In His Presence
This past month has been so interesting as I have started this post numerous times in my mind but nothing was taking shape until shortly before my deadline to post…God directs!!! Beginning with a completely different topic even as I write I want you all to know one thing: if you think you are in control… you are NOT. He IS. God guides us and it is up to us to listen to Him and obey. I love how He surprises me every time with what He wants me to share with all of you. His ways are always better than I could have ever expected or done on my own. I started out writing about prayer as I had one million things I wanted to share with you about the prayer but as I continued to write He had another idea. He wants me to share with you about how [I] spend time weekly with Him before The Blessed Sacrament. There are so many things I want to say about Adoration, my time with Him, what it has meant for me to be in His presence, and how He has transformed me there. Let me begin with sharing with you how Adoration became a priority for me and bountiful source of strength, love, and hope in my discipleship. One of the greatest things I decided to do four years ago, at the suggestion of a dear friend, was to consider spending time before the Blessed Sacrament in the Adoration Chapel at OLMC. I took her advice and it has been a gift of endless love from Jesus to me. Jesus refers to Himself as the ‘living water’ to the Samaritan woman in the Gospel of John and how He tells her that she will never thirst again if she drinks the ‘living water’. Well I have personally experienced what He meant for her to understand. Jesus is truly present in the Blessed Sacrament and His love unconditional, infinite and ‘living’ [life giving]. Each time I am before the Blessed Sacrament He gives me many gifts. The best gift He has given me is the gift of His Grace. Wow…If you have never felt His grace…kneel before the Blessed Sacrament…with honor and humility and see what He can do. His Grace has been transforming me into a better version of me. Coming before Him with what I think, I want, I know and coming away with a deep sense of peace that only He can give is a gift. No longer fighting myself or others as He gives me the gift of understanding that I could not begin to explain to you how it calms my spirit. You have to experience it first hand. I encourage you to carve out one hour a week to rest in His presence. I will guarantee that spending time with Him in His presence will be the best gift you have given yourself [ever]. Because when you go to adore Him, with an open heart, with complete humility, dependent only on Him [not yourself or others]… He blesses you.
As a Catholic, I know a lot of us have heard about Adoration but never took the time to go and be, spending time adoring Him. Adoration has become the vehicle for me to connect with Jesus in a very intimate way. Adoration has changed my prayer life forever in a very beautiful and powerful way. Prayer for me as always been my best buddy…no matter what I am doing…I have a prayer going on inside of my heart almost continuously… I am always talking with God. This dialogue is my comfort and way of keeping Him close to me. My time in His presence while at Adoration has taught me the value of silence…listening in prayer. It’s amazing what you can hear if you are silent!!! I have had to learn to sit…still for one hour and pray. At first it was a challenge for me because my mind was like a live wire…thinking too much in all directions. I would look around, create my grocery list, and not stop asking for God to answer my prayers. Like anything else it takes practice. This fall marks the forth year (minus a few times due to travel) that I have been faithfully going to Adoration on a weekly basis. And each time I go I have managed to increase my patience and my ability to be still both contributing to the success of becoming a better listener. I tend to like to be the one talking (surprise surprise)…so each week I would go and remind Jesus what I was asking for in prayer…as if He did not already know. I have to say it was when I finally stopped asking and started my prayer to Him of gratitude that my lips became silenced. In this state of gratitude and silence I could finally hear Him speak to me. The peace He gives me transcends over every worry. Spending time with Him, has blessed my life beyond measure. My dearest friend always tells me to enjoy my time with Jesus and then checks on me after my Adoration hour. Hands down my response has been… “it was amazing… incredible…incredibly beautiful.” I would not trade my time with Him for anything. While I am before the Blessed Sacrament…nothing matters in the world but Him. There could be a bomb going off and I would not notice. There could be a herd of horses galloping through Carmel and I would not care. Adoration centers me. It is a perfect opportunity for me to prioritize Him in my life and to re-align my life to Him and His will for me. The Catechism tells us that “Adoration is the first attitude of man acknowledging that he is a creature before his Creator. It exalts the greatness of the Lord who made us and the almighty power of the Savior who sets us free from evil. Adoration is homage of the spirit to the “King of Glory,” respectful silence in the presence of the ‘ever greater” God.”  I agree we must first acknowledge that we were created by a Creator who merits our love and Adoration. And to recognize the value of silencing ourselves in His presence, acknowledging both our nothingness [ our life is completely dependent on the One who created us] and our awareness [that we have Everything we need is in His presence]. I am grateful to my Catholic faith for believing in His True Presence and for providing a place to go to adore Him as He deserves.