Yesterday morning, I awoke to hear the distinctive sound of pouring rain. Mickey was already up and I began my usual morning ritual of coffee and checking email, remembering that I was going to try to attend Eucharistic Adoration before my workday.
I got ready for my day a little earlier and headed out the door at 5:45 AM. It was still raining as I made my way onto the highway, praying that everyone drove carefully. I arrived at the church at 6:00 AM. The door was locked and I knocked loudly (according to the sign) so someone could hear me. Sure enough, a man was about ready to get out from the elevator when he heard the knock and came back down to let me in.
I entered into the dimly lit sanctuary, immediately looking toward the altar where the Eucharist was located within a golden monstrance. I knelt completely and bowed before entering the pew, and then knelt down again on the kneeler to pray.
I have heard of this devotion as "spending time with Jesus." But what was interesting was my reaction. Almost immediately, tears came to my eyes as I thought of all the people in the world who go about their daily lives and give very little thought to God, let alone adoring His Son - who deserves such adoration that we would never be able to repay Him enough in worship, even if we had a hundred lifetimes. (Perhaps this is why we need all of eternity to worship God...)
I grieved as I thought about the lost and those who did not appreciate what God had done for us. What was very interesting to me is that I didn't realize at that moment that this is part of the adoration process. I hadn't read anything about Eucharistic Adoration. The sorrow in my heart, the regret, the feeling of grief came naturally. To me, this was a beautiful sign from God that this devotion is not just some type of Catholic superstition; but has true meaning.
When I was involved in non-denominational churches, one of the ministries I was heavily involved with was intercession. I have been a part of all-night prayer vigils and many, many prayer meetings, in addition to my own private prayer time. I have experienced many times when God has touched my heart and by His Spirit, has allowed me to feel a little bit of His own heart toward a situation or people. I am always humbled and simply in awe that our Heavenly Father feels such a depth of longing for His creation to be reconciled with Him, but yet is rejected time and time, again. I cannot even begin to comprehend His response, which is to keep on loving the world and calling for them to come home.
It would be interesting to find out how many Catholics, who practice Eucharistic Adoration, go on to be interested or involved in some way with missions. I would think the two go hand in hand.
I focused on Jesus Christ and thanked Him for all He had done for us. I prayed that our eyes, ears, and heart would be open to Him. And I just tried to be still and in the moment. I was only able to stay 45 minutes since I needed to get to work. Next time I'll arrive 15 minutes earlier. I was still happy to have been able to go and even happier that there was a parish that still did this. Sadly, not every Catholic parish offers this devotion. The one nearest to me only does it once a month.
So, all in all, it was a beautiful time and I look forward to doing this special devotion during Lent. (and maybe beyond!) Thanks to those who have been sharing with me their thoughts and resources for this devotion.