Jesus is all around us. He is in the grass, flowers, and people. I know if I pray, He is there with me. But there is something more during Adoration. Seeing the Eucharist in the monstrance. Seeing Jesus physically there for us.
This is the wonderful truth, my dear friends: the Word, which became flesh two thousand years ago, is present today in the Eucharist.St. POPE John Paul II
I have experienced Adoration in a variety of ways. The most memorable is being the only one in a chapel with the Blessed Sacrament at 3 am. I’ve grown to love Adoration and have learned there is no one way of experiencing it. Yet, the feeling is always the same: peace.
Simply sitting in front of the Blessed Sacrament, knowing Jesus is present, brings me instant peace. I feel cleansed and renewed after going to Adoration. That’s why I decided to attend weekly.
There are so many excuses we can come up with as to why we can’t go to Adoration. The first one usually being time. It seems nearly impossible for many of us who are consumed with the daily drudgery of eat, work, shuffle around kids, eat, sleep, repeat. How can we carve out time for Adoration?
I see Adoration as a planned break. Whether it’s 5 minutes or 50 minutes, give as much time as you can. Know that God takes our small efforts and does great things with what we give Him. His generosity is incomparable. Undoubtedly, you will be washed with a sense of peace.
However, going to Adoration isn’t always about us. The main purpose of Adoration lies in the name of the practice itself: to adore the One present to us in the Eucharist. In adoring Him, He gives us peace.
Why did I commit myself to weekly Adoration?
It wasn’t until my last semester as an undergrad that I grew to appreciate being in the presence of God. In my final fall semester before Christmas, I broke up with my boyfriend of almost two years. It turned out he had anger issues. It became an explosive situation of rage, jealousy, and torment. He wouldn’t allow it to end, trying to find any reason other than himself for the breakup. He harassed me, threatened me, and hacked into my phone. He became someone I didn’t know, verbally abusing me. He ended up turning all my friends against me, painting himself a victim.
I started my final semester of college alone. We worked in the same office on campus, forcing me to be a bigger person and work with him. All our friends would hang out with us in the office, and I felt excluded from the group. With no car, I was trapped on campus. My routine became: sit outside, class, work, Mass, work, chapel, home.
When I wasn’t in class or didn’t have to be at work, I went to the chapel. I spent most of my time there. The chapel and the Eucharist became my comforters. At first, I went to daily Mass just to get away. It then turned into me reading at Masses, then serving, until I became a Eucharistic minister. Our Masses were intimate, three to six people at most. Those people, some professors, masters, and doctorate students, became my people. We prayed for each other, supported one another-truly brothers and sisters in Christ.
Going to Mass daily became a need. I would hate it if something came up and I wasn’t able to go. It’s not until recently, almost a year later, that I realize I was never alone when I felt alone. Jesus pulled me into His home, into His arms. The Eucharist put me at peace, and I knew I didn’t want that to end once I graduated.
My parish offers Adoration every Wednesday from 7am to 7pm. I started to attend, even if for a few minutes. When my master’s program started, I knew I needed to fit Adoration around my schedule. If I go a week without time in front of the Blessed Sacrament, I feel lost. Adoration has greatly impacted my life and I thank God every day for the ability to go (or watch a live feed online). I am also blessed with a supportive boyfriend who is more than happy to join and support me.
With my life constantly moving, I have to remember to take a moment to thank God and spend time with Him.
A few things I do to help me commit to weekly Adoration:
A helpful resource is this article by Jeannie Ewing where she reminds us: don’t be intimidated by what appears to be daunting. Adoration is for everyone, it’s not exclusively for “super holy people.” It’s also not supposed to be a chore, but a celebration.
You don’t just have to pray
One of my theology professors once told me to take my laptop into Adoration and write the paper I was struggling through. I spent a lot of my time at Saint Thomas University in the chapel doing assignments in the presence of Jesus.
Whether in a prayer or life journal, writing down your thoughts or prayers onto paper can make our relationship with Jesus more tangible. I see my journaling as letters to the Lord. Sharing with Him my prayers, hopes, and intentions.
Listening to Music
With earphones, of course. There are so many Christian playlists out there. You can choose a praise and worship playlist, a more peaceful Christian one, or just something instrumental. I enjoy my peaceful Christian playlist here.
Sometimes I use Adoration to read those books I always tell myself I should be reading. Right now, I’m reading “The Friendship of Women” by Joan Chittister. There is so much we can learn from the saints, such as: “The Diary of St. Faustina,” St. Francis De Sales’ “Introduction to the Devout Life,” or St. Thérèse’s autobiography, “The Story of a Soul.” Of course, we have the Bible as another option.
There are so many ways to pray. I have a simple Adoration book of prayers that I use or pray a Divine Mercy Chaplet. I found a list of different things to pray for here, some of them are:
- Pray as you can, not as you can’t.
- Look at the Good God, and let Him look at you.
- Consider that the Sacred Body of Jesus came from Holy Mary. Thank her.
- Tell Jesus something that made you happy. Then listen.
We don’t have to do anything specific in Adoration. The Catholic faith recognizes that the greatest gift God gives us is Himself, and Adoration is another way for us to recognize that gift outside of receiving the Eucharist at Mass. We don’t need to overthink, just receive the gift.
When you look at the Crucifix, you understand how much Jesus loved you then. When you look at the Sacred Host, you understand how much Jesus loves you now.St. Teresa of Calcutta