Shortly into 2018, I decided that one of the changes I was going to make in my life was that I was going to spend more time with Jesus. I felt I prayed a fair amount. I had been going to Mass every Sunday and on holy days of obligation. A while ago I would have thought that doing those things was enough. What I was missing was spending actual physical time with the real presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist.
The Eucharist is the the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Jesus Christ who is truly and substantially present although he appears to us under the accidents of bread and wine. I do not have the space to go into the entire theology of the Eucharist in this post, but if that’s what you might be wondering what it is, then that’s a good starting point. In every Catholic Church throughout the world, the Eucharist is present there. Some parishes are lucky enough to have Eucharistic adoration which allows people to spend physical time with the Eucharist. It’s as if you are spending time with one of your friends or family in the same room. Some parishes like mine are blessed to have a 24/7 adoration chapel. At the start of this year I began having what we call a holy hour my parish’s adoration chapel on Sunday mornings and it has been so great!
One of the best reasons to go to adoration is that it is a great way to achieve real silence and peace. The world is filled with so much noise and distractions. It is easy to focus on material things or ourselves and not to much God. Having a simple thought to yourself is empowering but that usually only comes with true silence.
I have gained a lot out of having my own holy hour because I really feel Jesus speaks to me while I am there. He has helped calm me down when I might be anxious about something. He has reminded me to be more forgiving and loving toward other people. He has reminded me that I am a sinner and that I would be lost without the sacraments of the Church. He also gave me some advice to help me find something I am seeking. Advice I never would have heard from another person or come up with myself. One time he told me to “”love people the way you want to be loved.” This might sound easy and simplistic, but if you think about it, do we always love people the way we want to be loved? Do we need to gossip? Do we need to lie about other people, even if we dislike them? Do we need to get even with people who have harmed us? Jesus also told me later on to “seek God in everything that you do.” Another simple bit of advice but one that is not always easy. At my job I have tried to think “Jesus I trust in you” or I have thought about how thankful I am to God for living in such a beautiful state and having such a great family and friends. No matter what I do, I do it ultimately for the glory of God. By having this mindset, I also think everything I do and everything that happens to me, good or bad, has an ultimate purpose behind it so that God molds me into the person he wants me to be.
Given my experiences, I cannot believe I waited so long to get a holy hour with Jesus. If you are Catholic and you don’t have a holy hour, you need to get one! Our non-Catholic brothers and sisters are welcome too!
“On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and proclaimed, “If anyone thirst, let him come to me and drink.” John 7:37