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.