Transforming Earth Hour as the Hour of Creation

If you are supporting Earth Hour, do it for a more edifying purpose: gather the family members, turn off the electric lights, light the candles, and pray the Holy Rosary. Then read the first chapter of the Book of Genesis:

“In the beginning, when God created the heavens and the earth— 2* and the earth was without form or shape, with darkness over the abyss and a mighty wind sweeping over the waters—b 3Then God said: Let there be light, and there was light.c 4God saw that the light was good. God then separated the light from the darkness. 5God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” Evening came, and morning followed—the first day….*”

The Earth Hour becomes the Hour of Creation. The Church for centuries has adopted pagan practices but baptizing them with Christian meaning, in the same way as the Church accepts Gentiles and baptizes them as Christians. We can adopt the secular practice of the Earth Hour and turn it into a Christian practice. The Book of Genesis is the First Reading in the Easter celebration, that is why before Easter Sunday, it is Black Saturday, and on Easter Eve mass, the Church is dark, to symbolize the darkness of sin that covers the entire world.

Then read the Prologue of John in Chapter 1:

“In the beginning* was the Word,
and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God.a
2He was in the beginning with God.
3* All things came to be through him,
and without him nothing came to be.b
What came to be 4through him was life,
and this life was the light of the human race;c
5* the light shines in the darkness,d
and the darkness has not overcome it….”

The Earth Hour becomes the Hour of Creation, as Sunday, through the Resurrection of Christ, became the day of the New Creation; the Hour of the New Creation is better designated to the first hour of Easter Sunday. The light of Christ shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it. You see this in the seal of Ateneo de Manila University and Manila Observatory. The light of the world is not the sun but IHS, Christ. It is the Mystery of Incarnation. Gazing at the whole world–the Earth–is one of the spiritual exercises of St. Ignatius: to see the world as the Holy Trinity sees it. That is why, the Jesuits produced the greatest geographers like Mateo Ricci, because geography is an aid to the Spiritual Exercises. The Holy Trinity sees the world of men engulfed by sin. And so the Holy Trinity decides to send the Second Person of the Trinity, God the Son, who became flesh in the Person of Christ.

These prayers, readings, and meditations would fill a whole hour. Many indulgences can be obtained here from the praying of the rosary, the 30-minute reading and meditation of the scripture–and more if done in front of the blessed Sacrament in a Holy Hour.

A blessed Hour of Creation to all.

Ateneo Professional Schools: First Friday Mass, Holy Hour, and Rosary at the Chapel of St. Thomas More, Rockwell, Makati City

We invite everyone especially our APS worshipping community to join us
on October 2, 2009 for our First Friday Mass at 12:15pm/6:05pm and our
Holy Hour at 5:00pm at the Chapel of St. Thomas More.

The month of October will be the month of the Holy Rosary, the month
of our Blessed Mother. During the Holy Hour, we will pray the Holy
Rosary and offer it for the coming 2010 Elections. Adoration of the
Blessed Sacrament will follow right after the praying of the rosary.

We hope you can join us.

Thank you, and God bless.

Ateneo Professional Schools
Rockwell, Makati City 1200
8997691 to 96, local 2120/2116

Note: Monk’s Hobbit hopes that we will also have a Holy Hour and Benediction at Ateneo de Manila University in Quezon City.

Fr. Debrosse, S.J. and the Confraternity of the Holy Hour

The Holy Hour devotion can be traced back to Christ Himself.  In His apparition in 1674, commonly called “the third great revelation,” He asked St. Margaret Mary to prostrate herself on the ground between the hours of 11:00 and 12:00 on the night of Thursday, to share the agony He suffered in the Garden of Olives, to assuage the wrath of God and beg mercy for sinners.  He bade her also to honor and relieve the heaviness of heart He experinced, the weariness He felt when His disciples could not watch one hour with Him.

Among the devotions to the Sacred Heart, the Holy Hour has always been held in high esteem.  In his Encyclical Miserentissimus Redemptor, Pope Pius XI explicitly praised and recommended it:

12. And truly the spirit of expiation or reparation has always had the first and foremost place in the worship given to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, and nothing is more in keeping with the origin, the character, the power, and the distinctive practices of this form of devotion, as appears from the record of history and custom, as well as from the sacred liturgy and the acts of the Sovereign Pontiffs. For when Christ manifested Himself to Margaret Mary, and declared to her the infinitude of His love, at the same time, in the manner of a mourner, He complained that so many and such great injuries were done to Him by ungrateful men–and we would that these words in which He made this complaint were fixed in the minds of the faithful, and were never blotted out by oblivion: “Behold this Heart”–He said–“which has loved men so much and has loaded them with all benefits, and for this boundless love has had no return but neglect, and contumely, and this often from those who were bound by a debt and duty of a more special love.” In order that these faults might be washed away, He then recommended several things to be done, and in particular the following as most pleasing to Himself, namely that men should approach the Altar with this purpose of expiating sin, making what is called a Communion of Reparation,–and that they should likewise make expiatory supplications and prayers, prolonged for a whole hour,–which is rightly called the “Holy Hour.” These pious exercises have been approved by the Church and have also been enriched with copious indulgences.

In the year 1829, at Paray-le-monial, Father Debrosse, S.J., founded the Confraternity of the Holy Hour, which was repeatedly enriched with indulgences by the Popes, and which was raised to the rank of Archconfraternity by Leo XIII.  An agreement exists between this Confraternity and the Apostleship of Prayer, by virtue of which all members of the Apostleship of Prayer who make the Holy Hour enjoy the same privileges as the members of the Confraternity.


Source: Foreword to a Holy Hour booklet.  I added a quote from Miserentissimus Redemptor.