I love going to Mass on Sundays. The peace and joy that I feel does wonders for my soul and rejuvenates every part of me. Even if I am having an emotional day and find myself crying during Mass, when we are given the instruction to go forth in the peace of Christ and sing that final hymn, I always leave feeling uplifted.
Throughout the week though, sometimes life gets in the way. Despite my prayers and trying my best to remain focused on His light and His love for us, by the time Sunday comes around again I am in need of more. I am relieved to be able to go to Mass once more and refresh my soul in the community of prayer and in the ultimate peace that comes from being in the presence of Christ in the Eucharist.
Recently I decided that rather than waiting until I am overwhelmed by the usual weekly worries, I should work to find a way to continually be in His peace. Not to take the place of the prayer life I currently have, but to enhance it. While I cannot attend Mass daily, my church has Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament every Tuesday. I decided to take advantage of this wonderful opportunity. I went and was not disappointed. My soul was refreshed, my worries were gone. Everything melted away until only the peace and love of Christ remained. I was eager to return next week and again found the same peace.
This week I was unable to go after work. I found myself sitting at my desk Tuesday morning feeling again overwhelmed. My brain started to derail and head down a path of negative thinking. Worries crammed into my head and stress began to eat away at me. I thought to myself, it is too bad I cannot attend Adoration at my church tonight.
But then I thought, why let that stop me? I remembered hearing a listing on my local Catholic radio station of all the parishes in our area offering Adoration. I looked online and sure enough I found a Catholic church not even five minutes from my office that holds perpetual Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament! Immediately I started to feel better and was looking forward to going on my lunch break at work.
I only have a half hour lunch so I had to be quick. I was worried I would find myself feeling rushed and wouldn’t be able to focus or relax. In five minutes I arrived at this little chapel set back from the main church. I went inside and was immediately at peace. Tiny pews just big enough for one person, or perhaps two people if they squeezed together close, lined a short aisle leading up to a beautiful altar where the Blessed Sacrament was exposed beneath a large Crucifix. A statue of Mary was on one side of the altar, and St. Joseph on the other. There were little stained glass windows lining the walls of the tiny chapel. It was very beautiful.
But more than the beautiful appearance of this little chapel, you could feel the presence of the Lord. There is something about sitting silently in Adoration, knowing that in a mystery we will never understand, Jesus is right there before us. Not as a representation. Not as an invisible presence. Truly, visibly there. I sat in a pew and took a quick glance at my watch making a mental note of when I would need to leave to be back to work in time.
As I began to pray, time stood still. I did not feel rushed. I did not feel the need to continually check my watch. I prayed and knelt in the presence of my Lord and felt at peace. When my prayers were finished and it was time to leave, although I had only been there for perhaps 15 minutes, it felt so much longer.
I went back to work and about my day as usual. Nothing was different about the rest of the day. The things I was worried about before, they didn’t disappear. The things that were stressing me out, they weren’t magically gone. What changed was me. Instead of letting those things control me, I did what I needed to do to refocus myself on Christ.
My schedule will change and there will be times I cannot make it to Adoration. Work obligations, family obligations, travel, weather, appointments, these things happen. But I realize now how to deal with the little things that threaten to overwhelm me. It is to place myself fully in God’s presence. Through prayer, through Scripture, through Adoration. Through being with Him and letting His Spirit fill my body, my mind, and my soul, until there is nothing but the love, joy, and peace of Christ.
“In this silence of the white Host, carried in the Monstrance, are all His words; there is His whole life given in offering to the Father for each of us; there is also the glory of the glorified body, which started with the Resurrection, and still continues in Heavenly union.” – St. John Paul II, June 19, 1979 – Angelus Address At The Vatican