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Curious About Adoration? How a Holy Hour Can Boost Your Faith With Fr. Tim Anastos

If part of your Lenten promise is to spend more time with Jesus, you’ll enjoy Father Dave discussing Eucharistic Adoration with Father Tim Anastos! Father Tim is the assistant chaplain at the St. John Paul II Newman Center at the University of Illinois–Chicago and author of “Jesus, Make Me Fully Alive: 30 Holy Hour Reflections.

They first reflect on the importance of ministering to the next generation. Father Tim says, “Pope Francis has said, when we’re talking about the young Church, that it’s not the future of the Church; it’s the present Church. It’s right now. To evangelize our young adults, high schoolers, and kids in grade school; that’s the present. So the Lord is working especially with young people [who have] a desire to receive the Lord so much, they’re thirsty.”

RELATED: How Can a Young Adult Serve the Church?

Father Tim notes that the audience of his book is young adults, and as a college chaplain, he tries to reach them where they are in their faith journey. “I love playing video games with the college kids…the best thing is just engaging with the students, having conversations with them, and learning what they love,” he says. “Everything in our culture has good, true, and beautiful things in it and my desire is to share that with others.” 

He shares one example of how the music genre K-Pop can have elements of faith. “What has become so popular and what they’re attracted to is how a lot of the songs, when the lyrics are translated, are all about something bigger than themselves,” Father Tim says. “Young people are desiring something other than just themselves.”

Father Tim reflects on Eucharistic Adoration, and shares how his first experience with the worship practice was not ideal. “My first Holy Hour ever in college was a total mess; it was a hot mess,” he says. “My mind was going in so many different directions: ‘Should I be doing this? Should I be praying an Our Father or Hail Mary? Do I fold my hands?’…the reality is this is a relationship – just like any other relationship – only this is with someone I can be completely safe with. When I learned about how to just be in a relationship in total safety with the Lord, it transformed me and I could actually listen to God.”

RELATED: A Beginner’s Guide to Eucharistic Adoration

He offers two basic tips for making a Holy Hour. “Before I even invite [someone] to do a Holy Hour, I explain what Lectio Divina is, divine reading with Scripture,” Father Tim says. “We can all read Scripture; the word of God is alive and Jesus wants to speak to us. We can listen for little phrases that come out at us that we can reflect on. Students don’t need to close their eyes, clench their fists, and say words to the Lord…A lot of students who don’t know how to speak to God in a heart-to-heart [way] yet are able to receive words from him in Scripture.”

Father Tim’s second tip is to utilize imaginative prayer during Adoration. He says, “Young people have such amazing imaginations. I give them prompts throughout the book on little things to imagine because, guess what? Jesus created us, every part of us, even our imaginations. He works with our imagination, and breathes life into us when we imagine ourselves with him.”

No matter if you can give a short amount of time or a full hour, Father Tim stresses that it’s most important to just show up. He suggests, “At least 20 minutes where you can give that intentional time to the Lord. Twenty minutes is about the time that you can watch an episode of ‘The Office.’ And instead of watching an episode of ‘The Office,’ we can be with the Lord. That adds up, just having a relationship with someone every day for 20 minutes. It can change the world.”