We are all familiar with the term of a “Happy Hour!” Merriam Webster dictionary on-line defines it as:
” a period of time during which the price of drinks (as at a bar) is reduced
or hors d’oeuvres are served free.”
Hmmmm. . . that’s an invitation isn’t it? Price reduction and free hors d’oeuvres! Probably pretzels or peanuts!!! Now that’s a come on!
So, again, you are probably wondering why in the world would I be writing in this particular blog about Happy Hours or rather “Unhappy Hours.”
My explanation will be drawn from an Epiphany Dream that I had in the early morning hours of Monday, January 6th where I believe I was given a life-giving lesson to apply to my journey through the New Year of 2020.
The Epiphany Dream
I found myself with my friend Angie visiting my old workplace of St. Ignatius Retreat House where days of prayer and overnight retreats would be held on a daily basis. We found ourselves standing and waiting in a large room with other people. A man entered the room and told us that it was good that we were there! “However,” he continued, “our time would be more beneficial spent in Eucharistic Adoration.” He then asked if any of us in the room would be willing to sign up to “pray the hours.“ By the show of hands it seemed that many were willing.
Then we were transported into another room. This room had a long couch in front of a fireplace and many children were seated on that couch. Again, another man entered into the space but didn’t engage in a conversation with anyone. Instead, he started passing out iPads and cell phones to everyone in the room. No words were spoken but interiorly I heard the following:
“This is an Unhappy Hour.”
The dream ended with these words and I found myself awake pondering what this all meant.
I immediately recorded the dream so I could discern it with someone else. What was the culmination of this discernment?
Read on. . .
Yes, I found this image on Instagram, and it sure illustrates completely what “cell phones” are doing for us or rather not doing for us. Surely using the cellphone creates an “Unhappy Hour,” as clearly depicted in my dream. We are addicted! What does addiction mean?
“Strongly inclined to do, use or indulge in something repeatedly.”
We have become “prisoners” of our phones and have been subtly addicted. In my dream, the “children” were seated on the couch and the man just entered in “handing out” iPads and phones. They just received them in a passive manner and entered completely into the distraction and time lost in spending minutes and hours on a phone.
I remember reading the book The Screwtape Letters written by C.S. Lewis. The plot overview given by Wikipedia is as follows:
The Screwtape Letters comprises 31 letters written by a senior demon named Screwtape to his nephew, Wormwood (named after a star in Revelation), a younger and less experienced demon, charged with guiding a man (called “the patient”) toward “Our Father Below” (Devil /Satan) from “the Enemy”.
After the second letter, the Patient converts to Christianity, and Wormwood is chastised for allowing this. A striking contrast is formed between Wormwood and Screwtape during the rest of the book, wherein Wormwood is depicted through Screwtape’s letters as anxious to tempt his patient into extravagantly wicked and deplorable sins, often recklessly, while Screwtape takes a more subtle stance, as in Letter XII wherein he remarks, “… the safest road to hell is the gradual one, the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts.”
“The safest road to hell is the gradual one –
the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings,
without milestones, without signposts!”
Please don’t get me wrong here. The cell phone and the camera attached can be a “Gift from God” and used for the positive but it can also go the other way. Does the image below resonate with you now?
Does this image look familiar to you? Yep! Our phones are constantly by our sides, in our pockets, in our pocketbooks or even sitting on our laps. Why?
Everyone has their heads down looking at their phones. I thought of “heads up” and how a priest once explained how birds look up to the Heavens after they take their drink of water. Where are we all looking? Down. . . maybe the wrong direction!
We wait at traffic lights because the person in front of us is texting or we need to be alert to even those who are walking and not looking where they are going because their eyes are glued to the cellphones.
Cell phones go off when we are in Church (especially at the Consecration). We are all guilty of finding ourselves curious when we hear that beep beep or vibration knowing it’s our phone and someone is trying to contact us.
We use it to retrieve information at the blink of an eye and there is “knowledge” to be found like gold in a goldmine or we may find ourselves digging for diamonds. I love looking at Instagram to retrieve images for not only this blog but for a daily email I write to a group of 24 people. I could spend hours doing that. That is exactly what the Lord was showing me in my dream, an “unhappy hour” because I wasn’t spending that valuable time with Him!
My mailman warned me the other day by telling me, “Miss Anita, be careful driving out there! They are all on their cellphones driving!” “Yes, I know,” I responded, “What do we do about it?” Well his response caught me unaware and sent me into a fit of laughter! He said, “Well we won’t be able to change it. You can’t put ketchup back in a bottle!”
Well, what’s the antidote?
A Holy Hour Before the Monstrance
Here He is! Jesus Present in the Monstrance! So what is exactly a “Holy Hour?” Well, just for fun, I went to Wikipedia. This was the response I saw:
“The word you’ve entered isn’t in the dictionary.
Click on a spelling suggestion below or try again using the search bar above.”
A Holy Hour is time spent before Jesus Present in the Blessed Sacrament in a “Monstrance.” That is what the man first told us in my dream.
It would be more beneficial for us to spend our time in that way and he was asking for volunteers to do the “hours” of prayer before Jesus.
So why do we spend hours on our phones looking up information and wasting valuable time? It could be used for prayer not only in the Church but also in our homes. It’s all so subtle, truly the “signature” of the father of lies. We are children of the “Light,” not of the darkness.
Because we are “Children of the Light,” we worship and adore as these people, our brothers and sisters in Christ, are doing.
This is the antidote for the subtle trick of bringing us deeper and deeper into being a “prisoner of the cell,” and wasting our valuable, precious time that has been given to us here on earth.
St. John Paul II tells us:
“Let us be generous with our time in going to meet Jesus and ready to make reparation for the great evils of the world. Let your adoration never cease.” (Pope John Paul II, Dominicai Cenae)
“Our communal worship at mass must go together with our personal worship of Jesus in Eucharistic adoration in order that our love may be complete.” (Pope John Paul II, Redeemer of Man)
Pope Paul VI further states:
“The Blessed Sacrament is the ‘Living Heart’ of each of our churches and it is our very sweet duty to honor and adore the Blessed Host, which our eyes see, the Incarnate Word, whom they cannot see.” (Pope Paul VI, Credo of the People of God)
“Christ is reserved in our churches as the spiritual center of the heart of the community, the universal Church and all humanity, since within the veil of the species, Christ is contained, the invisible heart of the Church, the Redeemer of the world, the center of all hearts, by him all things are and of whom we exist.” (Pope Paul IV, Mysterium Fidei)
God Called Me Through My Dream!
He Called Me to Put Down the Phone!
He Called Me to Be in Union with Him!
He Called Me to Spend Valuable Time with Him!
Whether it Be in Church
In My Private Room!
Maybe He is Calling You As Well!
©2020 Anita Guariglia
Quotes from Popes – Catholic News Agency