Fulton Sheen once wrote that the purpose of the Holy Hour—a sustained, uninterrupted hour of prayer in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament—is to encourage a deep personal encounter with Christ. “Looking at the Eucharistic Lord for an hour,” he wrote, “transforms the heart in a mysterious way.” Pope St. John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI, and Pope Francis all joined Sheen in recommending Eucharistic Adoration as a foundational spiritual practice.
Today, however, the hidden power of the Holy Hour radiates with special urgency—both for the Church and for the culture. Many Catholics no longer believe in or even understand the doctrine of the Real Presence; many Protestants are disconnected from the historical reality, and centrality, of the Eucharist; and people of all backgrounds, overwhelmed by the noise and speed of postmodern life, seek refuge in various forms of meditation and mindfulness. To all of these groups, the Holy Hour offers a life-changing opportunity: the silence and simplicity of being in the presence of God.
The Holy Hour is a unique collection of hymns, poetry, prayers, and reflections for Adoration from across two thousand years of Catholic tradition. Structured around Bishop Robert Barron’s threefold classification of Real Presence, Holy Sacrifice, and Sacred Meal, readers will explore the Eucharistic hymns of St. Thomas Aquinas, key passages from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, verses from both saints and lesser-known poets, and reflections from Bishop Barron and the great heroes of the Word on Fire movement. The Holy Hour is designed to inspire readers to stay close to Christ in the Blessed Sacrament, guide their prayer and contemplation in his presence, and spark the revival of silent Adoration that the world so desperately craves.