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Editor's Note: This article first appeared in 2008. We've added some additional thoughts for some additional insights in 2022.)
"…Could you not keep vigil with me for one hour?"Matthew 26:40
We wish to share this moving article the value of a Holy Hour with our readers. It includes a revelation our Lord gave to Dina Belanger (1897-1926), a French-Canadian nun and renowned mystic who was declared Blessed on March 20, 1993.
We offer it to you as we received it below along with a PDF Version here in case you wish to share it with your friends and colleagues. (You can get the Adobe Acrobat Reader to open the file if you don’t have it already here.)
As a reminder, Jesus is really and truly present in the Blessed Sacrament we see in Holy Hours, as they say, in Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity in what is known as a monstrance, an ornate vessel, for public worship in what is also called Eucharistic adoration.
When reading this, consider its essential point: your time spent with our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament counts for more than you think, possibly for far more than you could ever imagine!
As Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen once wrote: “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, to ask for such things as we need and to experience what a blessing there is in fellowship with Him.”
And for those times when you are pressed to do an actual Holy Hour, consider these words from Saint Alphonsus Liguori: "You will probably gain more by praying fifteen minutes before the Blessed Sacrament than by all the other spiritual exercises of the day. True, Our Lord hears our prayers anywhere, for He has made the promise "Ask and you shall recieve" but He has revealed to His servants, that those who visit Him in the Blessed Sacrament will obtain a more abundant measure of grace."
The text of this article follows:
You Affect The Lives Of Every Person
In The World During Your Holy Hour
The Eucharistic Holy Hour, More Powerful Than Anything Outside Of The Eucharistic Sacrifice ---The Holy Mass
From the quotes of our Popes and Saints concerning Holy Hours of adoration, we can see how much importance they placed on adoration for a healthy spiritual life. The power of each Holy Hour that we make can be gleaned from these writings. These writings tell us that our Holy Hour is more powerful than anything in this world outside of Mass.
6.5 Billion People Graced
6,775,078,000. Over 6.5 Billion. (Editor's Note: Keep in mind this article came out in 2008. There are almost 8 billion people now in 2022) Remember this number each time that you may have any doubts whether your sacrifice of time in volunteering to cover a Holy Hour of adoration before the Blessed Sacrament was a productive hour.
Why is this number important? It is the number of people living in the world that you affected by your simple visit to our beloved Lord, even if it was for a short time. According to St. Maria Faustina Kowalska, every Holy Hour we make so pleases the Heart of Jesus that every man, woman, and child living on earth receives a new effect of God's grace. This is the power of your hour. You alone have affected the lives of every person on earth through your sacrifice of an hour spent before our beloved Lord.
If we ever wanted to stop wars, bring peace to earth, stop abortions in the world, stop evils of all kind throughout the world; this is the way to do it. Where else, outside of The Eucharistic Sacrifice, can you have such a huge influence on human history? Because of your hour, God has given to every one on earth, a grace they need to bring them closer to heaven and thus influencing them to stop any evil they may be involved in.
Souls, On The Precipice Of Hell,
Go to Heaven Instead
A Holy Hour of adoration is so powerful that many souls in the world, that were going to Hell, instead are graced enough to be in the hands of God and on their way to Heaven. This revelation, about any Holy Hour of adoration, was given by our Lord to Blessed Dina Belanger during one of the many Holy Hours she made.
Not only are all people in the word graced because of a Holy Hour, but many are so graced that their whole life is turned completely around as to be on their way to Heaven. Just think, if we had not made a Holy Hour this very day, this may not have happened for many people and may not happen during their entire life. Our Holy Hour may be the only chance for Heaven that many in the world have.
You Influence Men and Women
To Enter Religious Life
This is a result of Holy Hours of adoration that many of our Saints have emphasized. Studies throughout the world show that in Dioceses where Adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament is very prevalent, many vocations are abundant. For example, in the Kalamazoo Diocese, Michigan, adoration of the Eucharist has grown throughout the 1990's into the 21st Century resulting in 20 Seminarians in a few years. This doesn't count the men and women who have entered religious life from the Diocese in the same time period.
You Can Bring Your Family Closer Together
Our Saints have always emphasized that a Holy Hour is not a personal solitary "Jesus and me" encounter, but rather one that involves the entire Church. Our adoration reaches out to our families and our community, they say, and as a result, our families are very blessed and brought closer together. This is another aspect of adoration that many people don't realize.
