The effects of a well-made and
methodical daily “Hour-Hour” are countless!
The person that seriously makes the decision to make the Daily Holy
Hour, to be faithful to it, to be determined with a determined determination,
to struggle through it on tough days and persevere until the end, will have a
crown of glory in heaven after having done enormous good on earth!
EXAMPLE FOR THE WHOLE WORLD
VENERABLE ARCHBISHOP FULTON J. SHEEN
Sheen, man of God that he was,
preacher, writer, first Tel-Radio Christian Catholic Evangelist, missionary,
and Archbishop, would never attribute his success to himself, but rather to
Jesus whom he met on a daily basis in the Blessed Sacrament by making his own
personal DAILY HOLY
HOUR!!!! It was Sheen who
popularized the term “Holy Hour as the Hour of Power”.
In talks to priests and Bishops he
stated bluntly that at times people would not listen to them, but to him –
Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen – they would listen because of the power that he was
endowed with through his Daily Holy Hour – “The Hour of Power”.
Sheen once stated that in his fifty
years as a priest (and many years as a Bishop) he never missed making even “one”
Holy Hour! Not even once, in his whole
life as priest and Bishop!
Writing constantly, travelling the around
world, speaking engagements around the clock, Radio programs and TV programs,
heading the Missionary office of the Catholic Church , converting huge numbers
of souls personally and through letters – this great man of God (even with so many
commitments) would find time for Jesus every day by making his Daily Holy
Hour. The key to his apostolic success
was union with Jesus, deep and growing friendship with Jesus in his Daily Holy
Hour – “The Hour of Power”!
Now he is no longer called Archbishop
Fulton J. Sheen but VENERABLE Archbishop Fulton Sheen. That’s right! He is on the pathway to Beatification and
eventually Canonization! Praise the Lord
for such a brilliant example!
After this biographical sketch of the
life of one of America’s greatest heroes – and even more important one of God’s
heroes – we will proceed to give a list of the many fruits that emanate from
faithfulness to the Daily Holy hour, your own
HOUR OF POWER!!!!
1. FRIENDSHIP WITH CHRIST. Pope Benedict XVI constantly challenges us,
especially in this “Year of Faith”, to strive to cultivate a deep and growing
friendship with Jesus. Jesus at the Last Supper called His Apostles “Friends”,
but He also calls you to a deep Friendship with Him. We all seek friendship and
union with others; that is communion! Obviously
Jesus is the best of Friends; He is the faithful Friend who will never fail
us! However, true friendships must be cultivated
by visiting the friend, getting to know the friend, conversing with the friend,
sharing with the friend joys and sorrows, failures and successes – in a word
the most profound secrets. But even in the deepest friendships usually
something is not expressed or understood. But with Jesus we can always express
our inmost thoughts, fears, sorrows even anguishes and He indeed will
understand us down to the most minute detail of our existence!
2. WORD OF GOD. The Staple and substance of our meditation
should be the Word of God. Jesus told
the enemy, the devil who tempted Him, that man does not live on bread alone but
from every word that comes from the mouth of God. The Psalmist says that the Word of God is a
lamp for our steps and a light for our pathway. St. Jerome reminds us,
“Ignorance of Sacred Scripture is ignorance of Christ.” (Dei Verbum, Vat, II
documents) In the Holy Hour we can read, meditate, listen, let our hearts be
moved and talk to the Lord – there we have simple steps for a Biblical
3. DISCIPLINE. Notice the change in
your life! Once you make the decision
and determination which leads to the discipline of being faithful to your Holy
Hour, then you will have greater discipline in the other activities in the course
of your busy schedule. One act of
discipline in making the Daily Holy Hour motivates a well-ordered and
disciplined life in general!
4. PEACE AND HARMONY! With discipline
comes peace. What is peace? St. Augustine defines peace as the tranquility of
order. St. Ignatius reaffirms this using
other words – namely, that the purpose of the Spiritual Exercises is to order
the disordered. Our Lady of Guadalupe ordered
the roses in the Tilma of St. Juan Diego on the hill of Tepeyac in Mexico.
5. WORK: MORE DONE AND BETTER
DONE. Many of us complain about lack of
time to carry out our various duties in life. Often it is because of this lack
of order. The Holy Hour helps us to carry
out our daily obligations and be faithful to our state of life better, with
more energy of will, with greater peace and joy. Why is this??? The reason is
clear! When we do the Daily Holy Hour we
are inviting God/Jesus to be part of our whole life, all we are and all we do.
