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Elizabeth Pardi offers some simple ideas for observing the 3 o'clock hour with your family.

When I became a mother, my awareness of the time of day sharpened immensely. I adopted this frequent mental process of looking at the clock and calculating how many hours or minutes until feeding time, naptime, getting in the car time, and so on. Now, that we’re immensely blessed to live right beside our parish church, I have the pleasure of hearing those grand church bells announce the top of every hour.

Most of the time, it’s an internal realization of where we’re at in the day. Oh, it’s noon. Time to wind down for naptime. But when that clock strikes three, I remind my husband and kids that it’s the three o’clock hour.

I never thought much of it on any day other than Good Friday, but after reading Fr. Michael Gaitley’s book Consoling the Heart of Jesus, I learned that this hour is one we can acknowledge daily as the time at which Christ poured out His life for us purely out of love upon the cross.

“What’s the one, concrete, daily practice Jesus asks of us through his revelations to St. Faustina?” Fr. Gailey writes. “It’s the three o’clock hour devotion.” He goes on to explain that ideally, Christ is comforted during that hour when we reflect on the Stations of the Cross. If we’re not able to, however, simply turning our minds to Him for a few seconds brings Him consolation at that time.


Jesus desires a friendship with us, and the simple act of thinking of Him and expressing our love for Him brings Him abundant joy #catholicmom

Three o’clock at our house tends to usher in the mayhem. Kids are getting up from naps and coming home from school while I’m trying to figure out dinner. But when I look at the clock and see that three, I announce, “It’s the three o’clock hour!” Sometimes my kids ignore me, sometimes they declare, “Thank you, Jesus, for dying for us,” and sometimes we gather to do a Chaplet of Divine Mercy or the Stations of the Cross. When I’m not pregnant or nursing, I often abstain from eating and drinking during that hour.


Whatever you decide, “he specifically asked for something special during the three o’clock hour, the hour he died on the Cross.” Maybe in your home, three o’clock doesn’t work as a time to initiate prayer time. In mine, it often doesn’t work. But more than anything, Jesus desires a friendship with us, and the simple act of thinking of Him during that time and expressing our love for Him brings Him abundant joy.


Copyright 2020 Elizabeth Pardi
Image: Miguel Á. Padriñán (2017), Pexels