The Holy Hour: Meditations for Eucharistic Adoration
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.
For many Catholics today, the Eucharist is merely a symbol of Christ, and the Mass is merely a collectivity of like-minded individuals gathering to remember his life. But the truth of what is made present on the altar, and what the faithful dare to receive into their bodies and souls, is far more strange and beautiful.
In this engaging theological treatise, Bishop Robert Barron offers a reintroduction to the ancient meaning and power of the Eucharist.
Through a threefold analysis of the Eucharist as sacred meal, sacrifice, and Real Presence—distinct but tightly interwoven motifs grounded in Scripture—Bishop Barron draws readers into the profound truth flowing out of Jesus’ words at the Last Supper: “Take, eat; this is my body. . . . Drink from it, all of you; for this is my blood of the covenant.”
We are not merely invited to remember Jesus or imitate his moral example; we are invited to the grace of communion—and ultimately, to the realm of God—by eating and drinking the very self that he offers in sacrifice.