Celebrating 50 Years: Week 32


Giving one hour

Jesus, during His agony in the garden at Gethsemani, reproached the Apostles for their slumbering indifference: "Could you not watch one hour with me?" Lent is a good time to start a practice of watching for an hour with Christ.  This can take many different forms, and here will be mentioned three:

We can watch with Christ through an hour of work for the poor, such as volunteering in a soup kitchen, a home for unwed mothers, a nursing home or a hospital. Our Lord told us that what we do for the least of our brothers, He takes as having been done to Him.  Another way of giving an hour to Christ is to spend time with people in our families who need our presence, time that is marked by focus and care, time that is not rushed or given reluctantly.  In an age of social "networking" and constant email and "texting" there is less true interaction than ever. We can take the time out to sit with an elderly relative or a lonely person we know and just listen to them. Simply listening to someone and giving them the gift of our time is a great act of charity. Finally, and most profoundly, one can watch for an hour with Christ by spending time in prayer - and this is the most difficult of all these practices to observe over the long term. And yet this watching with the Lord is the practice that will give all the other forms of almsgiving their efficacy; it is a most fruitful practice, and perseverance at it will be rewarded highly even in this life here below.


Jubilee Novenas

As they observe their Jubilee Year, the Norbertine Fathers of St Michael's Abbey  
invite you to participate in the second of three Jubilee Novenas:

A Lenten Novena for the
Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord,  
We Preach Christ and Him Crucified  

Saturday, March 17th through Sunday, March 25th
Each Evening at 7:00 in the Abbey Church

Celebrating 50 Years: Week 31


What is Holy Hour?

Many of the saints and spiritual writers have advocated the idea of the "Holy Hour" - an hour's time spent before the Lord in the tabernacle or even the Blessed Sacrament exposed.  This time can be spent reading Scripture, saying the Rosary, reading a spiritual book, or focusing one's attention on the Lord in a gentle way, keeping aware of His love and care.

The Holy Hour is made every day at the abbey, and if you live in our area, you are warmly encouraged to come and join us.  The way it is practiced at St. Michael's includes exposition, the recitation of Compline, a period of silent meditation (during which the sacrament of confession is available in the back of the church) and then Benediction.  This is a very fruitful way to spend an hour in the evening and to get to know the Lord and His will in your life better.


Celebrating 50 Years: Week 30
What is one hour?


Our schedules have become clogged with so many things that stress and busyness seem to take over, crushing our days. Time itself seems to conspire against us, as a thousand menial tasks loom on the horizon, burdening our minds and hearts and challenging us to find enough time to finish them all in due order. Lent is the time to step back from all of this, seek contact with the Lord and place time itself back under the dominion of its Creator. God, the Creator of time, dwells in eternity. Take an hour of your day, 60 minutes, 3600 seconds... and pray.  Pray alone, pray with your spouse or your friends - pray with your family or a loved one, but take the time to pray. What is one hour out of your schedule, and how would prayer improve it?  Lent is a time of prayer, so turn off the television for an hour and pray; get off the Internet for an hour and pray. Stop worrying about everything, and pray - not asking to have health or financial gain, not asking for the conversion of anyone (you can pray for these things later) but just saying, "Speak Lord, your servant is listening."  Spend an hour with God today.


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