Why the at-home Holy Hour?

Keeping God prayerful company in the Garden of Gethsemane can change your life. The at-home Holy Hour devotion is one of the most perfect devotions for our time. I say this because it can be prayed anywhere, does not require access to a church (only the domestic kind), and can bring a deep sense of purpose to any challenge or sorrow you are going through.

I'm a Professor of Theology, a Third Order Carmelite, a wife and homeschooling mother. But the greatest lesson I ever learned about living our faith found me when I was just a little girl. When I was a child, I stumbled upon the at-home Holy Hour long before I ever knew the name for this devotion. It was in the months after my father died, as I would be sitting up awake at night with grief and sorrow, and I would feel I was keeping Christ company in Gethsemane. "I'm here with you," I'd tell Jesus and I would imagine all He went through in that Garden, and then... something happened. As I "stayed awake" by "watching and praying"... Jesus of Gethsemane consoled me.

It took me years to discover there's a name for what I had seemingly stumbled on, or more to the point, to what God had led me. It's called making an at-home Holy Hour. I want to invite as many souls as I can, with all my heart, to join me in this wonderful spiritual journey. If it could guide a bereaved little girl whose broken heart really could have pushed her into a dangerous direction... but didn't... it can help anyone.

I want to tell everyone: No matter what you are going through right now... the at-home Catholic Holy Hour can change your life for the better.

When my friends or family have gone through a painful season in their lives, I have felt moved to tell them, “I’m praying for you and I won’t forget you. I’ll stay awake with you in Gethsemane.” There’s just something about someone feeling alone in their sorrow that makes me want to be there for them. But always remember: if you ever do feel a sorrowful abandonment; there is a holy opportunity in it. Jesus has felt that way, too, in Gethsemane. Surrender your loneliness and your abandonment to Him, in compassion and solidarity with all He went through there; give Him your will and ask Him to give you His. Pray as He did, “Not my will but yours be done,” and you will come to find that He will give you “the peace of God which surpasses all understanding.” (Phil 4:7)

Ever wish you could accompany Jesus in His acts upon this earth; to really be with Him during His life and be at His side during His Passion? Through your Holy Hour prayers, you can! And not to worry if you like guided prayer, this site will provide you with prayers and reflections to guide and inspire you during your Holy Hour. And there will be fresh content and new inspiration added each First Thursday! We won’t just spiritually go to the Garden of Gethsemane on the Mount of Olives. We will become spiritual gardeners. There in the Garden, we can love and console Jesus.

And what of your pain? Bring it. Literally bring it. It has a purpose. Whatever affliction we are facing: anxiety, grief, fear, loss, or any daily challenges, can be turned into purpose by offering up those struggles to God, and praying persistently, to make us more resilient and compassionate and to allow God to do the necessary pruning and watering of our souls.

Offer your pain to this Holy Hour, this truly intimate time of loyal friendship with Christ. After all, that pain, when offered up to God, becomes sacrifice and helps to make you more compassionate, more loving, more able to console the One who waits to console you. Take it from the little girl He saved.