On Christmas Eve, our pastor, Father Connors, encouraged us to “open the gifts our faith gives us”! I loved his homily. Father Connors had all of us envision children running to the gifts under the tree Christmas morning . . . then just standing there, looking at them, but not opening them. He said, “that would never happen!!!” We all couldn’t help but imagine what really happens – lots of wrapping paper tearing and excitement. Father then encouraged us to open the gifts our faith gives us – whether it be prayer, the Sacraments, a bible study or Eucharistic Adoration. I then started to think of the gifts I have received from spending time in Eucharistic Adoration. In this new year, I plan to visit Jesus in the Adoration Chapel more . . . and enthusiastically open these gifts! Is there a gift faith or prayer has given you? Please share in the comments!
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I once read a quote that described friendship in the following way:
“the best kind of friend is someone you could sit on a porch and swing with, never say a word, and then walk away feeling like it was the best conversation you ever had.”
I don’t know who originally stated that opinion, but it holds a lot of truth. In Eucharistic Adoration, Jesus is that best friend. True, he always is our best friend; but during adoration, it’s perfectly okay to pray with many words; or to just be present. Just being close to Him, allowing his peace to enter our hearts, is a gift in and of itself. He is there. He knows every hair on our head, every worry in our hearts, every thought in our minds . . . and He is there to hold all of it. Spending time with a friend has value beyond words.
Time to “Be Still”
Depending upon our circumstances in our daily lives, some may not need this gift of “time to be still” given in Eucharistic Adoration. I have a four year old; a four year old boy; with ants in his pants. He is a wonderful gift and I love him with all my heart, I do. However, unless he is asleep, he is incapable of stillness. Before he came into my life I was a teacher and moderator and coach of high school students. Adoration gave me time then to “be still” as well. I am and was constantly “running”. It is totally true that I could plan and create time to “be still” early in the morning or at some other point in the day or week – but, time tends to get away from me. Committing one hour a week to be in the adoration chapel creates accountability on my part and ensures that I will get there.
Our adoration chapel has a small bookshelf with resources about the saints; pamphlets about how to pray the Rosary; and other spiritual reading. It was in adoration that I read some of St. Therese’s Story of a Soul . . . and how I found out that she absolutely loved snow. That fact made her more endearing to me. There was a time recently when I was working on a project and I went to adoration before I went somewhere to write. I prayed for wisdom and it came to me in a very concrete way. The exact information came to me by way of a resource on that bookshelf. Twice this happened. I recall those times with awe and wonder. I know God always gives us what we need – but it was pretty obvious those times. Our God is truly an awesome God! (Here is one of the books I found that was really interesting and inspiring: 15 Days of Prayer with Saint Catherine of Siena)
Stress causes health issues – both mentally and physically. Taking time to decompress and simply breathe or -even better – meditate, is good for our overall health. My favorite forms of meditation are praying the Rosary and simply repeating the name of Jesus, over and over again. Studies have repeatedly shown how incredibly beneficial meditation is to our health. On top of that, if you are a student, meditation has been proven to help improve academic success. Our fast paced society tends to provide distractions everywhere we go – even when we have the best of intentions. The stimulation within the adoration chapel is simple and silent. It’s the perfect place to pray and meditate.
There are very few physical locations where I can say I never look at -or for -my phone. Church is one of those places. As I write this article I can think of the people I should text back and call; pictures I should post on our adoption profiles; and email accounts I should open and check. Technology has allowed me to always keep in touch with people – which I love; but sometimes, I need a break. I need a break from checking, looking, texting, calling, messaging and scrolling. It’s overstimulating and I there is always one more person I didn’t yet get back too. When I am at Eucharistic Adoration, my mind is at peace. I know I’m talking to the most important person, Jesus – my Lord and Savior. I desire His guidance and love. I trust that He will help me get done what needs to get done once I leave. I appreciate the time I get to spend with Him.
Do you attend Eucharistic Adoration? How do you fit it in and what would you say to someone who has never gone? Please share!