“In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength” Isaiah 30:15
This summer I made a goal to do a daily holy hour whenever possible. One of my biggest struggles in my prayer life is making a regular, consistent schedule, and so attempting to do a daily holy hour seemed like a good way for me to grow spiritually over the summer. I will first explain how I scheduled my holy hour, and then will reflect on the spiritual graces from my prayer.
My holy hour looked different at various points of the semester, depending on whether I was at home, working, or traveling. At the beginning of the summer, I went on a pilgrimage to Lebanon where we had a holy hour scheduled into every day. This was a very nice way to ease into doing a daily holy hour, because it was scheduled for me, and holy hours on pilgrimage are extra special. When I returned from Lebanon, I went on a road trip with a friend through Colorado, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas, where we car-camped in national parks. My holy hours throughout this trip, although not always a whole hour, consisted of silent hikes, early morning sunrises, late night stargazing, mountain-top views, and small-town churches. For the final chapter of my summer, I was at home in Texas. After work each day, I would go to a church that had 6pm mass, and would get there early to do my holy hour before mass. This was a great way to end my day. This summer God showed me how real and personal He is as I experienced, alongside Him, the people of Lebanon, the beauty of the West, and the love of friends and family.
At the beginning of the summer, an hour seemed like such a long time to set aside and I would bring a lot of books into adoration to use up all the time. However, just a few weeks in, having a holy hour became so integral to my day that I felt incomplete without it, and the hour began to feel shorter and shorter as conversation with God became more and more natural. In fact, I began to need even more time, because one hour is just not long enough for an intimate conversation between two beloved friends. By spending this hour of intentional time together (most) every day, God and I got to know each other very well, as I learned what it truly means to be in relationship with him.
“I held Him and would not let Him go” Song of Solomon 3:4
Through this commitment to prayer, God showered me with abundant graces and answered not only my biggest, but even my smallest prayers and questions in the most attentive and surprising ways. My prayer at the beginning of the summer was that God fill me up because I was empty in many ways. At the end of the summer, I felt so full. I cannot describe it anymore than that, but I just felt filled up, and I know that it is from God.
“The Lord waits to be gracious to you” Isaiah 30:18
While I will not be able to do a daily holy hour during the school year, I am determined to set aside intentional time for prayer every day. I enter this semester so filled up and excited to experience it hand-in-hand with God.
“your eyes shall see your Teacher. And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, ‘This is the way, walk in it’” Isaiah 30:20