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The Hour of Love

Archbishop Fulton Sheen continually preached the importance of praying an hour with Our Lord every day in the Presence of the Most Blessed Sacrament. Sheen said, “The only time our Lord asked the Apostles for anything was the night He went into agony. Not for activity did He plead but for an Hour of companionship.”

For many, being in the presence of the Lord of lords, is merely a devotion in our Catholic faith. While many may see this only as a devotional development of the Catholic Church, more and more of the faithful are discovering this important gift in their spiritual life. One may wonder why they cannot pray anywhere. Of course, we can pray no matter where we find ourselves. But for the one to whom the Lord has put a hunger into their soul, He enlightens their intellect in a supernatural way which causes them to grow in faith, hope and love. It is a great gift to see that the Consecrated Host is no longer bread but the Real and Living Presence of our Lord and King.

For those who wish to be devoutly Catholic, this time with the Lord would be a most awaited moment of the day. There, in the Presence of the Redeemer, it is He who takes our burdens and makes them light, He is the one who suffers with us, the one who offers us His mercy, His healing and in reality, it is He who knows us better than ourselves.

Despite the encouragement, it seems we are not listening to His call to be with Him. Since we do not hear His request to spend time with Him, He remains alone and ignored…yes, alone. We have left our Lord alone! The Garden of Gethsemane is lived in us! Saint Francis of Assisi said with tears in his eyes: “Love is not loved” Saint Francis loved God so much that he would do anything to be with Him.

We ask how it is possible that Love is not loved. I ask myself a series of questions that help me to understand the language of Christ who desired and continues to desire not to be left alone.
Do I understand the connection between the Eucharist and the Cross?
Do I have clarity in what I profess to believe?
Do I practice my Faith?
Is Christ the center of my life, or am I looking for love in other sources?

Too often we look to sources that are superstitious or those common worldly idols. Jesus became man with a single end; can I ignore why He came? Do I walk with Jesus to this end? When we do not walk with Christ, talk to Him alone, we will not understand Christ. Maybe we want to understand Him but we do not know Him, there is a difference. Jesus told Mother Teresa, “In your love for me, they will see me, know me, want me.” So if we do not love Him, it is only because we do not know Him.

This is what happens in Eucharistic Adoration, we learn to love! While our human nature, full of sin, does not encourage us to contemplate the rivers of grace that sprout from the Heart of Jesus during the Eucharistic adoration, we need to set aside our laziness, excuses and busyness and go the Chapel. He is waiting for us! Spending time with the highest form of love will transform cold hearts to be set on fire. Pope Emeritus Benedict claimed that “the gift of the Eucharist must be studied on his knees”. I pray that my brother seminarians and I will make this custom such a part of our lives that we will not be able to live without our daily Hour with Lord.

Cesar Pirateque

Cesar Pirateque

1st Theology
Cesar Pirateque attends Immaculate Conception Seminary at Seton Hall University in South Orange, NJ.
Cesar Pirateque

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