“For greater things you were born.” (Ven. Mother Luisita)
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 2ND Lk. 4:38-44 “He laid His hands on each of them and cured them.”
- “At sunset, all who had people sick with various diseases brought them to him.” St. Mark’s account says, “The whole city gathered together about the door.” (Mk. 1:33)
- Our Lord could have said, “Be healed!” and they would have been! His word was sufficient. But that’s not what Jesus did. “He laid His hands on each of them and cured them.” We can imagine Jesus looking at each person with love, His heart filled with compassion for the human suffering in front of Him.
- Commenting on this passage, Saint Ambrose says, “From the beginning of the Church Jesus already sought out the crowds. And why? Because to cure people there are no established times or places. The medicine has to be applied in all times and places!”
- Jesus yearns to lay hands on all people to bring them healing and fullness of life! He has no hands but ours! We are called to love and serve others as He did, receiving those He puts in our path each day, beginning with those closest to us, “laying our hands on each one” by our material help when needed and possible, but always by offering prayers and sacrifices for them, with hearts full of compassion for the human suffering and misery in front of us.
- Next, St. Luke reports: “At daybreak, Jesus left and went to a deserted place.” St. Luke tells us, “Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.” (Lk. 5:16) Jesus derived strength and power from communion in prayer with His Heavenly Father. Jesus says, “I have come down from heaven not to do my will, but to do the will of him who sent me.” (Jn. 6:38)
- We too must go to quiet places, where we can be undisturbed, to pray to our Father and to Jesus in heaven – this is our daily Holy Hour, where we derive strength and power to know His will and carry it out in our lives!
- To encourage us in faithfulness to our daily Holy Hour, Fr. Ed gives us this meditation on the fruits of the daily Holy Hour.
FRUITS OF THE DAILY HOLY HOUR – THE HOUR OF POWER! By Fr. Ed Broom, OMV
The effects of a well-made and methodical, daily “Hour-Hour” are countless! The person who seriously makes the decision to make the Daily Holy Hour, to be faithful to it, to have 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!
SHINING EXAMPLE FOR THE WHOLE WORLD –VENERABLE ARCHBISHOP FULTON J. SHEEN
Sheen, man of God that he was – preacher, writer, first Television/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 saying: “The Holy Hour is the Hour of Power!”
Sheen stated bluntly in talks to priests and Bishops 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 (many of those years as a Bishop), he never missed making even “one” Holy Hour! Not even once, in his whole life as priest and Bishop!
Occupied with writing constantly, traveling around the 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, no longer is he called Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, but VENERABLE Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen. That’s right! He is on the pathway to Beatification and eventually Canonization! Praise the Lord for such a brilliant and shining example for us!
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 challenged us, especially in the “Year of Faith”, to strive to cultivate a deep, 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, a true friendship must be cultivated by visiting our friend, getting to know our friend, conversing with our friend, sharing with our 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 minutest detail of our experience and 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 path. (Ps 119:105) St. Jerome reminds us, “Ignorance of Sacred Scripture is ignorance of Christ.” (Dei Verbum, Vat. II documents) In our Holy Hour we can read, meditate, listen, let our hearts be moved, and talk to the Lord – there we have five simple steps for a Biblical meditation!
3. DISCIPLINE. Notice the change in your life! Once you make the decision with 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. Just as 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 DONE BETTER! Many of us complain about a lack of time to carry out our various duties in life. Often this is because of a lack of order. The Holy Hour helps us to carry out our daily obligations and to be more faithful to our state of life with more energy of will, and 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 that we are and all that we do. He is the secret Companion walking with us on the Highway of Life to Eternity – just like He walked with the two disciples on the road to Emmaus! And He does most of the work. He says: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Mt. 11:28-30). If possible, it is best to do the Daily Holy Hour as early as possible, then the Lord Jesus will accompany you during the whole course of the day and make your burdens light!
6. FAMILY CONVERSION AND SANCTIFICATION! Many of us have family members who have abandoned the faith, walked away from the Church, who 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 to return, 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 for 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: “It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me!” (Gal. 2:20)
8. In the midst of the storms, tempests, earthquakes of life, we can always find consolation, peace, refuge, solace, and an oasis in 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 such exterior and interior storms of life, what consolation it is to know that Jesus is always waiting for us to come and find our true refuge in His Sacred Heart and in the Immaculate Heart of Mary. “Sacred Heart of Jesus, I trust in you!’ “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: 19-20) Nonetheless, the word that we preach must be supported by the example of the 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 he 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, Sheen knew 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, and the Holy Spirit, with Mary and the Angels and saints for all eternity, will be the end result 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 a firm commitment with 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 for others, 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.
Copyright 2020 Oblates of the Virgin
St. Peter Chanel Church, Hawaiian Gardens, CA