When Venerable Fulton J. Sheen was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Peoria, Illinois in 1919, he promised to make a Holy Hour each day before the Most Blessed Sacrament. In spite of a very harried schedule, he remained faithful to his promise for the entire sixty years of his priesthood.
Writing constantly, travelling the around world, speaking engagements, radio program and TV programs, heading the Missionary office of the Catholic Church, converting huge numbers of souls personally and through letters, he never missed his hour with the Lord. He said the key to his apostolic success was union with Jesus, a deep and growing friendship with Jesus in his Daily Holy Hour , that he called “The Hour of Power”.
It was during his Holy Hour that he learned to listen to the voice of Our Lord and abandon himself to the love of His Heart. He was a tireless promoter of the daily hour of Eucharistic adoration, particularly among priests. “I keep up the Holy Hour to grow more and more into His likeness... 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.”
“The Holy Hour is not a devotion; it is a sharing in the work of redemption. 'Could you not watch one hour with Me?' Not for an hour of activity did He plead, but for an hour of companionship.”
“The purpose of the Holy Hour is to encourage deep personal encounter with Christ. The holy and glorious God is constantly inviting us to come to Him, to hold converse with Him and to ask such things as we need and to experience what a blessing there is in fellowship with Him.”
In these seemingly dark days in our Church, we can take comfort that our Lord is always with us, having left us His Body and Blood, and we can follow the example of Venerable Sheen by giving a bit more of ourselves in adoration of Him we call our God. And we pray he be an intercessor for all our American Bishops.