Tuesday, October 23, 2007
While I was praying, I kept coming back to being able to be obedient and serve and how could I or can I or am I doing that? I felt the warmth of Jesus as I looked upon Him. It was as though He was smiling at me. Then the lady cleaning came in after about 1/2 hour and the other lady from St. Ann's came up to the altar. Another woman also had come in and she also approached the altar so I immediately got up to do the same.
See I really never know for sure what to do anywhere so I just move as though I do!! ha!!
I could see one lady was going to carry the monstrance, another a candle, and then one lady had the bells and the other candle which I reached out for. So I awaited the other candle bearer on the steps of the altar for us to get together and we got to escort Jesus back to the adoration chapel. AHHHH!!! I was so humbled and so excited at the same time to be able to be in service to Him at this moment, at this hour. It wasn't until we got seated again in the chapel that it struck me- I was there for His service in obedience to Him calling me. Also humbled to know that it was not because I have done meritorious things or because I am so holy. It is just because He wanted me there with Him.
He has often told me "I am not like human men." I have trust issues and honesty issues with men (mankind). So He has assured me, I cannot look upon Him as another man, and He is right. He is Almighty God, for whom today I was able to serve in my small manner. I like this today. I was where I needed to be, which I just keep asking God to bring me to where I am most useful in my life. Let me build on those talents which He has given me to do useful things that matter, while working on those ever-so-small blemishes that I would like to remove.
It is through this life, my life, each day that in time I will with God's grace become worthy of my place in heaven. I have a lot of work ahead of me.
It is these small happenings in our lives that you might possibly become more aware of in your own life too, as Jesus continues to call to you to experience life with and in Him. Main thing is do not consider yourself unworthy in any manner to spend time with Jesus. He wants you to be there if He is calling you to do so. Do not say to yourself I don't know how to pray, or what do I have to offer, or I am scared.... be comforted you are not alone, I feel like that quite often, but I keep going and you should go because whatever you 'do' will be pleasing to Him. But He is calling you if you are reading this and that is the most important thing you need to keep in mind. You don't want to keep the Lord and what He has in store for you waiting!
Blessings to each of you and have a great day!!
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Yes!!! So I was home most of the time with workers remodeling our house, which made me feel home-bound on days. I've got this toddler every day, and a husband who was hardly home to help. All of my friends work or put their kids in daycare...so no help really. Well what I found was this online Perpetual Adoration. At nap time, and the workers went to lunch, which usually coincided, I could spend 30-40 min in prayer in front of the Blessed Sacrament!!!
So I think every mom and dad need to know about this, every older person who would like to spend time with Jesus but doesn't want to do traffic or can't get around....any person who just can't physically get there, can do this if they use the internet of course. Wouldn't that be a wonderful idea, to have the little small video of that going all day while your family is home, and your computer is on?? Jesus would be there with you.
I'm telling you it was unusual at first, I even thought is this sacred or holy or blasphemous?? But then I thought and was reminded how John Paul the Great urged us to use tools of technology to spread God's Word. Why not?? But you are used to being in a quiet holy place, and that has to be how you approach it from your own quiet holy place inside. You can kneel if you wish I suppose. But mostly it is your time with Jesus.
Just sitting here thinking how fabulous would this be to bring this to people in the hospital on a laptop computer for 30 min!!! Ahhh! Another great idea!!! Wow I can see this can be so easily brought anywhere!!!
What a keen idea!! God will get where He needs to be see, He is always going to raise up those in prayer who need to pray, act, or move. He's going to find those unsuspecting souls who can and will work for Him because He asked, it's that simple. Those who listen and follow often, not knowing even, the voice of the Holy Spirit. They don't realize what a huge part of the kingdom they are participating in right then but He brings all into being. Wow!! Each of us plays his part in many simple and small ways.
Occasionally I even invited non-Catholics whom I felt were open-minded enough to come and experience the presence. One friend took me up on it. She loved it, even if only b/c it gave her time to really just be.
Once I got pregnant I missed more often than I cared to, but made maybe 1/2 of them. Then once Rachel came into our world, I was blown away. She wasn't very old maybe, it was after she'd been baptized in November so I want to say it was in December. She'd had a bad day of needing to be held all day and nursing all day. And I don't know why, but I said, "We're going to go see Jesus." So we did and I was sitting there and probably really first time I was so able to hear His voice, and He said, "Take her home and she will be fine." She slept soundly that night and I had been so tired that it wasn't until the next morning I realized what a blessing that rest had been and that it was in my obedience and moving (moving in Him) that I could find grace. That all sounds so easy doesn't it? ha!!
