By Ivonne Hernandez
“The Holy Hour is not a devotion; it is a sharing in the work of redemption. Our Blessed Lord used the words "hour" and "day" in two totally different connotations in the Gospel of John. "Day" belongs to God; the "hour" belongs to evil. Seven times in the Gospel of John, the word "hour" is used, and in each instance it refers to the demonic, and to the moments when Christ is no longer in the Father's Hands, but in the hands of men. In the Garden, our Lord contrasted two "hours” - one was the evil hour "this is your hour" - with which Judas could turn out the lights of the world. In contrast, our Lord asked: "Could you not watch one hour with Me?". In other words, he asked for an hour of reparation to combat the hour of evil; an hour of victimal union with the Cross to overcome the anti-love of sin. The only time Our Lord asked the Apostles for anything was the night he went into his agony. Then he did not ask all of them ... perhaps because he knew he could not count on their fidelity. But at least he expected three to be faithful to him: Peter, James and John. As often in the history of the Church since that time, evil was awake, but the disciples were asleep. That is why there came out of His anguished and lonely Heart the sigh: "Could you not watch one hour with me?" Not for an hour of activity did He plead, but for an hour of companionship. ” Archbishop Fulton Sheen (Treasure in Clay)
Watch and pray with me, for one hour. That is what Jesus asks us for. Is that too much to ask? Doesn’t seem to be, when we think of all He has done for us, but, at least in my life, I have found it extremely difficult to consistently practice. Either life gets in the way, or, more often than not, I get in the way. My idea of what a “holy hour” should look like gets in the way.
I recently heard a priest refer to the time in adoration as going “on a date” with Jesus. It is a time to work on our relationship, a time to have a heart to heart talk, to reveal our innermost thoughts to Him and to let Him love us. After 25 ½ years, my husband and I still make time to go out on dates regularly. It is important for us to step out of the daily routine and of all our responsibilities as parents to touch base and see where the other is, to listen, to share, to ponder together, and to remember how much we enjoy each other’s company. Not all date nights are the same, sometimes we will be blissfully looking into each other eyes, while others we will be discussing our budget or one of us will be listening while the other is sharing about a frustrating situation. Some nights we go back home wondering if we should have gone out at all. If a night we were expecting to be fun or romantic ends up heavy with an unpleasant topic, or worse, in an argument, we might be tempted to think it was not worth it to take the time to go out, but we would be wrong. A relationship is about walking together and growing together, accompanying each other in the good times and the bad. It is by going through the difficult times together that our love grows and our relationship deepens.
Jesus is asking for us to keep him company. He wants a relationship with us, to walk with us in the good times and the bad. He wants us to come to Him just the way we are, and to be open to what He wants to give us. Interestingly, the word company comes from the Latin ‘com’, which means together, and ‘panis’, which means bread. Adoration and Communion are inseparable. When we keep Him company, He feeds us with Himself. We go spend time to console His lonely Heart and find that we were the ones who were lonely without Him. “…Evil was awake, but the disciples were asleep.” …But “my lover speaks and says to me, Arise, my friend, my beautiful one, and come!” (Song 2:10)
By Laura Worhacz
"The mystery of Bethlehem is full of love and sweetness... Let us unite with Mary in her expectation, during the hours that preceded the blessed moment of her Son's birth. Like her, let us redouble our love and fervor and unite ourselves with her recollection. And let her habit of life teach us this lesson: to serve our Lord as He wishes us to serve Him, and not to seek to please ourselves in His service." St. Peter Julian Eymard, Vol. 7
Dearest Eucharistic Family,
The mystery of Bethlehem is full of love and sweetness. The mystery of the spirit of Christmas is a reflection of Bethlehem's love. We prepare in joyful hope, we wait in joyful hope, we receive in joyful hope. Each time we receive Holy Communion we receive the Christ child who hopes in us. Jesus hopes in us to receive Him so as to "redouble our love and fervor." The return of Christmas; we return our lives, our love, our wills over to Jesus Christ in exchange for the gift of His love. We become a Gift of Self to God by serving Our Lord Jesus Christ through each person He has entrusted to us. We unite with Mary in her expectations and her habit of LIFE!
May the Holy Spirit of God's Love fill your hearts this Christmas. Many Blessings and Graces in the New Year.
By: Ivonne Hernandez
“Let us unite with Mary in her expectation, during the hours that preceded the blessed moment of her Son's birth. Like her let us redouble our love and fervor. Let us unite in her recollection, and from her dispositions draw this lesson, that we must serve Our Lord as He wishes us to serve Him, and not as we would ourselves. Mary knew by the Prophets all that her Son would have to suffer, and she disposed herself to serve Him as He willed, and to follow Him everywhere.”  - St. Peter Julian Eymard
Tomorrow is the eighth day before Christmas. These words bring a twinge of anxiety, as I think of all the things I still need to do to prepare, not just for Christmas Day, but for the whole 12 Days of Christmas. There are parties to attend and parties to host, food to prepare and cookies to bake, guest rooms to clean and presents to wrap. And with all the wonderful gatherings to look forward to, there comes something else that brings me one more twinge of anxiety: expectations. When my expectations and reality don’t meet, I experience the difference as disappointment, “unhappiness from the failure of something hoped for or expected to happen.”  I can’t change reality, so if I don’t want to be disappointed, I need to change my expectations.
