A couple weeks ago, on Holy Thursday, Bishop Conley wrote a pastoral letter on adoration of the Eucharist. It was a beautiful letter and the perfect day to write it as we commemorated the Institution of the Eucharist. Here is an excerpt from the letter that I especially loved:
“Fathers who pray with their children have children who grow up to pray. Children look to their fathers as models of discipleship, and are more likely to grow in loving relationship with God if they see their fathers as men of prayer. Fathers who take their children to adoration model humble discipleship to their families, and form them for lifelong discipleship.
Mothers who take time to visit the Blessed Sacrament in adoration are renewed for the daily challenge of their vocation. Motherhood requires patience, peace, and serenity which surpasses understanding. Christ, present in the Eucharist, is the source of love for mothers, who are asked to love ceaselessly, and without counting the cost.
Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament prepares families for mission. Parents have a responsibility to form their children to be merciful, charitable missionary disciples. All families have a sacred call to be a source of apostolic joy in the world, to witness to Christ, and to proclaim him together, with intentionality and enthusiasm. But God calls each family to a particular kind of work or apostolate, and each family must discern how they are uniquely called to bring the Gospel into the world. That discernment begins with families in prayer, in the presence of the Eucharist, asking the Lord to guide them in the mission of the Gospel, and asking him to equip them for mission.
Husbands and wives who kneel together in adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, especially with their children, find their family love renewed by Christ’s love, so that they can pour their joy into the evangelization of the world, in the unique and important way God calls them.”
Last week, I was listening to the Go Forth Podcast. During the episode I was listening to, the guests were discussing how they started 24 hour perpetual adoration at their parish.
On Sunday, Divine Mercy Sunday, Msgr. Barr spoke after Mass inviting everyone to sign up for the holy hour.
After these 3 instances in a little more than a week, Craig and I felt like maybe God was inviting us to do sign up for a holy hour for our family at our parish. We got the sign-up and are praying about which day and what time would work best for our family to do this. Discerning this has made me reflect a lot on my Dad.
Ever since I was little, and probably since they registered to be parishioners at Cathedral, my Dad has had a holy hour on Thursday nights at 10:00. He has remained faithful to it. I remember even when Christmas Eve or Christmas was on a Thursday, we would maybe have to leave early so he could be home on time to go to his holy hour. Everything was scheduled around it. His holy hour was the priority. I think at times this truly had to have been a sacrifice — the time being late at night after working all day, not always being able to do things, etc. Reflecting on this the past couple years, though, especially as I think about how I want to do this for my family, I think this has produced so much fruit for our family. I can see God’s faithfulness back to our family because of my Dad’s faithfulness to Him.
I hope and pray Craig and I can carry this beautiful gift and tradition into our family — to teach our children how to pray and to experience and encounter Christ present and alive in the Eucharist.