I began to find opportunities more difficult until Rachel was 1 yr old when she went to Mother's Day Out. But it was during those months that still the Holy Spirit was putting ideas into my head. I kept hearing and reading about spiritual directors. I guess I had never heard that at all, and when I'd listen to radio it sounded as though everyone knew something I needed to know. Then I got an email invitation to hear a speaker on that very subject. I even made sure I could bring Rachel with me. I left there and I thought "Oh I hope she'll see me, I know I need her." So I called her and was again so blessed to have had the Holy Spirit to enable this relationship to grow for me.
My husband works out of town several weeks at a time, so she's with me most of the time!!
Once Rachel was going to Mother's Day Out, it was difficult for me to even go to the office on Tues and Thurs b/c I really just wanted to go to the Adoration Chapel and/or Mass. Which happened most often for a while, and then reality and work took over and once a week was still great. When my husband was home sometimes I would run over there while he watched Rachel. That's when the Perpetual Adoration Chapel came in extreme use, no need to worry abt what time it closed. I never went at crazy hours, but just didn't have to worry.
I was actually floored and dismayed one day when I went over there and they didn't have it open because it was snowing!!!??? I missed being able to see Him.
I've taken Rachel with me a number of times for short visits when the day is hectic actually and I have no idea how to relieve my tense feeling, I will drive over there because I know most definitely that is where the answer lay. Most definitely.
But then the school year comes to an end............
Sunday, October 14, 2007
In fact, I arrived a little tardy, and I parked and hopped out...walking as quickly as I could to front of church but was met with an incredible sight. I looked up to see the Blessed Sacrament right across the street from me being held high by Fr. Rodney....what on earth!!! I am not joking it was as if I heard "I've been waiting for you." It was a piercing look from the presence of the monstrance that penetrated my being. It was like seeing someone and experiencing love at first sight. I remember when I saw my husband that one day while we were dating, and I remember the overwhelming love I felt for him even at an early time when we were dating. It was that way with Jesus too. He saw me, He knew me, He loved me. He had been hoping I'd arrive to participate with everyone else. I was so glad to be able to be part of that procession. I did cry a little because I guess I was just overwhelmed at what it is, was, and will be forever.
The year before I was helping my mother during her knee surgery at the hospital. Things can get tense as with anyone in pain and in a hospital so I went to take a break down in the chapel. Oh man, I walked in and the Blessed Sacrament was there and I was so happy to be there. I was so tired I didn't know what to do, so I just sat and listened and prayed as I could. I just kept thinking that really this was unusual but it was just what I needed. I remember my eyes initially fixed though on the Presence. It was as though I was held for that period of time.
Jesus will grab you. If you have been going to adoration and haven't had this experience that is okay. Your experience will be your own with Jesus. Oh but treasure the time you spend with Him. Know how comforted He is by your company. Know how absolutely blessed you are to be in the presence of God Almighty who gave himself to us, through the body and blood of his only son, our Lord. That we might be able to persist each day, that He might be able to come to us in our worldliness, not in His Glory for we could not bear it. This we can touch, this we can take in, this is human.
In the new testament Jesus says, "Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man, you cannot have eternal life." I think that is it. I will confirm and update. I believe I'm right, so what did that mean? Jesus meant what he said as he so often did. I think when it came to divine matters of eternity and salvation Jesus didn't use descriptive or metaphoric tales. He spoke as God.
Saturday, October 13, 2007
So I started pausing while reading the bulletin and seeing that monstrance. For those who may not be familiar the monstrance is often a beautifully gilded home for the Blessed Sacrament. It has a glass center so that you can see it. It is much different than being in front of the tabernacle where you know God is present in the Eucharist but the door is locked. He is right there in our midst in the monstrance.
I'm not a theologian and I'm not doing this to purport knowing more than I know. I have and always have believed in transubstantiation and I am not a skilled debater of these matters. So you'll have to enter into that with another higher level of intelligence than my own.
So over the course of several years!!!! MIND YOU!! I would wonder what was that all about anyway. Well it happened to be summer of 2000, and I had time and was in town and had no way out. The call was so loud and so distinct. The Holy Spirit had me occupied with strong thoughts of realization that I could go. It was a first Friday during the summer. I remember going when it was later in the evening thinking many people wouldn't be there then. What a crazy thought!!! How are you supposed to learn if there are no people there!!!???
But there were, maybe six other men plus me! Yeah good thing I worked with mostly men so I wasn't too intimidated. This was a nocturnal adoration society I believe, and they had modified that even to begin at 6:00p.m. and go until 12:00 a.m. Plus the men were nice about making me feel part of it as though I knew what they were doing!! Wow!!
There were these handbooks, thank the Lord for organized Catholicism!!! So we'd read the readings and psalms selected, and then say the rosary. I had never done anything like this. And after the first time, I was hooked. I was part of something bigger than myself. For sure more worthwhile than anything I could come up with on my own. I so looked forward to the next month I couldn't wait.
