“Prayer is the life of the new heart. It ought to animate us at every moment. But we tend to forget him who is our life and our all. . . ‘We must remember God more often than we draw breath.’ But we cannot pray ‘at all times’ if we do not pray at specific times, consciously willing it.” (CCC 2697)
As a young Catholic in the late 90’s someone gave me a series of taped lectures delivered by Archbishop Fulton Sheen to the seminarians at Holy Trinity Seminary in Irving in the early 1970’s. At one point in the lectures he begins to talk about having a Holy Hour, a daily Holy Hour and how this is so important for the spiritual life, certainly for life of the priest. I was challenged by this notion. I thought, “an hour is so long!” As a classical pianist I had spent my entire adolescence calculating the value of a day by how many hours of practice I could squeeze in at the piano: 3, 4, 5, 6? And yet, when it came to the idea of a Holy Hour, I was thought, “this is not possible, it’s too much!” Periodically I would visit an Adoration Chapel for an hour, but what would this look like on a daily basis?
Many days as a priest I find myself challenged by the notion of spending an entire hour in the presence of the Lord, and yet, when I give Him even 20 or 30 minutes at a time, everything changes. All of a sudden, the day becomes about His will, not mine, and the Lord shows up all over the place! I have an entirely different perspective on the day.
Have you developed a daily prayer life, a time for mental prayer with the Lord? I recommend committing to a daily 15 minutes for one week: put it in your calendar, decide a place (it could be an adoration chapel, your bedroom, or sitting on a park bench), take your Bible, the Sunday readings or your journal, and keep those appointments. God shows up, will you?
YCP Chaplain Fr. Tim Nolt