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"Consider Adoration for Families this Lent" by Fr. Willy Raymond, CSC (CatholicMom.com)
Copyright 2017 Holy Cross Family Ministries. All rights reserved.

Why do we come to Adoration and the Holy Hour? Venerable Fulton Sheen said: “The Purpose of adoration is a deep personal encounter with the Lord Jesus.”

Saint John Paul II offered the following beautiful description of the Holy Hour: “It is pleasant to spend time with him {Jesus}, to lie close to his breast like the Beloved Disciple and to feel the infinite love present in his heart. How can we not feel a renewed need to spend time in spiritual converse, in silent adoration, in heartfelt love before Christ in the most Holy Sacrament?”

We come to adore, bless, worship, praise, glorify, thank, and magnify God, and to plead with him for all families around the world: families of all religions, and none; families of great love, and families of little love; families in poverty, and families in wealth; families in trouble, and families in peace; young families, and old families; large families, and small families; families of little hope, and families of great hope; families indifferent to faith, and families on fire with faith; families begging for mercy, and families grateful for mercy shown them.

Whoever you are, wherever you are, if you hear this and are hearing this in person or on the internet, we are praying for you and your family in our Holy Hour for families.

Now we come to Lent, a magnificent opportunity for grace to intrude upon our daily lives. During this Holy Season, if we let him in, the Lord will usher in a new springtime of the spirit, in our families and in our communities. This Lent he can make an end to the winter of sadness and disappointment in our family the Church.

It’s helpful to recall that Lent is a school of grace in two parts. The Church, our Mother and Teacher, has carefully designed every liturgy and every reading from the Word of God to advance us and new Christians along the way of grace. In the first half of Lent she takes each new candidate or catechumen by the hand and brings each one to a life of Gospel conversion.

Beginning with Ash Wednesday’s clarion call to prayer, fasting and almsgiving, the initiate hears a call to forgiveness, to love of enemies, to a heart renewed, to just actions and right conduct, to a life of holiness and humility. Now, a surprise! By the midpoint of Lent, we realize that we have been called to do what is impossible for us to accomplish without help.  

In the second half of Lent, from the Monday of the fourth week to Holy Thursday, we are brought to the one person who can help us. We are brought to an encounter with the mystery of Christ, the Way, the Truth and the Life; the Conqueror of sin and death, the life-giver and the one true Light. And the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us, and we saw his glory, the glory as of the Father’s only Son, full of grace and truth. From his fullness we have all received, grace in place of grace. {Jn 1:14} This is the mystery of Christ who has come to gather the scattered children of God into his Kingdom.

Friends, this Lent, I would humbly ask you to consider integrating into your family’s Lenten practice a Holy Hour for the family once a week, perhaps Friday afternoons or evenings. Pray for the holiness of your family and pray in reparation for the sins against the Lord and our great family, the Church, his Church. Especially pray for the innocent wounded children and vulnerable adults, wounded by sexual abuse and abuse of power by a few leaders in the Church.

With God’s help we can make this a time of healing and great grace, a new springtime for our dear beloved family, the Catholic Church.

Each weekday, the homily from Daily Mass at Holy Cross Family Ministries is shared online. Visit Family Rosary: World at Prayer and sign up to receive notifications of each day's homily.

Copyright 2019 Fr. Willy Raymond, C.S.C.