People heavily involved in the different Perpetual Adoration Programs throughout the world often report of a loved one, who had left the Church, coming back because of those involved in Perpetual Adoration. Jesus will use many means to try to bring each of us to Heaven. He may be waiting for you to sign up for a Holy Hour of Adoration to bring one of your loved ones back to the Church.
You Make Up For Great Evils Of The World
We read often in the newspapers of many evils that are perpetrated on innocent people throughout the world. Our saints teach us that not only does our adoration grace everyone in the world, but actualiy repairs for many evils that might otherwise go unrepaired and unchecked. Your Holy Hour is very important to Jesus. He depends on you to help counter evil throughout the world.
It is said that everyone in life is given a mission by Jesus to fulfill. If we don't entirely accomplish this mission, it goes unfulfilled into eternity. There are numerous evils in the world to be repaired and made up for. You may be the only one to make up for some of them. Jesus may be counting on your Holy Hour to repair these evils.
You Open The Floodgates Of God's Mercy
One of the most important graces that God showers upon the earth, through your Holy Hour, is that of His great Mercy, according to Blessed Mother Teresa and Pope John Paul II. In other words, your Holy Hour opens up the floodgates of His Mercy onto everyone in the world.
For many people in the World, this may be the first time, or maybe the only time, they are ready to accept this grace. It also has been said, by our Saints, that God's Mercy is infinite, but that His Justice is total. God may be counting on you to extend His time of mercy for yet another day to many people in the world before He will try to use His Justice to save them.
You Help Convert America And Save The World
Asked "What will convert America and save the world?", Blessed Mother Teresa answered without hesitation that we need everyone to come together in Holy Hours of prayer before the Blessed Sacrament. Our spare time is always valuable to us, but it is much more valuable to our beloved Lord. He wants America to be converted, but it is up to us to come before Him to help bring this about.
You Help Stop Abortions
Throughout The United States
Eucharistic Adoration is a very strong antidote specifically to the evil of abortion. If all Catholics in the United States would make adoration of the most Blessed Sacrament a weekly occurrence, all abortions in the United States would stop, according to Blessed Mother Teresa. We know that all Catholics will not do this, but we can at least do our part, in stopping as many abortions as possible, by sacrificing an hour of our time, each week, in coming before our beloved Lord in adoration.
(Editor's Note: These words about the value of a Holy Hour might seem a bit more hopeful than you would like to think these days. Times were difficult in 2008, but they've gotten worse since then. But the important thing is to keep in mind, what this article stresses, is the importance of turning to God for His grace. Part of the reason we're in such a mess right now, both in the Church and in the world is that supernatural faith is waning and as such, God’s cannot bring us the healing from our wounds with His Grace that many of us so desperately need.
Too many people have either turned away from the faith or from religion entirely. On one level this might be understandable given the scandals and doctrinal abuses that have plagued the church in the past few decades. But think of those aspects of the Catholic devotional life that have receded. These include not only Holy Hours, but Eucharistic processions, along with public rosaries, novenas, and litanies as well.
So, keep in mind if this text on the value of a Holy Hour sounds too much like wishful thinking in these difficult times the benefits from Holy Hours mentioned here can be real, if enough of us make them so. If nothing else remember that your Holy Hour can help mitigate someone else's suffering and maybe even your own. The more we do this, the more people catch on, the more we can fight back against the muddled thinking that the church needs to go with the flow, and not be too judgmental in response to the changing times, which are getting more and more woke and thus more chaotic.
Keep in mind here that there is an important difference between being judgmental and being discerning. I don’t have to judge what’s in others’ hearts and souls to be able to discern what they are doing as right or wrong in accordance with traditional church teaching. It will take time and effort to take us back to more sane times for the church and for the world but it’s not like there haven’t been horrible abuses of humanity’s God-given free will in the past. But Jesus is still counting on us even more to help Him bring good out of so much evil. Have your voice heard in your prayers.
If more and more of us make Holy Hours and other such devotions that can indeed be quite powerful in bringing more of God's grace into this troubled world. And it might be what we're going to need to come together now more than ever, particularly in the trying days up ahead. Your prayers and attendance in Holy Hours whether in your parish or in a neighboring one perhaps can help you, your family, your loved ones, and people you might not even know. Jesus is calling us from consecrated hosts present in monstrances and tabernacles everywhere not to lose heart or faith!)