Why a HOLY HOUR
before Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament?
PERHAPS MANY still ask that question. To it there is basically only one answer: Jesus Christ, the God-Man, is present….
He is present in that special Eucharistic manner of transubstantiation in which the very substance of the bread and wine are changed into the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ.
St. Thomas taught that the Eucharist is the greatest of miracles ever worked by Christ, to perpetuate his Passion and Sacrifice with us and to be specially present to each individual.
Christ is present there for us, to manifest his great love for us. St. Thomas says, “He cares for us and is there.” If we care for him, we would also be there for a Holy Hour or some other form of Eucharistic adoration. Christ had asked this of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque as he had asked the apostles in the Garden of Olives: “Can you not watch one hour with me?”
Vatican II insists that the Christian life is incomplete if it is not Eucharistic. In the Decree on Priests (No. 5) the Council wrote: “Every ministry of the Church and every work of the apostolate are linked with the Holy Eucharist and are directed to it.” Of course, this refers primarily to the Eucharistic sacrifice and the Council said so in the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church (No. 11): “Taking part in the Eucharistic sacrifice, which is the apex and fount of the whole Christian life, the faithful offer the Divine Victim to God and offer themselves with it.”
However, it is in the Eucharist that Christians will find unity in Christ: “In the Sacrament of the Eucharistic Bread, the unity of all believers, who form one body in Christ (1 Cor. 10,17) is both expressed and brought about.” (Consti. on the Church No. 3)
To stress that this did not refer only to the Eucharistic Sacrifice and the reception of Holy Communion but also to Eucharistic adoration, Pope John XXIII, who called the Council, arranged for the canonization of Blessed Julian Eymard, the apostle of Eucharistic adoration, for the solemnities of the closing of the first session of the Council, that he was to be an example and model of true Catholic renewal.