I have tried different ways of adjusting my expectations, but it hasn’t really worked out that well for me. I have tried “lowering” them, expecting nothing from people, but I find that what I end up doing is lying to myself. I still “hope” and “wish” for certain reactions or outcomes, but I tell myself that it probably won’t happen. I am not really lowering my expectations. I still “wish” for something, but I deny myself the hope. I start to believe the lie that my desires won’t be fulfilled and that I should not bother to even hope. No wonder this approach hasn’t worked! This is not the way of the Holy Spirit, who always brings us to a greater faith, hope and love. “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Rom 15:13)
So where do I go from here? How do I change my expectations without losing hope? St. Peter Julian has the answer: “Let us unite with Mary in her expectation.” I do not need to lower my expectations, but rather elevate them. Mary did not place her hope in the innkeepers, she placed her hope in God. She knew that His Divine Providence would arrange for everything. “She disposed herself to serve Him as He willed, and to follow Him everywhere.” How can we dispose ourselves to do the same? As we wrap up our time of preparation and wrap the last of the presents, let’s spend some time in His Presence. Let’s turn our gaze upwards and see the one whose perfect love will never disappoint us. “My soul, be at rest in God alone, from whom comes my hope.” (Psalm 62:6)
 Eymard, Pierre Julien, Saint, 1811-1868. Month of Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament (Kindle Locations 767-771). New York : Sentinel Press.
 "Disappointment." Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 13 Dec. 2017.
By Laura Worhacz
"But it was in sharing the immolation of Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament that the strength of Mary's soul and the perfection of her conformity with Jesus were greatest." (St. Peter Julian Eymard Vol. 6 page 129)
Dearest Eucharistic Family,
Jesus' Triumph over sin and death is made manifest through Mary's Fiat, her yes to God's Will through her life. We are created in the image and likeness of God who is love.
"God so loved the world, as to give his only begotten Son; that whosoever believeth in him, may not perish, but may have life everlasting." (John 3:16) We are created to love. Through this love we are called to conform to the Creator who is the reality of our existence. We have been offered Divine promises through the communal life of our baptism. We are born of the Father into the new life of Christ made perfect by His Cross and Resurrection. This blessing has come forth from our Mother's Fiat, her yes. St. Gabriel visited Our Lady telling her she shall conceive and bring forth a son and His name shall be Emmanuel, so that God may be with us in His Son; Jesus Christ. Mary proclaimed, "I am the lowly servant of the Lord, let it be done unto me according to Thy word." ( Luke 1:38) The mystery of God's Love encompasses suffering. St. Peter Julian reminds us that Mary's soul and the perfection of her conformity with Jesus were greatest through Mary sharing in the immolation of Jesus; Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. This is where Jesus remains with us still today to remind us of the yes we need to make following the example of Our Mother. Jesus remains hidden, humble, meek, merciful and sacrificing to continue to bring us to the God of Love who sent His Son so we may have life everlasting. We, like Mother, say yes to the will of God in our lives. We find this will by our immolations, through our sacrifices for others, through our conformity to the Christ child who was born of Mary's YES. We are called to a participation in the Eucharistic Life. Jesus transforms us into Himself by spending time with Him in the Blessed Sacrament. We emulate Mary to find the Fiat of Our Father's Love when we say yes to God's call to bring Jesus into the world.
Please recite the prayer to Our Lady of the Most Blessed Sacrament reminding you of your consecration promise.
Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament
Blessed are you, Mary exalted daughter of Sion!
You are highly favoured and full of grace, for the spirit of God descended upon you.
We magnify the Lord and rejoice with you for the gift of the Word made flesh, bread of life and cup of joy.
Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament, our model of prayer in the cenacle, pray for us that we may become what we receive, the body of Christ your son. Amen.
By Ivonne Hernandez
“Now, it is in the Holy Eucharist that our Lord gives us the consoling assurance that He loves us personally as His friends; He allows us to rest our heart a while on His own, like His beloved Disciple; He gives us a taste, at least for a moment, of the sweetness of the heavenly manna; He fills our heart with the joy of possessing its God like Zaccheus, of possessing its Savior like Magdalen, of possessing its supreme happiness and its all like the Bride in the Canticle of Canticles.” - St. Peter Julian Eymard
Yesterday I was lying down in bed and my youngest son came over and lay his head on my shoulder. He took a deep breath and said to me, “I love this.” I said, “Me too”, and we just stayed there for a while, just being together. Precious moments! These are the moments that get etched in my memory. These moments of grace when my heart, recognizing the presence of God, can rest for a while.
St. Augustine said, “Our hearts are restless until they rest in you.” Once we have had an encounter with God, the rest of our lives are spent trying to find Him again. We get a taste of that real love, that place where we are known and loved, but then it is gone. We feel His presence in the mountains one day and we go back to the same spot looking for the same feeling, but it’s not there. We work hard to recreate a Christmas memory from our childhood when we felt truly loved, and we are disappointed when our expectations are not met. We grow tired and weary, but the longing of our hearts impels us to seek Him, and we do not give up.
God is beauty, and we can find Him in a sunset, in a beautiful work of art or in the smile of a child, and when we find Him there, our hearts can rest. God is love, and we can find Him in our spouse, in our children and in our friends, and when we find Him there, our hearts can rest. God created all these things to bring us to Himself, but these created things are passing, and so our rest is interrupted. But in the Eucharist Our Lord “allows us to rest our heart a while on His own”. Here we do not need to worry about getting attached to the means of getting to God rather than to God Himself. We will not be hurt or disappointed. Here Jesus is present to us, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity. It is not a reflection of God, but God Himself who calls to us saying, “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:29)
 Eymard, St Peter Julian. The Real Presence (p. 256). Veritatis Splendor Publications. Kindle Edition.
We are Ivonne Hernandez, Rick Hernandez and Laura Worhacz, Lay Associates of the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament, and brothers and sisters in Christ.