“Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians
One way we can “pray without ceasing” is to embrace the Catholic practice of devotionals such as the Rosary, novenas, and Holy Hour.
What are devotionals? They are “external practices of piety” which are not part of the liturgy (or Mass) but are part of the spiritual practices of Catholics. In essence, devotions are practices which we can undertake individually or as part of a group, to help bring us closer to God and keep us mindful of the spiritual in our everyday life. At Visitation, there are several opportunities to join members of our parish in Catholic Devotions. Here are a few.
Holy hour is a Roman Catholic devotional tradition of spending an hour in Eucharistic Adoration in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament.
“Do you realize that Jesus is there in the tabernacle expressly for you – for you alone? He burns with the desire to come into your heart … go without fear to receive the Jesus of peace and love.” St. Therese of Lisieux
When Jesus prayed in the Garden at Gethsemane, he asked if his disciples could “watch with me for only one hour.” In Holy Hour devotions, we try to fulfill that request, to be with Jesus in the most Blessed Sacrament for an hour. During the Holy Hour, the Eucharist is displayed on the altar in the Monstrance and the faithful gather in the Church to worship, reflect and pray. Worshippers pray the Rosary and the Litany of the Holy Eucharist together, and also have time for silent prayer. Benediction is offered at the end of the hour, beginning at 9:15, with the traditional Benediction hymns and prayers.
Most people who participate in Holy Hour find it to be a time of “deep reflection which refreshes the soul.” At Visitation, Holy Hour takes place the First Friday of the month, immediately following 8:00 a.m. Mass, 8:30 to 9:30 a.m.
The Most Holy Rosary
The Rosary has been a Catholic Devotional for hundreds of years. It is a devotion that calls on Mary, the Mother of God, to intercede for us with her son. As such, the Rosary is considered a “Marian” devotion.
The key to the Rosary as a devotional, is its focus on meditating on each of the Mysteries. By contemplating the stories of the life of Jesus and Mary in the Mysteries of the Rosary, we bring to mind the story of salvation and the sacrifices made by Jesus and his mother so that we might be saved.
If you are new to praying the Rosary, here is a link to US Conference of Catholic Bishop’s website where the basic prayers of the Rosary are presented, along with some basic instructions on how to use them.
Pray the Rosary on weekdays at Visitation Church after the 8:00 a.m. Mass, or join the Prayer Group that meets weekly on Thursdays at the home of Beverly Razzetto. Please call the Church Office for contact information.