He is the secret Companion walking with us throughout the Highway of life to
eternity – like the disciples on the road to Emmaus! He does most of the work and He told us:
“Come to me all of you who are tired and I will give you rest. Take my yoke
upon you and learn from me; you will find rest for your souls; for I am meek
and humble of heart; for my yoke is easy and my burden is light. (Mt. 11L28-30).
If possible, it is best to do the Daily Holy Hour as early as possible and then
the Lord Jesus accompanies you during the whole course of the day and makes
your burden light!
6. FAMILY CONVERSION AND SANCTIFICATION! Many of us have family members who
have abandoned the faith, have walked away, are angry, bitter and even
antagonistic towards all that is related to God. Maybe we have talked to them,
tried to convince them by the best of arguments, but it is simply an exercise
in futility. What is lacking is prayer. Jesus said that some devils can be
expelled only through prayer and fasting.
Offering your daily Holy Hour – “The Hour of Power” – for the conversion
and salvation of your loved ones can prove exceedingly fruitful! Remember the many Hours of prayer and tears
of St. Monica and the conversion of her son, St. Augustine. We need more St.
Monicas with their Daily Holy Hours!
7. FERVENT COMMUNIONS. Not only does
the Daily Holy Hour – the Hour of Power – serve to motivate prodigal sons, lost
sheep, wandering souls to return to the Good Shepherd, but also this personal
encounter with the Lord improves and upgrades our reception of Jesus in Holy Communion.
The greatest act we can do on earth is to receive Jesus in Holy Communion.
However, the better the preparation, the more efficacious the effects of Holy
Communion in our soul! May our Daily Holy
Hours prove to transform us into the One we receive in Holy Communion, remembering
the words of St. Paul: “No longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.”
8. CONSOLATION. In the midst of the storms, tempests, earthquakes of life,
we can always find consolation, peace, refuge, solace and an oasis when we come
to make our Daily Holy Hour. There are
days in which the battle is fierce, the tug of the passions insistent, the
devil’s attacks relentless, the seduction of the world and its false values
alluring. Amidst the exterior and interior storms of life, what consolation to
know that Jesus is always waiting for me to come and to seek my true refuge in
His Sacred Heart and in the Immaculate Heart of Mary. “Sacred Heart of Jesus I
trust in you!’ Also, “Sweet Heart of
Mary, be my salvation.”
9. GOOD EXAMPLE. There are many ways to preach the Word of
God. Jesus’ last words were to go out to the whole world and tell the Good
News. (Mt 28) Nonetheless the word that we preach must be supported by the
example of life that we live! The person
who makes the Daily Holy Hour – the Hour of Power – radiates goodness and
inspires others to follow the same path!
How many priests – even the one writing this article, Father Broom – have
been inspired to make the Daily Holy Hour due to the preaching, but especially
the “living out” of the Daily Holy Hour of Fulton Sheen. At the end of his life,
Archbishop Fulton Sheen decided to preach retreats to priests and Bishops and
Sheen had one goal: to convince both priests and Bishops to make the firm
determination and commitment to make the Daily Holy Hour. If they made this
with determination, this would transform lives, parishes, Dioceses, and the
world at large!
10. HEAVEN! Of monumental importance is the
attaining of Heaven. Union with the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit, Mary, and
the Angels and saints for all eternity will be the end goal and most sublime fruit
of the faithfulness to the Daily Holy Hour.
St. Alphonsus put it bluntly, “He who prays well will be saved; he who
does not pray will be damned.” (CCC on prayer). If you like, St. Augustine
expresses the same concept poetically: “He
who prays well lives well; he who lives well dies well; and he who dies well,
all is well!”
In sum, my friends, right now let us
make the firm commitment with a determined determination to be faithful to the
Daily Holy Hour – the Hour of Power! If done faithfully you will grow in
Friendship with Jesus, grow in holiness and peace of soul, work well and with
order and discipline, be a source of sanctification and conversion, receive
Jesus with greater purity of heart in Holy Communion, and most important become
one day a jewel in the crown of Mary, where you will contemplate the Beauty of
the unveiled Face of Jesus for all eternity. Amen.