The famous Ven Fulton J. Sheen — famous evangelist, prolific writer, friend and confidant to Popes, who was loved by millions — attributed his success to one thing: a deep relationship to Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The love of this great man of God was particularly manifested in His faithfulness to daily prayer, what He called His Holy Hour or Hour of Power.
At the end of his life he made a decision to give retreats, after he retired as Archbishop of Rochester, New York. However, his audience was very select and specific — to priests and Bishops. He challenged them! He said that when they would speak the listeners would not always pay attention. However, when he spoke people would listen. The key Sheen emphasized was union with God through the Holy Hour — The Hour of Power.
We honestly believe in the truth of the words and habit of Sheen. The only way to convert the world is in the forming of an army of saints. Saints are those who are madly in love with Jesus Christ, head over heels! This fire of love can only be ignited through deep prayer and deep prayer becomes a reality specifically through the practice of the daily Holy Hour.
The following are ten reasons why we invite our readers to be generous and courageous enough to undertake the practice of the daily Holy Hour. Incorporate the Hour of Power in the fabric of your daily routine and you will never regret having undertaken this life-changing practice. Sheen believed that the conversion of the priesthood and the Episcopacy should start by prolonged and fervent prayer — the Holy Hour the Hour of Power!
All of us should find the time to give the Lord time. We can easily spend more than an hour in front of t.v. or on the computer or talking with a friend or simply wasting time. Why not give the Lord and Creator of heaven and earth one hour day?
1. Avoid Sin
There is a direct relationship between sin and lack or prayer—Example: The Apostles in the Garden. For us to avoid sin we need the grace of God and it comes especially through prayer and the Sacraments.
2. Learn the Art of Prayer
St. Alphonsus says that the art of all arts is that of prayer. In any profession or enterprise perfection comes after hard work. “No pain, no gain.” A little girl was known to get up and sacrifice hour practicing figure-skating. Olympic athletes train years before their performances. Should not we give the Lord our time, efforts and good will and learn how to pray more and better?
3. Improve the Reception of the Eucharist
Indeed the Sacramental life improves when the personal prayer life is improved. Jesus becomes more real in Holy Communion. Instead of a cold reception; Jesus is receive with fire, passion and love.
4. Avoid Being Lukewarm
We live in a world with religious indifference (The message of Pope Francis for Lent (2015)—the globalization of indifference.) God hates this is! We hear this in the Book of Rev. 3 — “You are neither hot nor cold but lukewarm, I will spit you out of my mouth…”
5. Start Fires
Prayer sets our hearts on fire, like the disciples on the Road to Emmaus—“Did not our hearts burn within us as He explained the Word of God to us and tin the breaking of the bread… (Luke 24)
6. Overcome Bad Habits
The saying is so true: “Tell me with whom you associate and I will tell you who you are.” If we spend this quality time with Jesus then we will start to imitate Him. Hopefully we will be able to say with St. Paul: “It is no longer I who live but it is Christ who lives in me.”
7. Bless Your Family
We all have many family problems that we would like to resolve, and we have probably tried to resolve without much success. We should first talk to God a long time and then we can talk to others about God. It was said of Saint Dominic that he would first talk to God and then talk about God to others.
8. Interior Peace of Soul
We live in a hectic world of activism. Like Martha, many of us prefer to work more than prayer and fall into activism or horizontalism. Consequently we live stressed-out as well as stressing others out. We are lacking in deep prayer. Deep prayer gives us deep peace. Our God is called Emmanuel—God with us. He is the Prince of peace.
9. Salvation of Our Souls and Others
Saint Alphonsus says: “There is no such thing as weak or strong people but rather people that know how to pray and those who do not know how to pray.” Fervent prayer with penance are keys to opening up the heart of God for the conversion of sinners. First, the Cure of Ars prayed long hours and shed profuse tears and practiced severe penance and then his Parish was converted. If we really knew the value of one immortal soul, we would spend much more time on our knees begging for the conversion of sinners and their immortal souls. Our souls have been redeemed by the Precious Blood of the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.
10. Jesus and Mary Rejoice
The fact that you have made the decision to give the Lord an Hour—the Holy Hour—is already a sign of good will and this causes the Heart of Jesus to rejoice. When someone comes to visit us with good will we rejoice at this token of good will and friendship. Jesus is even more grateful. By spending an Hour in the presence of Jesus He will become your Best Friend in time and for all eternity!