Well this went on for several months, as many as I could make which were most. I felt as though I could not disappoint our Lord, He was counting on me to show up. There were so few of us, I was making a difference. I was worried about the Poor Souls in Purgatory. I wondered who prays for them....the Nocturnal Adoration Society does thats who. So began my calling for the Poor Souls. I just realized how connected that is to where I am now spiritually. Man the Holy Spirit does so much when we cooperate with Him.
So I felt, this dutiful participation, because someone needed to and I didn't mind being in the background keeping the Blessed Sacrament company and praying. Then I met my future husband, and I kept going- it had become such a part of me. Funny thing happened in the fall, I began going to an earlier time due to daylight and found the group to be mostly women. Wow, what a shock, and when I grabbed the book I had been using this woman scoffs, "That is the men's book." ??????What??????? But they were right, and wow the women were different!! I tried to fit in and it was difficult at first but then they adopted me after several months of me proving my seriousness. That is also funny now thinking back on it.
So for over a year, I didn't move or act, and then finally Holy Spirit gives me no outs, and like that you can't get me away. Even when I was engaged I persisted. It was good mostly because it was formed, a procedure, an expected event.... did I miss?? Oh sure, there were months I failed to go. But Jesus is not going to just let you go, He's always going to find a way for you to grow.
In summary, it's okay to be unsure of what to expect. A couple of years later it turned into just hourly adoration, and was fairly open and mostly independent prayer. It's really okay to just go and sit for 30 minutes. I missed the group unison prayer but made the transition still. Take some paper, or your bible and just be with God. He's right there with you and He will bring you where He can, if you let Him lead you. But if you are like me and just haven't fit it into your crazy list of things-to-do, no problem, you know you hear Him in your heart and He won't stop calling you. When you go, Jesus nevers disappoints. It is sometimes hard though at first to overcome the "What am I really doing? Does it mean anything?" cycle.
This was the same time as I started teaching CCD, and then the wedding, and then the baby. All bringing me into different experiences with Jesus.
Goodnight and blessings to you!!
Friday, October 12, 2007
So I know what does all of this have to do with Eucharistic Adoration?? Well, you know Jesus continues to call to us, no matter how sad, depressed or lonely we are. No matter how wanton, addicted, or lude we are. Now I wasn't measurably worse than other young single women I knew. But I wasn't idyllic either. Again went along w/ the pursuit of what I thought it was to be Catholic, attending mass and sacraments, but just didn't strike me as shall I say- unique?
When I was around 32, at my lowest, I had purposefully said I do not need you any more God. You have not provided me with what I keep asking for and hence...I will go on my own. And I walked. I still cannot believe I ever was so prideful as to utter these words, but I did aloud. No more mass, well maybe here or there b/c Jesus calls us. We need Him. I was still single, my business was suffering, my personal life was yuck! So I met up with some friends at a 'non-denominational' bible study. WARNING- if any young person reads this ever, let me emphatically say, "THERE IS NO SUCH THING". The hidden speak is anti-Catholic....it is a way for your 'friends' to suck you away from the truth. You may have not even discovered the truth fully yet in your walk with Christ and that's okay. But that's it, "Let's save them from the Catholic church."
So in this 'bible study' we had a leader, okay, he was a minister of some sort, okay. Then we speak in tongues, even okay with that....Holy Spirit man He moves how we do not always know, so okay. Now we have communion.................WHAT??!!! I participated in this hideous re-production w/ this loaf and this grape juice......oh please ya'll don't even know. I know what Eucharist is!!!!!!!!! I had it!!!!!!! And that is when I could hear Jesus' voice again.
Mass became something I made a point of going to, and inserting myself into, taking it all in. Oh there were bad days that made me just cry. I was in desperation of knowledge. And I would see this monstrance in the bulletin for first Friday Adoration, over and over each month. Why would I read it?? Why would I ponder how I could get there?? (I worked out of town A LOT at the time.) But I was soon to find out.
Okay so it's me who goes, 42 yrs old. Engineer. Single-married with baby!!! That is who goes. If you are 25, 34, 45- GO you will see others there. I am not perfect. I am a sinner. I am, to know me, is to wonder has this even helped you?? You are determined, persistent- GO! You are shy and indecisive- GO! You are a mom - GO! dad-GO! student- GO! Mom- take your baby - GO! Infirm? Okay maybe you can't go so often!! But I even have an answer for that........this online adoration I used this summer!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! OMGosh....what a relief!! to have found it!! Truly, saved me and got me even more close to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. Okay, hubbie is going to wonder why am I up still on computer....night and blessings!!!