again.” Who wants to be the friend that only makes contact when you need something and makes that contact at a minimum at that?

Wasting time with God is anything but a waste of time. That is what we do with the ones we love. It also gives us the opportunity to be quiet and listen. This type of prayer does not mean that all our prayers will be answered in the way we want them but carrying on this conversation with God may help us understand how God has decided to answer our prayer.

For some people an hour is way too difficult. Start with a holy half hour. Start with a holy 15 minutes! If your parish is not open to spend time with Jesus pray before a crucifix at home. Steal time! If it is absolutely impossible to do it at any other time do it on the subway ride home – do it in the bathroom – crawl up in the attic – take the dog for a walk – park your car in the park on the drive home and spend a few minutes with God. You can do it! You have done it to have some time with the one you love. Now do it with God.

You may not notice a difference after a day, a week, or maybe even a month. But one day everything will be different and you will look back and wonder at how things have changed.

But you have to start.


Adoro said...

St. Paul of the Cross, founder of the Passionist Order, said that if you want to pray, take up a crucifix and let it preach a little sermon to you.

I find that helpful when I am stuck at my desk, can't get to Adoration, etc.

Matt W said...

Holy good advice, Padre.

frival said...

Well said, Father. May this be the holy 2x4 some of us need. *looks at self*